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Android Support Merged Into Mesa / Gallium3D

Mesa

Published on 24 August 2011 09:58 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
9 Comments

It's now possible to build and run mainline Mesa releases on Google's Android platform. While this doesn't make too much sense to use Mesa on Android for mobile ARM devices due to the lack of open-source Mesa / Gallium3D graphics drivers in this area, this support opens up new possibilities for running the Android operating system on x86 netbooks and tablets.

Merged by Chia-I Wu earlier in the week was adding a few Mesa / Gallium3D changes for Android. An Android back-end was also added to the EGL state tracker for Gallium3D. These core Mesa / Gallium3D commits were then followed by adding support for the Android build system to the Mesa tree. With this work, Mesa can now be built and used in a clean manner for this Google operating system.

Chia-I Wu is the developer that's been working on bringing up Mesa for Android x86 going back to late 2009. (Up to this point most of the Mesa on Android efforts were housed in third-party Git repositories.) He now works at the LunarG consulting firm for Mesa and has also worked on the EGL and Vega state tracker among other Mesa action items.

Hitting the Mesa tree tonight from Chia-I is Android support for the Radeon R600 Gallium3D driver. This allows Android x86 to be used on modern systems with Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000/6000 (or Fusion) graphics while having hardware acceleration. Chia-I says that it works with SurfaceFlinger (Android's display server and compositor) and with 2D applications using RGB/RGBA visuals. Some 3D applications are also working using the Radeon Gallium3D stack, but others have rendering defects.

Chia-I Wu also has a few other Android-related patches floating around on the Mesa mailing list.

Google uses Gallium3D in Chrome OS -- even for the unofficial Intel Gallium3D driver. Mesa / Gallium3D isn't much of an aim in Google's current Android world due to the target of embedded/mobile devices that are so commonly dominated by proprietary graphics drivers, but that may change.

Those wanting to toy with mainline Mesa on Android will need to use Mesa Git or wait around for the release of Mesa 7.12 in January.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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