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Proposal Raised For Dropping Mesa's Classic OpenGL Drivers From Mainline This Year

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  • #31
    I have a 2011/2012 Ivy bridge laptop (i7, 16GB RAM, SSD disk, third battery replacement), I upgraded it. I plan to use it for up to 3-4 more years if it holds up. After reading the mailing list I support the split.

    The title in Phoenix says "dropping from Mainline"... "splitting from mainline" would be more accurate and similar to what has been written in the proposal.

    There are good reasons for the split. The reasons against it seem to be mostly fear of being abandoned. In my opinion so far Mesa devs have done a great job. I trust they won't abandon users of the legacy/classic branch. They even were friendly enough to call it LTS (committing at least in name to long term support).

    Thanks for all the work, Mesa devs!


    • #32
      Originally posted by mangeek View Post
      I think this makes sense and honestly, I love my old hardware, but -does 3D performance matter- if you're running an old GPU that can't do OpenGL >4.3 or rack-up more than a fraction of a TFLOP? I'd think that just using llvmpipe software rendering would be fine for day-to-day use of these machines in whatever roles they're fulfilling now.
      A bunch of desktop software uses gpu acceleration with just OpenGL 3.3 as a requirement and hardware decoding videos is essential just in general. A lot of light games work just fine too. Suggesting llvmpipe is not really a solution especially since the CPUs on these are aging.

      Kinda sad Intel didn't jump on the gallium bandwagon earlier.


      • #33
        Ivy Bridge\Bay Trail graphics. Those chips are almost OpenGL 4.6 compatible! Ridiculously powerful for "past gen" but painful to hack into Iris it seems. Leaving it behind in classic would not let them to clean up those drivers at all. Besides, what you going to do with vulkan support for Gen7 in modern drivers domain?! You will.. cut.. oh right.. "clean them off", I guess?

        Please Intel, port the Gen7, Gen7.5 to Iris!


        • #34
          Originally posted by mangeek View Post

          Bummer! Maybe the Iris driver just isn't pointing to your specific PCI DeviceIDs? Iris -should- be driving your hardware by now. Can you force Iris with

          MESA_LOADER_DRIVER_OVERRIDE=iris glxinfo
          Not an option. All it does is run a few applications with the iris driver. Trying to run Gnome or Plasma on Wayland with MESA_LOADER_DRIVER_OVERRIDE=iris locks up the GUI.

          Originally posted by mangeek View Post
          If llvmpipe is 'good enough' to let users of older hardware hobble along, even if using software emulation. I'm sure the performance is low, but you're already having a bad 3D experience anyways.
          That's the worst thing ever. At least with the Mesa driver activated computing on a Wayland desktop environment is still somewhat smooth. llvmpipe is completely unusable in real world workloads.

          I have a dual Xeon workstation. Tried LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE on Weston and Plasma Wayland. 20C/40T of compute power can't even handle simple compositing and smooth scrolling of window contents, let alone anything useful. Also, in a Wayland environment on llvmpipe, Firefox WebRender cannot run and the Basic compositor tears and artifacts badly to the point where the browser completely unusable. Similarly on the Chrome / Chromium side, having no hardware acceleration or using llvmpipe causes the browser to fail to launch unless hardware browser hardware acceleration is turned off, and turning it off causes severe tearing as well.
          Last edited by Sonadow; 23 March 2021, 06:23 AM.


          • #35
            Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
            Please don't drop the i915 and i965 DRI drivers.


            If Mesa drops them I'm immediately going back to Windows and permanently leaving desktop Linux behind.
            Oh please don't go. That will be an immeasurable loss to the Linux and free software community.



            • #36
              OK @Sonadow, then I'd really be looking into why your Iris-compatible hardware isn't using Iris. Iris is a good thing, and it's supposedly supported on your hardware. I think there's a lot more benefit to submitting a bug so you can move forward than wanting to stay attached to the i965 driver.

              For people running older Intel GPUs, maybe there needs to be an effort to bring up a rudimentary Gallium driver that covers legacy hardware, but I don't imagine there's going to be much interest in making that work.

              I mean, let's be real. If you installed Windows 10 on your old laptop, you'd be using the 15.40 driver from Intel that's similar to what's being proposed for Mesa here, a bugfix-only dead-end branch of the legacy driver while the newer hardware has moved on to DCH. If you installed Windows Server on your Workstation, it would use a software-only driver unless you manually forced it to load an unsupported-on-server, dead-end driver for Windows 10.


              • #37
                At some point, the drivers for any hardware will be mature enough that no more major improvements are likely or even possible. For a large part of the hardware being discussed here this is probably the case. So I think a legacy branch is a good idea in general, but we can still argue about what exactly should be moved to it. I think hardware that is both widely in use and has the potential for adding significant improvement should stay in mainline.
                Exotic hardware that has only a handful users left? Off to the legacy branch.
                Relatively simple hardware where the driver is mature and there is no more potential for supporting new APIs etc? Off to the legacy branch.

                Myself, I have an old Radeon HD 7850 here, the model was released 9 years ago. I do not expect much more to happen in terms of driver optimization. What I still hope for is that errors will be fixed. So this one is almost ready to go to legacy.


                • #38
                  It's a pity that Haswell laptops won't qualify for Iris, because they qualify for x86-64-v3 and they are still great in lots of tasks. On the other hand I understand that Broadwell's GPU is quite different from Haswell's and it wasn't convenient to include them.
                  ## VGA ##
                  AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
                  Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Sonadow View Post

                    Mine isn't. It insists on using the classic DRI driver.
                    Then that's either a bug or a distro issue.


                    • #40
                      Can someone tell something about this crocus driver? Thx.

                      Topic: old intel's driver is already basically like LTS.