Mesa's Android Support Is Currently In Bad Shape

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 29 March 2015 at 08:25 AM EDT. 20 Comments
While Mesa is talked about as being able to be built for Google's Android operating system to run these open-source graphics drivers on Android devices with OpenGL ES support, in reality there's a lot left to be desired.

Over the years there's been a handful of developers working on Android Mesa support to let the popular open-source graphics drivers run over there -- from the Intel driver now that they're using HD Graphics within their low-power SoCs (rather than PowerVR), AMD has made a few steps toward Android netbook/laptop devices with Radeon graphics, and we're starting to see Gallium3D drivers for Qualcomm Adreno (Freedreno) and the Raspberry Pi (VC4) where there's interest from Android users. This year as part of Google Summer of Code we also might see a student focused on Freedreno Android support.

Mesa's release manager Emil Velikov who has been doing darn good at his job and cleaning up various parts of Mesa too, took a stab this weekend at the Android support code. Emil wrote to the mailing list, "I've decided that it's a nice idea to double check how chaotic things are wrt the Android build. Long story short - it's bad. The good news is that a couple of the Android-x86 guys (Chih-Wei, Mauro) have been picking on it slowly, so I've salvaged what I could from their work, and did a bit of a cleanup on top."

So far with the Mesa Android build there's the classic i915/i965 Intel drivers, NIR support, and initial DRI state tracker support (though the code is still a work-in-progress). Those wanting to learn more or potentially help out with Mesa on Android can visit the Mesa-dev mailing list
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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