Reverse Engineering, Open-Source Driver Writing Continues For Apple's M1 GPU

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 15 September 2021 at 02:11 PM EDT. 36 Comments
Alyssa Rosenzweig spoke today at the virtual X.Org Developers Conference about the ongoing work for bringing up Linux display and graphics support on the Apple M1 graphics processor.

While there has been much progress this year bringing up Linux on the Apple M1 SoC, the display/graphics bring-up is particularly involved and will likely prove to be the most challenging aspect from its reverse engineering to driver writing.

Since earlier this year there has been the AGX Gallium3D driver in Mesa as the start of the OpenGL driver for the Apple M1 GPU. Meanwhile the AGX DRM/KMS kernel driver for the M1 remains a work-in-progress and as of Linux 5.15 hasn't yet been mainlined.

Alyssa's XDC2021 session today covered the M1 hardware, the reverse engineering challenges involved, and the ongoing software writing effort to make the M1 GPU usable. The display side is making great progress and the AGX Gallium3D driver driver is getting into good shape too. Obviously a Vulkan driver will become important too for the M1 in the future as another big challenge down the road.

See this slide deck and Alyssa's presentation embedded below if interested in the ongoing Apple M1 open-source graphics work.

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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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