Asahi Gallium3D Driver Enables Mesa Shader Disk Cache Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Apple on 4 February 2023 at 07:46 AM EST. 19 Comments
A number of patches were merged this week to Mesa 23.1 around the Asahi "AGX" Gallium3D driver that continues progressing on open-source OpenGL support for Apple Silicon M1/M2 graphics.

A number of patches were merged this week with various fixes but arguably most significant is that the Asahi Gallium3D driver has wired up the on-disk shader cache support.

With this merge from developer Rose Hudson, the shader disk cache is now enabled for Asahi Gallium3D to enable caching of GLSL shaders to the disk for speeding up subsequent game loads and helping avoid stuttering for any OpenGL games that may be compiling shaders on-the-fly.

Apple M2 with Asahi Linux

Asahi Gallium3D is still namely in a GL2 world but this shader disk cache functionality will become more important as more OpenGL 3.x/4.x support is in place and as the Rust-based DRM kernel driver comes together too for allowing a performant OpenGL gaming experience with the Apple M1/M2 hardware on Linux.

We'll see what more improvements come about for Asahi Gallium3D in Mesa 23.1, which will in turn be released in roughly three months from now. For those wanting to try out the Asahi AGX Mesa driver, the Linux kernel driver remains out-of-tree but with the Asahi Linux distribution is the best route to go for trying out the optimal Linux experience for now on Apple Silicon systems.
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