The Intel Mesa Driver Is Getting Incredibly Close To Nailing OpenGL 4.3

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 3 March 2016 at 04:07 PM EST. 16 Comments
While the open-source Intel Mesa Linux graphics driver yet doesn't expose OpenGL 4.0 compliance for missing out on FP64 support, as written earlier this week, that code is about ready for its review and could land in Mesa soon. Once that's out of the way, Intel's Mesa driver is stomping very close to OpenGL 4.3 compliance and another GL 4.3 extension was enabled today.

After 50+ commits were pushed today, the ARB_internalformat_query2 OpenGL extension was enabled for the Intel Mesa driver. ARB_internalformat_query2 is required by OpenGL 4.3. The extension is described via the registry for those wanting to know the details of this particular extension.

With that out of the way, there's just one extension left for the Intel Mesa driver for OpenGL 4.3: ARB_robust_buffer_access_behavior. I haven't seen any Mesa patches recently at least for ARB_robust_buffer_access_behavior. So once FP64 support is done for GL 4.0's ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 and ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit extensions, which as mentioned already should be soon, Intel just needs to complete ARB_robust_buffer_access_behavior before they should be in OpenGL 4.3 compliance.

While Intel has lagged behind RadeonSI and Nouveau in supporting OpenGL 4.0~4.1, Intel could quite easily become the first Mesa-based driver supporting OpenGL 4.3. The Nouveau and Radeon drivers have two extensions for OpenGL 4.2 needed (just one for NVC0) and then 5~6 extensions behind for OpenGL 4.3. Thus it's good chances of Intel's Mesa driver supporting OpenGL 4.3 by the summer release but it could be a tall order seeing NVC0 and RadeonSI get there for the next release in three months, but at least they may achieve the GL 4.2 milestone.
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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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