Mesa 17.3 Remains Quite Buggy, Developer Calls For Better Handling In The Future

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 22 February 2018 at 12:09 AM EST. 40 Comments
If you are making use of the Mesa 17.3 releases, have you found them to be buggier than normal for this open-source 3D graphics driver stack? There remains a higher than average amount of bugs still outstanding that have plagued Mesa 17.3, even with being up to 17.3.5.

Longtime Intel open-source graphics driver developer Kenneth Graunke has vented a bit and provided feedback over the sad state of Mesa 17.3, following some "absolutely critical fixes" not making it into the most recent Mesa 17.3 point release. The patches are for fixing GPU hangs and crashes in GLAMOR affecting a large number of Intel users. Kenneth went on to sum up the current 17.3 situation from his perspective:
At this point, we've done 5 point releases in the 17.3.x series, which have had DRI3 crashes when pageflipping (in all drivers), and X server hangs and crashes galore in i965/Gen9+. Worse, we fixed those hangs a month ago and haven't managed to ship them yet. We also managed to ship a radv that broke completely.

At this point, 17.3.x is looking like the worst Mesa release in recent memory, and I'm about on the verge of advising people to just go back to 17.2 until 18.0 comes out. It's pretty frustrating, and I feel bad for our users, who depend on our software for their computer to work.

We have to do better, somehow - myself included. Ideally, we'd find a way to avoid major bugs like this in the first place. Barring that, do we need to have developers take a more active role in backporting fixes again? It seems like our nomination process works for simple things, but for more complex series, it doesn't work as well. Maybe we need to proactively put together (tested) pull requests for stable?

Ken's post in full can be read here. It will be interesting to see what comes of this call for action.

Mesa bugs are sadly not too uncommon, but at least the entire Linux graphics stack as a whole has improved immensely in the past few years... Regressions though have remained somewhat common for some drivers.

With many Phoronix readers riding the Mesa Git train, you may have not noticed these problems or even if on the 18.0 release candidates. The good news is that the stable Mesa 18.0 release is near. Mesa 18.0.0 had been scheduled for release back on 9 February but that quarterly feature update has yet to occur but should be out in the coming days assuming the remaining blocker bugs get cleared. When that release happens or any other fundamental changes made to Mesa for improving its stability, you can expect to read about it right away on Phoronix.

What do you think of Mesa's stability these days? What release management changes would you like to see occur for Mesa? Let us know in the forums.
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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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