Mesa 21.0 Gearing Up To Ship As Soon As Next Week For Latest Open-Source GPU Drivers

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 29 January 2021 at 07:42 AM EST. 5 Comments
For those Linux gamers and other desktop users of the open-source OpenGL/Vulkan drivers with some extra time this weekend, Mesa 21.0-RC3 is now available for testing as what might be the last release candidate before officially releasing Mesa 21.0 as soon as next week.

With Mesa 21.0 having branched earlier in the quarter than usual and so far the release cycle playing out well, Mesa 21.0.0 could be out as soon as next week unless opting for Mesa 21.0-RC4 and in turn pushing the release back another week. Normally the new Mesa feature releases don't arrive until the end of the second month of the quarter or often the last month each quarter with delays, but this time around Mesa 21.0.0 is shaping up for an early February debut. This should also help lighten the load in ensuring Mesa 21.0 makes it into the likes of Ubuntu 21.04 in a timely manner.

Released this week was Mesa 21.0-RC3 with the usual assortment of bug fixes. Accumulated over the past week were fixes for the RADV and ACO code, fixes to the Intel ANV Vulkan driver, a number of fixes to the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan Gallium3D implementation, and the other usual work. There were more than 50 patches since the prior week's 21.0-RC2 version.

So for those with time over the weekend and those tending to do their gaming on the days off, this is a great time to do near-final testing of Mesa 21.0 to help catch any lingering bugs for this quarter's update. Among the notable changes in Mesa 21.0 are sparse memory support and rapid packed math for the RADV driver, OpenGL 3.1 for the Panfrost driver, many Zink improvements, a number of new Vulkan extensions supported by Radeon RADV and Intel ANV, a few new OpenGL extensions for RadeonSI, and other work. My more exhaustive overview will likely be out this weekend.
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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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