Mesa 22.2 Released With AMD RDNA3 Prep, Intel Arc Graphics, Many Vulkan Improvements

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 20 September 2022 at 07:16 PM EDT. 15 Comments
The belated Mesa 22.2 was unexpectedly released today for providing the very latest open-source Linux graphics driver support not only for Intel and AMD Radeon graphics hardware but also the reverse-engineered Nouveau (NVIDIA) driver and the many smaller drivers like Etnaviv, Mali, Panfrost, the new PowerVR Vulkan driver, and the software drivers like LLVMpipe and Zink.

While Mesa 22.2.0 was supposed to be out in late August / early September, it's been off the wagon the past month. Mesa 22.2-rc3 released back on 19 August and then the weekly release candidates / v22.2 final simply didn't happen. It was then raised yesterday where is Mesa 22.2 as there has been no updates in a month. The Mesa 22.2 branch on Git also wasn't updated until today but kept at the -rc3 state. Now this afternoon unexpectedly, Mesa 22.2 is out.

As part of today's Mesa 22.2 release over 22.2-rc3, there are nearly 150 patches back-ported from Mesa 22.3/Git to the 22.2 series for bug fixing. Normally this would have led to another release candidate, but it seems Mesa 22.2.0 was just kicked out the door to get the release out there. So if you are particularly concerned about stability/bugs, this may definitely be a release where it's worth waiting for Mesa 22.2.1 until its tires have been kicked a bit more.

Meanwhile on Mesa Git the 22.3 changes have been building up for weeks already and there is a lot to get excited for with that next quarterly release. Mesa 22.3 should be out in late November / early December barring any more release management surprises.

As for the main release highlights of Mesa 22.2:

- The Intel Arc Graphics DG2/Alchemist support is in better shape with the desktop PCI IDs being added and work around small BAR, compute support, and other features added. The Mesa 22.2 support can work with Linux 6.0+ upstream kernels assuming the use of the i915.force_probe= module option to enable the currently-experimental support.

- A big performance fix for the Intel DG2 Vulkan ray-tracing code to the order of a ~100x improvement.

- AMD has been working on RDNA3 / GFX11 support for Mesa 22.2, going along with all their RDNA3 work kernel side with the AMDGPU driver. However, they haven't publicly stated whether Linux 6.0 and Mesa 22.2 are expected to be enough to provide launch-day RDNA3 graphics card support on Linux or if necessary patches remain outstanding... At least in the case of the RADV work being external from AMD, that presumably will take more time until around launch or afterwards before that is in good shape -- depending whether AMD is supplying any hardware to the Valve and Red Hat Linux graphics driver developers in advance.

- The old R600g driver for Radeon HD 2000 to HD 6000 series (pre-GCN) hardware has rewritten NIR support and added NIR support for pre-Evergreen GPUs.

- RadeonSI EGL context high priority support for helping Wayland compositors.

- The Radeon RADV driver has added new extensions like primitives_generated_query, shader_module_identifier, and others. RADV also continued preparations for Vulkan mesh shader support and partial support for NVIDIA's device generated commands.

- RADV has enabled ray queries by default.

- Intel's ANV driver has also added recent Vulkan extensions too like shader module identifier that is important for VKD3D-Proton.

- Improvements for Mesa on Windows such as implementing more features for the Direct3D 12 implementation supporting OpenGL/Vulkan/OpenCL and the WGL_ARB_create_context_robustness support. There is also other work on D3D12 video acceleration that landed.

- Nouveau started working on RTX 30 "Ampere" support in its OpenGL driver.

- The Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation has seen Windows support improvements with X-Plane looking to make use of it.

- The Lavapipe driver as a software Vulkan implementation has added support for new extensions like VK_EXT_robustness2 and variable pointers support.

- Initial Arm Mali Valhall OpenGL support in Panfrost to go along with the Linux 6.0 DRM kernel driver support.

- The Etnaviv Gallium3D driver for Vivante graphics IP has added async shader compilation using ARB_parallel_shader_compile.

- Continued work on the PowerVR open-source Vulkan driver that was merged earlier this year.

- Removing the old GLSL-to-TGSI path and more GLSL IR code being replaced by NIR code and drivers like Nouveau switching to NIR by default.

- Support for building Mesa with select video codecs disabled out of software patent concerns.

In the two hours since today's Mesa 22.2 rushed release no release announcement has surfaced yet, but those interested can go straight to Gitlab if wanting to build Mesa 22.2.0 yourself.
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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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