Mesa's Classic Drivers Have Been Retired - Affecting ATI R100/R200 & More

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 3 December 2021 at 08:33 PM EST. 112 Comments
The day has finally come that Mesa's classic OpenGL drivers (non-Gallium3D) have been cleared out of the code-base as part of their modernization effort for mainline.

After a half-year pending, the "Delete Mesa Classic" merge request was honored today in eliminating the Mesa "classic" OpenGL drivers from the code-base. The drivers will still be maintained in an "Amber" branch, but considering how little focus these drivers have been receiving by upstream Mesa developers currently, don't expect much (or, if any) real changes moving ahead.

The drivers being removed are the old Radeon R100 and R200 drivers, the original Nouveau code, and the Intel i915 and i965 drivers. The i965 drivers supported well up through Gen9 era graphics but has since been replaced by the Intel Iris Gallium3D driver for Broadwell and newer and then the "Crocus" Gallium3D driver over the past year has come to provide a Gallium3D-based alternative for i965 through Haswell.

So no real losses here ultimately besides i915, ATI Radeon R100/R200, and some of the oldest NVIDIA graphics cards on the original Nouveau code. Besides gutting out those old drivers, this removal also allows deleting other classic Mesa driver code too.

All in this allows over 49k lines of code to be removed from mainline Mesa.

So Mesa classic is now deleted for Mesa 22.0 and we'll see how well this "Amber" branch is maintained moving forward. For those on modern GPUs this is a win as it lowers the maintenance burden for mainline developers and allows for more optimizations that are Gallium3D-minded and less worrying about vintage GPU support.
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