Mesa Makes It Easier Now To Tap More Debugging/Performance Information

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 17 November 2016 at 02:00 AM EST. 2 Comments
Mesa 3D founder Brian Paul has added a relatively simple but useful improvement to core Mesa for dumping more debugging and performance information.

A commit to Mesa today supports the MESA_DEBUG=context environment variable/value. Brian Paul explains it well in the commit message so we'll share that:
A number of drivers report useful debug/perf information accessible through GL_ARB_debug_output and with debug contexts (i.e. setting the GLX_CONTEXT_DEBUG_BIT_ARB flag). But few applications actually use the GL_ARB_debug_output extension.

This change lets one set the MESA_DEBUG env var to "context" to force-set a debug context and report debug/perf messages to stderr (or whatever file MESA_LOG_FILE is set to). This is a useful debugging tool.
So basically setting MESA_DEBUG=context will create an OpenGL debug context that in turn will dump performance/debugging information for different Mesa/Gallium3D drivers, regardless of whether the OpenGL application/game is implementing ARB_debug_output. This change is in Git for Mesa 13.1.
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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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