OpenGL 4.0 Turns Five Years Old, Mesa Still Doesn't Fully Support It

Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 11 March 2015 at 10:20 PM EDT. 76 Comments
Time sure seems to fly by: OpenGL 4.0 turned five years old today. The sad part is that Mesa still doesn't fully implement the GL 4.0 specification.

It was on this day back in 2010 that the Khronos Group released OpenGL 4.0 along with OpenGL 3.3. While Mesa ended up supporting GL 3.3 fairly quickly by the key drivers, OpenGL 4.0 remains to be supported. For about a year now Mesa has seemed fairly in shape for supporting OpenGL 4.0 along with the minor GL 4.1 and 4.2 revisions, but as of the Git code today there's still work outstanding.

Per the documentation in Git, Mesa core still lacks the GL_ARB_shader_subroutine and GL_ARB_tessellation_shader from OpenGL 4.0. From OpenGL 4.1 there is the GL_ARB_shader_precision and GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit. When it comes to OpenGL 4.2 the work still remaining is regarding GL_ARB_shader_image_load_store.

While I'm hopeful that OpenGL 4.2 will be reached by the Intel/Radeon/Nouveau Mesa drivers this year, there's still much work to be done in hitting OpenGL 4.3/4.4/4.5 compliance. I'd highly doubt seeing OpenGL 4.4 out of the major Mesa drivers in 2015 as much as I'd like to see it accomplished.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes Vulkan to be realized by the open-source Linux graphics drivers, sans Valve's reported Vulkan Intel Linux driver they'll open-source later this year.

When do you think the open-source graphics drivers will catch up to the latest industry standards? If ever? Share your thoughts by commenting on this article.
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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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