Ubuntu 22.04 LTS To Carry GNOME Triple Buffering Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 7 March 2022 at 07:18 AM EST. 17 Comments
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS will be carrying the patches so the GNOME desktop makes use of the on-demand triple buffering support when necessary in order to boost the GPU rendering performance in order to allow for a smoother desktop experience.

Canonical's Daniel Van Vugt who has worked on countless upstream fixes/improvements for GNOME the past number of years has been spending a lot of time devising the GNOME triple buffering support. Going back to summer 2020 there has been work by Daniel for GNOME triple buffering for when the GPU is running behind schedule. While introducing some latency, the triple buffering would be on-demand for only when the GPU is falling behind and in turn would cause the GPU to bump up into a higher performance state due to the additional work. Switching to that higher GPU performance state / higher frequency is generally enough to get the performance back on track. GNOME would stick to double buffering when presentation times are being met.

The GNOME triple buffering code has gone through several revisions and much review over the past two years and does appear close to being mainlined. The patches have successfully doubled the performance for Intel graphics and Raspberry Pi while also improving the situation for other graphics hardware too.

The recent GNOME 42 beta did not pick up the triple buffering patches and now very late into the cycle and into the various freezes, it looks like the functionality will miss this six month GNOME release. But Canonical is now prepared to ship a patched version of Mutter with this support for the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release.

With the recent upload of Mutter 42~beta-0ubuntu1 to the Jammy archive, the Ubuntu package is carrying the patches for handling dynamic triple/double buffering. Thus Ubuntu 22.04 LTS will be able to provide this functionality until it's upstreamed into GNOME. It's still possible it could possibly land late in the GNOME 42 cycle but at the moment it seems to be blocked at least partially by a bug with the NVIDIA 470 series driver but working fine in newer NVIDIA releases.

In turn this now closes
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is expected for release on 21 April.
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