VMware Lands Its OpenGL 3.3 Support In Its Mesa Gallium3D Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland on 2 September 2015 at 01:37 PM EDT. 9 Comments
Last month VMware started publishing DRM kernel patches for handling OpenGL 3.3 inside their guest VMs, then released VMware Workstation 12 with the OpenGL 3 support, and now they've published the necessary Gallium3D driver changes.

For those using Workstation 12 or Fusion 8, OpenGL 3.3 support is now capable by guest virtual machines if you have an updated Linux driver stack. Aside from having to use VMware's latest proprietary virtualization software, the host OS/GPU/driver needs to support OpenGL 4.0, you'll need the Linux 4.3 kernel or newer, and you'll need this Mesa Git code -- what will be released later this year as Mesa 11.1. Without any of these pieces, only the current OpenGL 2.1 support level is exposed. For debugging purposes, the OGL3 support in VMware guests can be disabled via the SVGA_VGPU10=0 environment variable.

All of the Mesa/Gallium3D pieces for OpenGL 3.3 support via their VMWgfx Gallium3D driver are now in Git. There's no word on any imminent OpenGL 4 support coming to VMware guests although they have the host driver requirement on OpenGL 4.0.

While some may not like VMware for not being free, at least they have good OpenGL acceleration working for guests while Linux users are still waiting for Virgil to materialize or another form of KVM/QEMU with 3D acceleration on the GPU.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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