VMware's Virtual Gallium3D Driver Will Finally Support OpenGL 3

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 13 August 2015 at 02:02 AM EDT. 3 Comments
VMware's vmwgfx virtual Linux graphics stack for supporting 2D/3D acceleration within guest VMs running their virtualization software will finally allow for OpenGL 3.x support.

Longtime open-source graphics developer Thomas Hellstrom at VMware has published some new vmwgfx DRM patches he hopes to land for Linux 4.3.

While the VMWgfx DRM driver updates tend to not be too dramatic, the Linux 4.3 -next update should be interesting. This patch-set has support for screen targets for scanout buffers, a device command buffer queue to replace their old ring FIFO, and support for OpenGL 3. Hellstrom explained of the GL3 functionality, "support for a new device functionality called 'DX' that enables us to support GL3. Mesa gallium driver support for GL3 is about to be published. The patches for DX support have been heavily squashed." Details via this mailing list post.

We're waiting to see the vmwgfx Gallium3D driver patches for finally turning on OpenGL 3 for this driver. While GL3 hasn't been supported yet, at least VMware's 3D acceleration support for guest virtual machines has worked better in my opinion more reliably and performant than VirtualBox. The open-source KVM/QEMU/Virt-IO stack is meanwhile still waiting on Virgil 3D to get into shape.

It looks like Linux 4.3 should be another interesting release cycle. It will be benchmarked daily as always via LinuxBenchmarking.com and my more specialized tests on Phoronix.com.
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Michael Larabel

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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