NVIDIA Is Still Pushing For A New Linux OpenGL ABI
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 11 October 2014 at 10:59 AM EDT. 7 Comments
NVIDIA --
Besides going over their Mir/Wayland support plans, NVIDIA's Andy Ritger also provided the latest update concerning their work to push a new OpenGL ABI on Linux. This new Linux OpenGL ABI has been talked about every year since 2012 but it's still not yet fully materialized.


The new OpenGL ABI does have the interest of other graphics driver developers and also the community as its main benefit is that it can allow for multiple GPU drivers to co-exist on the same system without running into any collisions over the OpenGL libraries, etc. The new ABI is also to promote EGL over GLX and allow multiple drivers to even exist for the same process. This is the first major OpenGL ABI update in more than ten years.

NVIDIA continues to develop the vendor-neutral OpenGL library for this new ABI as libglvnd on GitHub. "This is a work-in-progress implementation of the vendor-neutral dispatch layer for arbitrating OpenGL API calls between multiple vendors on a per-screen basis, as described by Andy Ritger's OpenGL ABI proposal."


The libglvnd provides a working functional prototype for GLX and they also have their own internal prototyped driver. The next steps for this OpenGL ABI proposal is to solicit feedback on the Mesa mailing list, start on a vendor neutral EGL implementation similar to their current GLX dispatching code, and for other OpenGL implementors to start experimenting with interfacing to libglvnd.

For migrating over to this new ABI, NVIDIA will likely start first with shipping a copy of the vendor-neutral libraries inside their binary driver package. Once AMD/Intel driver developers have tested the interface, the ABI will be locked down and NVIDIA will start encouraging distribution package maintainers to begin packaging the vendor-neutral libraries for distribution.

You can see all of Andy's details in his 2014 ABI update via these PDF slides.
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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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