Mesa 18.0 Should Arrive Today With Many Vulkan/OpenGL Driver Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 23 March 2018 at 12:00 AM EDT. 2 Comments
After a one month development hiatus, Mesa 18.0 is due to be released today as the first major Mesa 3D release of 2018.

Mesa 18.0 is the latest quarterly update to this Linux user-space graphics driver stack that was originally due out by mid-February. While it's late, it's set to be released this Friday and the features make it well worth the wait -- assuming you stick to stable releases and don't habitually ride Mesa Git for the latest and greatest open-source driver features.

Two months ago I provided a Mesa 18.0 feature overview once the merge window was over and feature freeze was in place. That article thus remains still very much up-to-date and relevant, so check it out if you didn't back in January.

But as a quick refresher, there are many improvements to the Intel ANV and Radeon RADV Vulkan drivers, the RadeonSI NIR support is now in much better shape, the R600 Gallium3D driver has seen some improvements taking it to nearly OpenGL 4.4 support, 10-bit color support was added, and many of the individual Gallium3D drivers also received updates. Other features like Radeon VCN encode were also introduced.

What you won't find though in Mesa 18.0 is OpenGL 4.6 nor Vulkan 1.1. Mesa 18.0 contains much of the OpenGL 4.6 work for Intel i965 and RadeonSI, but what didn't make the cut is not yet supporting in mainline the necessary SPIR-V ingestion bits for clearing ARB_gl_spirv / ARB_spirv_extensions. Vulkan 1.1 isn't in Mesa 18.0 as that spec update only came earlier this month while the feature freeze happened in mid-January. Intel ANV and RADV has Vulkan 1.1 conforming patches available, so everything should be squared away in time for Mesa 18.1 -- ideally too we'll see OpenGL 4.6 by then, but we will need to wait and see.

Look for Mesa 18.0.0 to be hopefully released in the hours ahead.
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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 or contacted via

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