My 2016 Favorites: Vulkan, Fedora 25 Wayland, Mesa Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 21 December 2016 at 09:30 AM EST. 2 Comments
So far this year on Phoronix I have written more than 3,400 articles on open-source and Linux. Of all the events this year, which were my favorite? Here's my favorite announcements and milestones for Linux and free software in 2016.

When the year is coming to a close I'll cover the most popular news and reviews on Phoronix for 2016 while this article are just my favorite events from 2016.

Vulkan - The Khronos Group rolling out the Vulkan 1.0 API is without a doubt my favorite news this year! Game developers and others in need of accelerated graphics finally have a new cross-platform solution that's much more modern and capable than OpenGL. Vulkan's reception has been great, there are Vulkan Linux driver vendors from all major vendors, and how quickly RADV was brought up by the open-source community shows the benefits for driver developers over OpenGL. There are also many exciting Vulkan projects on GitHub, bindings for many different languages, and a lot of other developer excitement about this new graphics API. In 2017 we should see Vulkan adoption go further and implemented by more games. Seeing only two major Linux games (The Talos Principle and Dota 2; DOOM on Windows, if counting that) powered by Vulkan in 2016 was sad though as was the lack of AMD publishing their open-source Vulkan driver code yet. Hopefully in 2017 we'll also see Vulkan-Next with proper multi-GPU support and more.

Fedora 25 Wayland - Fedora 25 in general is rock-solid and that makes it especially exciting too with the default change-over to using Wayland by default with Fedora 25 Workstation atop GNOME 3.22. I've been running Fedora 25 Workstation as my primary desktop on my main production system and it's been phenomenal. I am super happy with how Fedora 25 turned out and related to that how the past few GNOME releases have been very reliable and polished.

Mesa Improvements - Mesa3D made incredible strides in 2016. The Intel i965 (Broadwell+) and RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers now support OpenGL 4.5 (NVC0 is effectively there too), RADV and ANV Vulkan drivers landed, many performance improvements landed for all major drivers, Gallium3D Nine is in much better shape now, NIR enhancements, continued work on smaller drivers like VC4 and Freedreno Gallium3D, and there's been tons of other improvements as outlined in dozes (well, probably over one hundred) Mesa articles on Phoronix this year.

If I had to pick three favorite highlights for 2016, those would be my items. Share with us in the forums what were your favorite highlights of 2016 for Linux and open-source.
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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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