Zink For OpenGL-Over-Vulkan Currently Supports GL 2.1 But Making Progress
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 31 October 2018 at 12:49 PM EDT. 14 Comments
MESA --
The Zink Gallium3D driver that is implementing OpenGL over Vulkan and using Mesa's Gallium3D driver infrastructure is beginning to run more games, work under Wayland, and more. There still is a long road ahead but at least it's becoming usable for early testers and those wishing to experiment with this project.

Zink holds a lot of potential for OpenGL over Vulkan by translating Gallium calls to Vulkan and the initial driver was brought up in a matter of weeks by Collabora developer Erik Faye-Lund.

The developer wrote a lengthy blog post today outlining the motivation with regards to better integration by going the Gallium route, simplifying driver development for the future, etc. Zink is capable of working on any Vulkan 1.0 hardware driver in turn that supports VK_KHR_maintenance1 and VK_KHR_external_memory_fd as the principle requirements.

At this stage Zink can provide OpenGL 2.1 and OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0... So far from modern core OpenGL, but enough to run some classics like OpenArena. Again, this was all achieved as well in just over a month or so.

The current details on Zink as well as some basic build instructions for it can be found via this Collabora blog post. While early on, perhaps this weekend I'll see about running some benchmarks with it in some of the old ioquake3-era titles... It will be interesting to see how quickly Zink picks up newer versions of OpenGL especially as Intel is still investing in rewriting their GL driver for Gallium3D, among other ongoing OpenGL efforts that could potentially be made redundant if Zink can really take off.
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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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