Mesa 7.0 released

On June 22nd Mesa 7.0 was released, featuring OpenGL 2.0 and 2.1 support.

As promised Mesa 7.0 was released. Besides a set of bugfixes the most notable new features are support for OpenGL 2.0 and OpenGL 2.1. This means that, finally after 3 yeas of waiting, the free X.Org graphics drivers can now support newer graphics technology. For more background information about OpenGL and Linux see this post.

Here is an overview about the status of the OpenGL implementation of the free X drivers:

OpenGL support in X drivers
Driver Status
DRI drivers varies with the driver
XMesa/GLX (on Xlib) implements OpenGL 2.1
OSMesa (off-screen) implements OpenGL 2.1
Windows/Win32 implements OpenGL 2.1
Glide (3dfx Voodoo1/2) implements OpenGL 1.3
SVGA unsupported
Wind River UGL unsupported
DJGPP unsupported
GGI unsupported
BeOS unsupported
Allegro unsupported
D3D unsupported

This release is quite important for me since I really would like to play Secret Mayro, but that requires OpenGL 1.4 at least to work properly. Also, the free drivers now finally reach the proprietary drivers in terms of OpenGL support since the proprietary Linux drivers from AMD and Nvidia feature OpenGL 2.0 support for quite some time.

The question is now only how fast the distributions will pick up this new release. Especially in case of Fedora I wonder if we will see Fedora 7 packages sometime soon, or if I have to wait for Fedora 8/recompile myself.

22 thoughts on “Mesa 7.0 released”

  1. “The question is now only how fast the distributions will pick up this new release”

    It all depends on the distro; some distro’s like cutting edge, others prefer to wait and let time bake into the new code.

    PS: Fedora should have a quick release; my *nix system isn’t Fedora but I can wait. πŸ™‚

  2. hm.. interesting.. opengl 2 support.. what does this exactely mean to the user.. i’ve got a ati mobility radeon x700 in my notebook.. atm i’ve got it to work with the proprietary driver (only 8.28.8) at good performance.. with the radeon driver i’m getting only 2000fps at glxgears.. with mesa 7.0 is there more possible or is there a speedup of ut2k4 possible?

  3. LordBernhard: Afaik the current free AMD/ATI drivers do not support 3D effects on x700. Therefore you have to use the fglrx driver.
    However, that driver does not support the newest X release yet and also does not support AIGLX.

    The Mesa release means mainly that free drivers will now support more effects on advanced games.

  4. I have an ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 card. I’m using the free radeon driver. I can use compiz fluently, but Google Earth is slow like a turtle. Can this situation change with this new version of Mesa ?

  5. I have an ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 with the Open Souce MESA drivers and I get around 2400 FPS with “glxgears”. I can run compiz and 3D Games like Doom 3 (although in 800×600). Google Earth runs fine.I use MESA version 6.5.3, which is a development release. I have tested MESA 7.0 but the use of CPU was higher so I went back to MESA 6.5.3. My advice is install “driconf” (usually is in the standard repositories. Execute it and enable HyperZ buffer. It should boost the performance of the ATI Radeon cards with MESA drivers.

  6. jcromeo: To use the new Mesa you need a driver update anyway, and that one will improve speed – but I can’t give you numbers yet.
    But fyi: I have the same card, so I will try to get updated drivers and Mesa πŸ™‚

  7. liquidat: “This release is quite important for me since I really would like to play Secret Mayro, but that requires OpenGL 1.4 at least to work properly”

    liquidat: “I have the same card (ATI Radeon Mobility 9700), so I will try to get updated drivers and Mesa”

    The current stable free radeon driver use Mesa 6.5.3, which implements OpenGL 1.5 ( . You allready have what you need. Am I missing anythin ?

  8. jcromero:
    You’re right, I stumbled about the same question. The thing is that Secret Mayro identifies only OpenGL 1.3 on my system. Also, glxinfo gives me:
    “OpenGL version string: 1.3 Mesa 6.5.2”
    I’m not entirely sure what this is about, but maybe the 1.5-OpenGL implementation of Mesa 6.5.2 wasn’t feature complete?

  9. what really surprised me:

    OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
    OpenGL renderer string: ATI Mobility Radeon X1400
    OpenGL version string: 2.0.6474 (8.38.6)

    fglrx has OpenGL 2.0 already?

  10. radeon doesn’t support 3d on my card?? the x700 is supported … afaik the x1700 and R600 serie isn’t supported… i’ve played ut2k4 with it so there must be ^^ and beryl and compiz was also possible w/o problems.

  11. red_alert: Yes, the proprietary vendors ship their own OpenGL module. AMD has 2.0, Nvidia even 2.1 support in their drivers.

    LordBernhard: My bad, I read x1700. I do hope that the Phoronix team will soon publish performance comparisons regarding the new Mesa release.

  12. I wasn’t surprised, that they ship their own OpenGL, but that they have 2.0 in the linux driver. If their AIGLX/Xorg support were that good I’d even become a happy ATI/AMD user πŸ˜‰

  13. red_alert: Ha, you’re right! πŸ˜€
    However, afaik since the OpenGL modules are exchanged with the proprietary drivers debugging was more difficult when problems occurred.
    I wonder if the proprietary drivers will now try to adopt the Mesa OpenGL implementation or if that is impossible licence wise.

  14. The performance increased too much with this release. Now support better ati 9700 mobility (I can play Regnum Online very well) πŸ˜‰

    I wrote a guide for compile the mesa drivers 7.0. For 7.0.1 follow the same steps.


  15. I have a benchmark with mesa3D 7.0.1 done with GL O.B.S. (GL Open Benchmark Suite) but this one overwrote the previous results(with mesa 3D 6.5.3 – release version).

    With glxgears my ati mobility 9700 had 1300-1500FPS now it give me 2600FPS with Compiz Fusion without it 3300FPS. glxgears isn’t too much reliable πŸ˜‰


  16. When I come back from holidays, I can give you benchmark results from my other computer that have an ati 9200SE.

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