Sunday, July 21, 2024

Asahi Linux celebrates the first triangle on the Apple M1 with a fully open source driver


While there was progress with Mesa code targeting Apple M1 For basic tests like glmark2, this was a traditional effort running under macOS with its own kernel driver. This week, the Asahi Linux crew celebrated the first triangle shown working with a fully open source driver package.

Since last year there was Early Apple M1 code in Mesa From the developers of Asahi Linux with Alyssa Rosenzweig leading the graphics reverse engineering effort. Much of the early OpenGL driver work in macOS was done due to the reverse engineering work going on there with Apple not publishing any specifications or drivers from other platforms. In addition to doing the Gallium3D/Mesa work, such as running the shader interpreter and comparing the results with the macOS driver stack, this is useful while being able to take advantage of the macOS kernel driver so having a DRM/KMS Linux driver is definitely useful.

For those using Asahi Linux today, there is only a basic driver for the frame cache, and OpenGL acceleration only takes advantage of LLVMpipe. But this week with the latest beta version of the Linux kernel and Mesa Code that Asahi developers are working on, they have now been able to successfully render their first triangle using the fully open source driver package. (Modernization: It turns out that this first triangle appears to be from their m1n1-based environment and not quite a proper Linux driver set yet.)

Developer Asahi Lina has shared the good news about the first triangle of this fully unlocked driver.

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Asahi Lina shows Apple’s first rendered triangle M1 on a fully open source driver package – unlike previous achievements, it doesn’t rely on the current macOS kernel driver.

It will take some time before you can expect to play OpenGL games on Apple M1 devices with modern GL features and good performance, but good progress is being made by the Asahi Linux crew and hopefully in the future we will have a nice open source Vulkan software stack too in due course.