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


While there has been progress with Mesa code targeting Apple M1 to run basic tests like glmark2, this has traditionally been an effort run on macOS with its kernel driver. This week, the Asahi Linux team celebrated their first triangle made working with a fully open source driver stack.

Since last year, there have been the first Apple M1 codes in Mesa from Asahi Linux developers with Alyssa Rosenzweig spearheading this graphical reverse engineering effort. Much of this early OpenGL driver work was done in macOS due to the reverse engineering work that takes place there, as Apple does not release specifications or drivers for other platforms. Also, for Gallium3D/Mesa work, itโ€™s useful to run the shader compiler and compare the results to the macOS driver stack while still being able to leverage the macOS kernel driver until a driver Linux DRM/KMS is certainly useful.

For those using Asahi Linux today, there is only a basic frame buffer driver and OpenGL acceleration simply takes advantage of LLVMpipe. But this week, with the latest experimental Linux kernel and Mesa code being worked on by the Asahi developers, they have now managed to successfully render their first triangle with this fully open source driver stack. (Update: Turns out that first triangle seems to come from their m1n1-based environment and not a proper Linux driver stack yet.)

Developer Asahi Lina has shared the great news of the first triangle of this fully open pilot.

Asahi Lina presents the first triangle rendered Apple M1 on a completely open source driver stack โ€“ unlike previous achievements, not relying on the existing macOS kernel driver.

It will still be some time before you can expect to play OpenGL games on Apple M1 hardware with modern GL features and good performance, but nice progress is being made by the Asahi Linux team and hopefully , a good open source Vulkan driver. stack also in due time.


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