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How to install Mesa 18.1.1 in Ubuntu 18.04?

Mesa3D is an open source graphic library, maintained by freedesktop.org. is also where the X.org and Wayland graphics servers are hosted. Mesa3D provides generic OpenGL implementation for rendering three-dimensional graphics on multiple platforms.


On Unix-based systems such as BSD derivatives, or Linux distributions, Mesa implements a manufacturer-independent translation layer between a graphics API such as OpenGL and the graphics drivers in the core operating system. A variety of device drivers allows the Mesa libraries to be used in many different environments ranging from software emulation to complete hardware acceleration for modern GPUs.

The new version of Mesa3D brings us the following new features:

  • OpenGL 3.1 with ARB_compatibility on nv50, nvc0, r600, radeonsi, softpipe, llvmpipe, svga
  • GL_ARB_bindless_texture on nvc0/maxwell+
  • GL_ARB_transform_feedback_overflow_query on nvc0
  • GL_EXT_semaphore on radeonsi
  • GL_EXT_semaphore_fd on radeonsi
  • GL_EXT_shader_framebuffer_fetch on i965 on desktop GL (GLES was already supported)
  • GL_EXT_shader_framebuffer_fetch_non_coherent on i965
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And many more. Also many bugs were fixed in this version.

However, having an updated version of Mesa may not be convenient. But if you want more performance from our graphics card, then this tutorial is for you.

Installing Mesa3D

Canonical has always moved the new releases from the Mesa suite to the Ubuntu operating system and today the developer Timo Aaltonen has reported that the latest Mesa 18.1.1 version is now available through the official PPA repositories.

The game developers take Ubuntu as a reference in the GNU/LINUX world, so they always take care of the Graphic Card support.

The first thing we need to do is update the system:

             sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade

2.- Upgrading the system
2.- Upgrading the system

Then we add the repository where Mesa3D is located:

            sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/updates

3.- Adding the repository
3.- Adding the repository

Then we have to do a complete update on the distribution.

           sudo apt dist-upgrade

4.- apt dist-upgrade
4.- apt dist-upgrade

Note: The command “apt update” is not required any more in Ubuntu 18.04 since adding PPA automatically refreshes system repositories.

Then run the following command on a terminal:

                   sudo apt install mesa-utils

5.- Installing mesa-utils
5.- Installing mesa-utils

After restarting the computer we proceed to execute the following command to verify the version of Mesa3D.

            glxinfo | grep “OpenGL version”

6.- Showing the version of Mesa3D
6.- Showing the version of Mesa3D

As a conclusion we can say that Mesa3D is a fundamental open source library in GNU/Linux, so it is well known and its development is quite active.

As a conclusion we can say that Mesa3D is a fundamental open source library in GNU/Linux, so it is well known and its development is quite active.

Thanks to the ease of use that characterizes Ubuntu and the great support of the videogame creators for this distribution, we can have the updated versions of Mesa through a PPA.

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