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Mesa 18.3 available. Improvements for AMD and Intel.

For you to have a system like Ubuntu or Debian working requires many components. One of them is Mesa that has recently released a new version with interesting improvements in the graphics section for Intel and AMD. So, this article is about Mesa 18.3 available for Linux.

First, What is Mesa?

Basically, Mesa is a set of software that is responsible for managing the graphical section in Linux systems. Mesa also includes the drivers and implementations of the different APIS such as OpenGL.

On the other hand, Mesa’s development is quite active, counting on companies like Valve. This is of great help for all the Linux community that is benefited with a first-class graphics stack.

So, as you can see, Mesa is a vital component within a Linux system.

Mesa 18.3 available

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A new version of Mesa was recently released. Specifically, I’m talking about version 18.3 of this graphic stack for linux. This new version has a special relevance for those who use Intel and AMD graphics cards. Especially when using open source drivers.

In this new version have worked about 120 developers providing 1700 changes. So, we are in the presence of a fairly new version of Mesa.

Some of its most notable features are:

  • Support for AMD APUs and GPUs Raven, Picasso, and VEGA. That is, quite interesting.
  • Improvements in the support of the free implementation of Vulkan for AMD, RADV graphics.
  • Support for Intel Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake has also been improved.

It could be said then that Mesa 18.3 has practically wetted all the fronts it covers.

All this is very nice, however, the developers encourage people to wait for version 18.3.1 for greater stability. This is because this version is loaded with new features and it’s expected that there may be some bugs. So, if you want guaranteed stability, wait a little longer.

How can I install it?

Being a critical component of the system, Mesa 18.3 depends on each of the distributions that implement it in its own way. For example, Rolling Release distributions such as Arch Linux or OpenSUSE Tumbleweed will soon include it. Others like Debian or Ubuntu will have to wait.

In the case of Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19, there is a dedicated PPA to install the latest versions of Mesa. At the time of writing this post, version 18.3 is not yet available but don’t worry, it will come.

Open a terminal and run these commands:

:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/updates
:~$ sudo apt update
:~$ sudo apt dist-upgrade

Sure, watch out, Mesa is a critical component. If you really need to use it you can use those commands, but if it’s not necessary, stay still.

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