[Mesa-dev] Legacy Drivers

Kenneth Graunke kenneth at whitecape.org
Wed Nov 2 00:52:24 PDT 2011

On 11/01/2011 06:19 PM, Don Cupp wrote:
> Please forgive if this is the wrong list for these questions or if they
> have already been asked and answered.
> I am trying to figure out where the unichrome driver went in the
> 7.12-devel branch and if it is coming back. Anybody have some clues for me?

Hi Don,

We removed many old drivers in late August, Unichrome among them.

Please see this mailing list thread:

Essentially, it boiled down to:
- Unichrome only supported DRI 1, which is very old and doesn't even let
you do common things like a composited desktop.
- No one had properly maintained the driver in ages.  Other developers
tried to keep it limping along by updating it for newer Mesa changes,
but that can only go so far.  In particular, most developers don't have
Unichrome hardware (as far as I know), so they weren't really able to
test such changes.

I don't think anyone would really object to a Unichrome driver coming
back, provided it was modernized to support DRI2 and someone actually
stepped up to maintain it.  However, that's a fairly substantial
undertaking, so I'm skeptical that it'll come back anytime soon.

Your best bet for Unichrome support is to stick with Mesa 7.11, or some
older version.  If you want to use Mesa master for other drivers (Intel,
AMD, Nouveau), but need Unichrome support as well (say for distro
packaging), you can likely build unichrome_dri.so from 7.11 and just
install that in the usual place.  We intentionally left the driver
loader backwards-compatible so people could do this.

I hope this explains things.


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