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Re: RFP: mesa for bullseye-backports

Hi All,

Not a Mesa maintainer, but I've been following Mesa upstream (and in Debian) for quite a while.

If someone is going to backport Mesa, just going to note:

1. The firmware-nonfree source package will need to be backported for hardware like newer AMD graphics cards to work with the later versions of Mesa. Currently this package isn't in stable backports, even though the newer kernel is.
2. While Mesa 22.2.* currently only needs llvm 11 (based on the meson build file), future versions will need llvm 13 or later (for building newer Intel CLC support). This means the llvm-defaults source package will need to be backported as well so that later versions of Mesa can be brought to backports. Should not be an issue "right now", but definitely adds another thing that will need to be backported ongoing.
3. There is also the question on whether or not to also backport Mesa Amber (aka Mesa's legacy driver release) in the future. I don't believe that has made it into Debian even yet (tho there's been at least one attempt that I saw on the Debian Mesa maintainers list).

None of these should be show-stoppers, and #1 and #2 have been done in the past for backports of Mesa.

BTW: Would love to see mesa backported. Knowing what needs to happen is always a good first step, and also may help others understand why it might take a while.

On Mon, 3 Oct 2022 at 19:21, Simon McVittie <smcv@debian.org> wrote:
On Sun, 02 Oct 2022 at 17:38:12 -0700, Alex Relis wrote:
> I think it would be a good idea to bring a newer version of mesa to Debian
> Bullseye by bringing it to bullseye-backports. Here are some reasons why:
> 1. It reduces friction when running Debian Stable on newer hardware:
> bullseye-backports already has linux-image-amd64 and nvidia-driver; adding a
> newer mesa will just make using newer hardware that much more easier while
> still having a nice stable base.
> 2. It's for the gamers: because steam still calls the system installed
> version of mesa, having the option to install a newer version tends to make
> games run better/fewer issues.
> 3. It has been done in the past: mesa has been in stretch-backports and
> buster-backports, so maybe a maintainer with experience can have a look at
> it when they get the chance.
> Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read this and hope it one day gets
> implemented.

Cc'ing the mesa maintainers (full request quoted) in case none of them are
following the backports list.

Expanding on point 2 a bit, the version of DXVK that is included in
"Proton - experimental" requires an extension that is not in Debian 11's
Mesa, so it needs Mesa 22 or later (or the NVIDIA proprietary driver 510.47
or later, for people who use that). Reference:

I suspect that this new requirement will go into one of the "stable"
versions of Proton at some point, at which point Debian 11 users will be
unable to use the current version of Proton without Mesa backports.


Stuart Young (aka Cefiar)

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