How to Upgrade Mesa Drivers on Linux Mint 21 LTS

For the average user, stability is vital regarding their computer. They don’t want to constantly update drivers or perform other maintenance tasks to keep things running smoothly. That’s why Linux distributions focusing on stability typically don’t include the latest and most significant drivers. Instead, they use the tried-and-true Mesa drivers. These drivers are free and open-source and support a wide range of graphic cards. However, they may not always be up-to-date with the latest hardware and technologies. As a result, you may need to periodically update your Mesa drivers to take advantage of new features and bug fixes using a LaunchPAD ppa that is well known.

The following tutorial will teach you how to upgrade or install Mesa Drivers on Linux Mint 21 LTS release series with Obigaf PPA for the latest drivers to support Intel Radeon, NVIDIA, etc.

Update Linux Mint

Before you begin, ensure your desktop is up-to-date using the following command to avoid conflicts during the installation and upgrade of your Mesa drivers.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install Required Packages

The easiest way to find your Mesa drivers for the tutorial is to install the following utility package.

sudo apt install mesa-utils -y

The above package will be used further in the tutorial.

Determine Mesa Drivers Version

Before installing or upgrading your Mesa drivers on your Ubuntu system using any of the two options in the tutorial, first, you should check what you are currently running using the following command.

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

Example output:

As the above screenshot example, the tutorial machine is running version 22.0.5.

Install/Upgrade Mesa Drivers – oibaf/graphics-drivers

For the latest bleeding-edge Mesa drivers, you will need to import and upgrade the Mesa drivers from Oibaf PPA, which has been around since 2010/11 and is well known in the community. The mesa drivers are purely open-source free drivers and provide updated free graphics drivers packages for Radeon, Intel, and Nvidia hardware.

First, install the following packages that are required. These are most likely installed but run the command to be safe.

sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https -y

The next task is to import the GPG key needed for all the repositories. If you have issues importing the GPG key, please see the end section on GPG troubleshooting at the end of the article.

sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/oibaf.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 5ABCE68FF4633EA42E219156957D2708A03A4626 > /dev/null

Example output:

gpg: keybox '/usr/share/keyrings/oibaf.gpg' created
gpg: key 957D2708A03A4626: public key "Launchpad PPA for Fabio Pedretti" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

With the GPG key now imported, you can import the LaunchPAD PPA with the following command.

echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/oibaf.gpg] jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mesa-drivers.list

Before you continue, run an APT update to reflect the newly imported PPA.

sudo apt update

During the update, you should notice multiple updates now appear to upgrade your Mesa drivers.

To begin the process of upgrading, run the following command.

sudo apt upgrade

Next, re-check your Mesa driver’s version using the following.

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

Example output:

As above, you have upgraded your drivers successfully.

How to Fix Broken LaunchPAD PPA GPG Key Import

Users that have installed Linux Mint for the first time or have not imported a GPG key before using the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs due to the directories not being created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.

sudo gpg --list-keys

Example output:

As above, the necessary directories have been created. This can be skipped, and use the following GPG import command below. If you have any issues with directories missing for this and any other PPA GPG key in the future, just run the above command.

Conclusion and Comments

If you are looking for the best performance possible from your workstation, upgrading to the latest drivers is always a good idea. In most cases, this means installing available updated mesa drivers. However, if you have a video card from Nvidia or another manufacturer, you may want to install the drivers that come with that card instead. By doing this, you can get even better performance from your workstation.

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