With the release of modern graphics cards, it’s easy to forget that before they were standard in most gaming laptops and consoles – there was Mesa. The open-source software implementation translates API specifications into vendor-specific drivers so you can use high-end applications with your PC even if it has older hardware!
Most Linux distributions feature Mesa drivers, given they are free and open-source before any proprietary drivers options, however for most Linux distributions that focus on stability first, you may find your Mesa drivers needing an update when new releases support newer graphic card hardware and technologies.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to upgrade or install Mesa Drivers on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish with Obigaf PPA for the latest drivers to support Intel Radeon, NVIDIA, etc.
Table of Contents
Before you begin, make sure your desktop is up-to-date using the following command to avoid any conflicts during the installation and upgrade of your Mesa drivers.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Install Required Packages
The easiest way to find out 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 proceeding with 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"
As the above screenshot example, the tutorial machine is running version 21.3.5 drivers, which is relatively recent still even for the Ubuntu default repository.
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 that 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.
Import the PPA using the following terminal command.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers -y
Now run an apt update to reflect the new addition.
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 -y
Next, re-check your Mesa driver’s version using the following.
glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"
As above, you have upgraded your drivers successfully; you have gone from v21.3.5 to v22.1.0. Note your version may be different in time.
How to Revert to Default Mesa Drivers
For users that wish to revert from using the upgrade PPA drivers, first install the PPA purge package.
sudo apt install ppa-purge -y
Next, remove the PPA using the PPA-PURGE command to remove all installations that occurred using this repository.
sudo ppa-purge ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers -y
And that is it, and you have reverted to your original drivers.
glxinfo | grep Mesa
As above, you have upgraded your drivers successfully from v22.1.0-devel to v21.3.5 at the time of the creation of the tutorial, your results will be different as Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ages in time.
Conclusion and Comments
In the tutorial, you have learned how to install and upgrade your Mesa drivers on your Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish system.
Most users would benefit from installing updated mesa drivers, but using the stable release from Ubuntu would be ideal for workstations. Secondly, Linux gamers would want to install AMD Pro and NVIDIA drivers as sometimes the Mesa drivers do not cut it.