How to Upgrade Mesa Drivers on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Mesa is an open-source 3D graphics driver used on Linux systems to render high-quality 3D graphics. It enables advanced hardware acceleration, shading, and other graphics-related tasks. Mesa is a powerful tool that enhances the user experience on Linux systems, making it a popular choice for gamers and professionals. This guide is dedicated to how to upgrade Mesa Drivers on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish LTS or the older stable release of Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa LTS.

Before continuing, here are some of the features of Mesa drivers:

  • Support for OpenGL and Vulkan APIs: Mesa drivers support the most popular graphics APIs, including OpenGL and Vulkan. This allows users to take full advantage of the latest graphics features and applications.
  • Cross-platform support: Mesa drivers work on various platforms, including Linux, macOS, and Windows. This makes it a versatile tool for developers creating applications running on multiple platforms.
  • Open-source: Mesa is an open-source project, meaning anyone can contribute to its development. This allows the community to collaborate and improve the quality of the driver over time.
  • Compatibility with a wide range of hardware: Mesa drivers are designed to work with a wide range of hardware, including graphics cards from popular manufacturers like NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel.
  • Improved performance: Mesa drivers can significantly improve the performance of graphics-intensive applications, such as games and video editing software.
  • Regular updates: The Mesa project is actively maintained and receives regular updates to improve its features, performance, and compatibility.

Upgrading Mesa drivers is crucial for Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, which require the latest graphics features. Mesa drivers are open-source graphics drivers that facilitate the rendering of 3D graphics on Linux systems. Now, let’s move onto the main article on how to upgrade your Mesa drivers.

Caution Message

Before installing these drivers, it’s crucial to note that upgrading them to the latest stable release may make it challenging to revert to the original Ubuntu release. As such, it’s essential to be prepared to restore your Ubuntu machine to its previous state or to use a backup solution such as TimeMachine to create a full backup before installing the drivers. This will provide a safety net if you need to roll back immediately or encounter any issues during or after installation. By taking these precautions, you can minimize the risk of data loss or other potential issues and ensure a smooth and stress-free experience with the upgraded Mesa drivers.

Step 1: Check the Current Mesa Version on Ubuntu

Before upgrading your Mesa drivers on Ubuntu, it’s essential to check your current version to ensure a successful upgrade. To do this, open a terminal window by pressing “Ctrl+Alt+T” and enter the following command:

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

Once you run this command, your current Mesa version will be displayed in the terminal window. It’s crucial to take note of this version number before proceeding with the upgrade. This information is helpful if you encounter any issues after the upgrade and must revert to your original Mesa version.

Example format output you will see as a guide:

OpenGL version string: 4.1 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 22.2.5

If the previously provided commands and output do not work, installing the “mesa-utils” package may be necessary:

sudo apt install mesa-utils

This package provides various utilities and libraries for Mesa drivers and can help resolve Mesa configuration or functionality issues.

Step 2: Update Ubuntu before Upgrading Mesa Drivers

To prevent conflicts during the installation or upgrade of your Mesa drivers, it’s crucial to ensure that your desktop is up-to-date. You can achieve this by using the following command before installing.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Step 3: Import Mesa LaunchPAD PPA on Ubuntu

The kisak-mesa fresh PPA is a popular source for updated Mesa drivers on Ubuntu-based systems. To use this PPA, run the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa -y

Note: This PPA does support short-term releases but focuses more on LTS as priority support.

Step 4: Upgrade Mesa Drivers on Ubuntu

After adding the kisak-mesa fresh PPA to your system, updating the package cache to reflect the changes is essential. This is necessary as many packages are tied to the Mesa drivers that need to be upgraded. To update the package cache, run the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt update

You should notice multiple updates related to Mesa drivers during the update process. Once the update is complete, the next step is to upgrade the drivers to the latest version. To do this, run the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt upgrade

This command will upgrade all installed packages, including the Mesa drivers, to their latest version. Once the upgrade is complete, you can check the Mesa driver version using the following command in the terminal:

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

Example output:

OpenGL version string: 4.1 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 22.3.6 - kisak-mesa PPA

This command will display the current Mesa driver version installed on your system. If the version displayed matches the expected version, the upgrade succeeded.

Conclusion: Upgrading Mesa Drivers on Ubuntu

Following these steps, you can upgrade the Mesa drivers on your Ubuntu system and take advantage of the latest features and improvements. It’s important to note that the version numbers used in this example may differ from the current version available during your upgrade. Additionally, creating a backup of any critical data or configuration files before upgrading is recommended to prevent data loss or other potential issues. By taking these precautions, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience with the upgraded Mesa drivers on your Ubuntu system.

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