ubuntu 18.04 LTS on a laptop

The latest Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack is now available to install on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Mesa 18.1.1 is the first point release update in the Mesa 18.1.x series, which debuted back in May with Mesa 18.1.0.

The Mesa 18.1.x series touts plenty of improvements, including better Vulkan and OpenGL performance, updated Tegra, Nouveau, and Intel drivers, as well as support for the OpenGL 4.5 API.

Among the drivers which receive further tweaks in the Mesa 18.1.1 point release:

  • Intel i965
  • ANV Vulkan
  • Vulkan
  • Tegra
  • Nouveau
  • Etnaviv

Mesa 18.1.1 also improves support for Intel Gemini Lake systems, which many small form-factor PCs and NUCs are shipping with.

What is Mesa again?

game controller
Get yo’ game on

Mesa is a set of open-source graphics drivers for AMD, NVIDIA and Intel hardware.

If you want to play games on Ubuntu but do not want to use proprietary graphics drivers, Mesa is your go-to choice.

Canonical typically make the latest Mesa graphics releases available to Ubuntu users (where possible) through the X-Updates PPA.

This PPA is not “officially/formally” supported, but is maintained by Canonical employees.

Install Mesa 18.1.1 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS offers the Mesa 18.0.x series by default. If your current set up is purring along without issue there’s little reason to rock the boat.

But if you want to upgrade to the latest and greatest right now you can, but you’ll need to manually opt-in to do so.

To install Mesa 18.1.1 on Ubuntu 18.04 you first need to add the Ubuntu-X” team PPA to your software sources. To do this run this command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/updates

After your system finishes refreshing its list of packages (this happens automatically after adding a PPA) proceed to install any/all pending upgrades:

sudo apt dist-upgrade

Once everything is installed you should reboot your system.

Finally, after rebooting and logging back in, check your version of Mesa by running this command in the Terminal:

glxinfo | grep "OpenGL version"

The string should read:

OpenGL version string: 3.0 Mesa 18.1.1

You don’t need this PPA if you have patience

If you don’t want to install the update right now, you don’t have to. Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS will ship with an updated graphics stack based on Mesa 18.1.x next month.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) will also receive Mesa 18.0.5 as a regular update in the next few weeks.

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