While Mesa is talked about as being able to be built for Google's Android operating system to run these open-source graphics drivers on Android devices with OpenGL ES support, in reality there's a lot left to be desired.
Over the years there's been a handful of developers working on Android Mesa support to let the popular open-source graphics drivers run over there -- from the Intel driver now that they're using HD Graphics within their low-power SoCs (rather than PowerVR), AMD has made a few steps toward Android netbook/laptop devices with Radeon graphics, and we're starting to see Gallium3D drivers for Qualcomm Adreno (Freedreno) and the Raspberry Pi (VC4) where there's interest from Android users. This year as part of Google Summer of Code we also might see a student focused on Freedreno Android support.
Those with a bit of humor will love the demo NVIDIA recently used for showing off their Nouveau-based open-source graphics driver stack on the Tegra K1 SoC.
Last month at FOSDEM was a presentation on the Nouveau Tegra K1 driver stack by Alexandre Courbot of NVIDIA. In there NVIDIA talked about their great experience working on this open-source driver and engagement with the Nouveau community, which will continue for future Tegra SoCs. That aforelinked article covered all of the important details of that presentation.
The results in this article contain more NVIDIA GeForce Linux results than what was shared last week when showing how BioShock Infinite runs much faster with the NVIDIA Linux driver than AMD Catalyst. The NVIDIA test line-up today spans from the GeForce GTX 550 Ti Fermi to the newest GeForce GTX 960/970/980 Maxwell graphics cards.
The Linux 4.1 kernel will feature support for Radeon DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport so that this open-source AMD Linux graphics driver can work with the latest high resolution DP displays and modern laptop docking stations.
For those thinking about potentially running a Linux system with a combination of SSD and HDD so that the solid-state drive would be able to act as a performance cache for commonly used data, BCache and LVM-cache/dmcache are two of the commonly used solutions.
For those interested in LVM Cache or BCache, Fedora developer Vratislav Podzimek has written a lengthy blog post comparing these two hybrid caching solutions for Linux -- including setup procedures and steps for Fedora users.
At the last USENIX/LISA conference, I gave a talk on new Linux performance tools: my open source perf-tools collection. These use existing kernel frameworks, ftrace and perf_events, which are built in to most Linux kernel distributions by default, including the Linux cloud instances I analyze at Netflix.
5.1 also makes many small interface changes, documented in the gallery above. Notification and volume controls have seen improvement, and the OS has been tweaked and polished all over.
In addition, 5.1 brings built-in support for dual SIMs (previously something OEMs had to add) and HD Voice support.
Android 5.1 is one of the smaller minor version Android updates, down there with versions 4.2 and 4.3. But it brings a few nice changes and thankfully seems to solve many of the Nexus 6 performance problems.