Update open source mesa drivers to the latest version

Hello, there this article is going to be about updating mesa drivers to the latest version. You might be willing to do it for any reason of reasons like to check if updating the drivers gives you any better gaming experience or you for other compatibility issues.

Anyways your distro most likely doesn’t provide the latest version for some reason(stability issues maybe) but you want to update to the latest version. I mean that is why you are here right. However, you won’t be updating to the so-called bleeding-edge version through this article.

Why? Because it is not stable and is more likely to break something. Instead, we’ll install the latest stable version.

Mesa is basically a stack of open source drivers for Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA GPU. I won’t say they perform better than the proprietary drivers provided by the vendors officially. Because I had have really bad experience with my AMD Radeon R5 M430 GPU on open source drivers. It performed rather worse in my case, again maybe it varies with GPU and might perform really good with your GPU. You never know give it a try.

Normally your preference should be proprietary drivers if you are looking for good gaming experience or want max performance for any other heavy duty task. But if have issues with proprietary software or your vendor doesn’t provide the proprietary driver for your GPU model on Linux platform(just like me) then you should use open source driver or I should say must use it lol.

Check the version of current mesa drivers

First of all, you want to check the current version of your mesa drivers to be able to make sure that you are indeed updated after finishing up following this article.

Step 1: Install and launch inxi on your distro.

$ sudo apt-get install inxi && inxi -G


$ sudo rpm install inxi && inxi -G


# Inxi is a handy tool but if you don’t wanna install additional tools for any reason then enter the command below.

# You won’t get any output with this command if mesa driver stack is not installed on your system.

$ glxinfo |grep "OpenGL version"
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/updates

# This will update the drivers.

$ sudo apt dist-upgrade

Now reboot your system and again check the version of the mesa drivers to make sure if it is updated. Follow the steps mentioned above.

How to revert back to your default open source mesa driver version

You might wanna do this if anything went wrong and you cannot boot up or because you didn’t see any difference in performance(like me). Anyways here is how you do it.

Step 1: Install the ppa purge and remove the ppa from the system.

# Install the ppa purge tool

$ sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

# Remove the PPA from your system.

$ ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/updates

I hope everything went fine and you didn’t break your system. I updated the drivers originally hoping to see improvements in performance but nothing like that happened in my case. The performance was more or less the same. It is recommended that if the new updated version doesn’t serve your purpose well then revert back to default version available with your distro. It is supposed to be the most stable version for your current distro.

Hope this article was helpful. Have a good day.

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