Zink: OpenGL to Vulkan

Since Mesa 19.3 Zink is available which offers an OpenGL to Vulkan translation. The actual features of Zink are documented at MesaMatrix https://mesamatrix.net.

You can test games and apps simply by running them from a terminal. Just replace “command” with the application or game name:

MESA_LOADER_DRIVER_OVERRIDE=zink command

The following applications worked:

  • glxgears (minor shadow glitches)
  • Firefox in OpenGL mode, Webrender didn’t work, Wayland didn’t work as well due to missing EGL support
  • LibreOffice (but 6.5 will support Vulkan natively with Skia anyway)
  • openarena (crashes from time to time)
  • Supertux (worked in fallback mode to GLVideoSystem-20)

As there is currently no HUD like in DXVK it is quite hard to verify which driver actually runs, but I noticed that the GALLIUM HUD shows less lines in Zink then usual when using a parameter like this:

VK_INSTANCE_LAYERS=VK_LAYER_MESA_overlay VK_LAYER_MESA_OVERLAY_CONFIG=position=top-right GALLIUM_HUD=simple,cpu,GPU-load,temperature,fps command

Somehow the Vulkan layer doesn’t work at the moment either.

What didn’t work:

  • Half Life
  • Extreme Tux Racer (etr)
  • openttd
  • Supertuxkart
  • lincity-ng
  • KDE Plasma Wayland
  • KDE Plasma
  • Blender (requires OpenGL 3.3)
  • weston?

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