Firefox 94 To Start Using EGL On Linux - Better Performance, Lower Power Use
Written by Michael Larabel in Mozilla on 30 October 2021 at 05:29 AM EDT. 47 Comments
MOZILLA --
Mozilla Firefox 94 will begin using its EGL back-end on the Linux desktop in conjunction with supported graphics drivers in order to provide better performance, lower power usage, and other benefits.

Firefox has long been preferring GLX to EGL on Linux, but now that EGL support has been stabilized for a while and there are compelling reasons to use it, Firefox 94 will start doing so on the Linux desktop. Firefox's EGL support was originally started for Android. Firefox's EGL code was improved in the process to support desktop OpenGL rather than just OpenGL ES, Firefox's DMA-BUF support has come together for more zero-copy goodness, and the Wayland support continues to improve.

Particularly with Wayland becoming quite common now and it using EGL, Firefox preferring EGL to GLX is finally becoming a reality. Additionally, DMA-BUF and other features make EGL more compelling.

With Firefox 94, EGL will be used when running on the Mesa 21.x drivers or newer. Firefox EGL on the NVIDIA proprietary driver will become the default once the NVIDIA 495 driver series is more widely adopted. It's only with the NVIDIA 495 driver series that recently hit beta where the EGL_NV_robustness_video_memory_purge extension is present that is needed by Firefox.

Firefox using EGL on the Linux desktop should yield better WebGL performance, lower power consumption thanks to supporting partial screen updates / damage, less bugs due to the EGL code being in better shape, and also makes hardware video decoding by default one step closer to reality on Linux.

More details on the changes coming to Firefox 94 around WebGL can be found via the Mozilla graphics team blog.

Firefox 94.0 is set to be released next week.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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