Unity Going Forward

Colin Law clanlaw at googlemail.com
Fri Aug 17 20:38:39 UTC 2012

On 17 August 2012 01:51, Jason Warner <jason.warner at canonical.com> wrote:
> ...
> But there is a cost to this decision. Unity 2D fit a very specific use case
> in very low-end and non-GPU accelerated hardware. By consolidating to Unity
> using LLVMpipe for this specific use case we expect to see some regressions
> in systems supported. This means that a certain class of hardware will no
> longer be supported to run Unity. Unity will run on all GPUs that support
> OpenGL 2.0. The earliest GPUs that meet this requirement are at least 5
> years old[1]. Even so, we know some subset of cards and hardware that could
> previously run Unity 2D will no longer be able to run Unity.

A heads up to make sure that the case of dual monitors with i945
graphics chipset (and possibly others) has been considered.  That
chipset will only run 3d if the virtual desktop is less than 2048
pixels wide so when an external monitor is plugged in only unity-2d
will run at the moment.  If the external monitor is not plugged in
then 3d is ok.  Having removed unity-2d the software will have to cope
with plugging in the external monitor in some way.  Note that this is
an issue for laptops made only a few years ago (Toshiba Satellite for

> For these cases, we are actively working on Unity running through LLVMpipe
> which is a work in progress. Unity through LLVMpipe is CPU bound which means
> systems with decently modern CPU architectures and non-GPU accelerated
> hardware should be able to run Unity. As I mentioned, this approach is a
> work in progress as we tweak the experience and effects to maximize the
> performance. We expect this to shake out over the rest of this cycle and
> bleed into 13.04 as well[2][3].

Is it correct that at the moment a machine that will not run 2d will
not run at all after todays update?  This seems to be the case for me
at the moment, I see no unity shell on screen and in .xsession-errors
I see
compiz (unityshell) - Error: OpenGL 1.4+ not supported

When can I expect llvmpipe to start working so I know whether to log bugs?

Colin Law

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