To play the some of the latest Steam game releases in Ubuntu, you may want to install the latest stable Mesa 13.0.4.
The Ubuntu-X team PPA contains Mesa 13.0.4 for both Ubuntu 16.04, and Ubuntu 16.10. These packages are built against LLVM 3.9.1, which fixes some bugs for Radeon users.
Mesa is an open-source implementation of the OpenGL, Vulkan and other specifications. Its most important user surfacing parts are the two graphics drivers mostly developed and funded by Intel and AMD, which are using those implentations. The smaller GeForce graphics driver Nouveau in contrast is mostly a community effort. Mesa implements a cross-language, cross-platform (mostly on BSD and Linux distributions), vendor-neutral standard API for interfacing with diverse vendor-specific graphics hardware drivers.
Besides 3D applications such as games, modern display servers (X.org’s Glamor or Wayland’s Weston) use OpenGL/EGL, therefore all graphics typically go through Mesa. Proprietary graphics drivers (e.g. Nvidia GeForce driver and AMD Catalyst for Radeon) replace all of Mesa, providing their own implementation of a graphics API, rather than providing a driver that Mesa talks to. While Nvidia today promotes its proprietary driver for gaming, AMD promotes their Mesa drivers (radeon and radeonSI) over the deprecated AMD Catalyst (formerly fglrx).
1. To add the PPA, open terminal from app launcher or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut key. When it opens, run command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/updates
Type in your command (no visual feedback) when it prompts, read the PPA description, and finally hit Enter.
2. After added the PPA, do upgrade your system will bring you with the Mesa 13.0.4 libraries:
sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade
How to Restore
For any issue, you can easily restore to the original Mesa libraries by running command in terminal to purge the PPA:
sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/updates