It's easy to get confused by the Radeon GPU compute stack / OpenCL driver support as there has been multiple offerings over the years from the no longer supported Clover Gallium3D OpenCL driver to a still-maintained PAL-based OpenCL driver to their modern ROCm compute stack. When it comes to ROCm though, besides OpenCL there is also their HCC and HIP approaches and from there support for a variety of frameworks, libraries, etc. Here are some overviews of the current ROCm compute stack those interested.
There have been rumors going on in recent days about Intel hitting supply challenges with their current-generation 14nm products. Intel CFO and Interim CEO, Bob Swan, wrote a public letter today outlining those challenges.
Not to be confused with the also new Zinc crypto code working its way to the mainline kernel as part of WireGuard, Zink is a new effort led by a developer at Collabora for implementing OpenGL on top of Vulkan drivers via Gallium3D.
The third-quarter was extremely busy to say the least... There was so much going on from the notable Linux 4.19 kernel merge window, the exciting material queueing ahead of Linux 4.20~5.0, continued open-source graphics driver advancements, Valve announcing Steam Play / Proton, many Vulkan milestones, and countless other reasons for Linux and open-source fans to celebrate. On the hardware front was also extremely busy with the AMD Threadripper 2 launch, the recent GeForce RTX graphics card launch delivering great performance for Linux gamers but at a significant cost, and continued hardware testing around Spectre mitigation.
Just last week a NVIDIA engineer sent out the initial Tegra194/Xavier SoC display enablement code for the Linux kernel's Tegra Direct Rendering Manager bits. Those patches have now been queued in DRM-Next for introduction in the next kernel release.
Driven to improve the Chrome OS user-experience, Intel open-source developers have been working on improving their GPU reset behavior when encountering problems under 3D/multimedia workloads.
A few days back I wrote about the SDL library improving its 2D rendering code with a new batching system to yield greater performance. Since then the improvements have not stopped for this library that is critical to most Linux games and other multi-platform software.
The red driver team has submitted their presumably last feature pull request to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel cycle. This pull does include some of the recently covered notable additions to the AMDGPU DRM driver.
For the past four years now we have been monitoring the development of Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) for allowing the mirroring of process address spaces and other functionality particularly designed around modern GPU compute needs but also applicable to other devices/drivers. The HMM kernel code was merged to mainline last year while haven't seen much activity by the DRM drivers but that now seems to be changing.
Over the past decade and a half of covering the Linux graphics scene, there have been many attempts at providing a fully open-source GPU (or even just display adapter) down to the hardware level, but none of them have really panned out from Project VGA to other FPGA designs. There's a new very ambitious project trying to create a "libre 3D GPU" built atop RISC-V, leveraging Rust and LLVM on the software side, and would also support Vulkan.
The Ubuntu 18.10 Beta was released today for the official desktop, server, and cloud products. As well, 18.10 betas are out today for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.
Support for the Hygon Dhyana, a Chinese x86 server CPU based on AMD Zen/EPYC, will find its way into the next Linux kernel cycle.
It was a bit nerve-racking seeing Mesa 18.1 still in use by the Ubuntu 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish" in recent days, but fortunately it looks like the feature freeze exception is secured and Mesa 18.2 is on its way to landing.
Earlier this month Arm began publishing details of the ARMv8.5-A instruction set update, which is expected to be officially documented and released by the end of Q1'2019, while the LLVM compiler stack has already received initial support for the interesting additions.
Blade Symphony: Harmonious Prelude, a big update to this Source Engine powered "tactical slash-em-up" sword-fighting video game, is now available including with Linux support.
Last month we noted a new Gallium3D driver in-development by Intel dubbed "Iris" and potentially replacing their existing "classic i965" Mesa driver for recent generations of Intel HD/UHD/Iris graphics hardware. Intel developers have begun talking about this new open-source Linux GPU driver today at the XDC 2018 conference in A Coruña, Spain.
Feral Interactive announced today the latest Total War game they are porting to Linux and macOS.
With macOS Mojave having been released earlier this week, I've been benchmarking this latest Apple operating system release on a MacBook Pro compared to Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS with the latest updates as well as Intel's high-performance Clear Linux rolling-release operating systems to see how the performance compares.
The Linux mult-queue block I/O layer (blk-mq) has been working out well for delivering very fast performance particularly for modern NVMe solid-state storage and SCSI drives. But it turns out run-time power management hasn't been in use when blk-mq is active.
Longtime Linux PC vendor System76 has begun teasing a "new open-source computer" they will release in the coming weeks.
At XDC2018 in Spain this morning the talks were focused on testing of Mesa / continuous integration. During the talk by Mark Janes, the Intel open-source crew announced the public availability of all their CI data.
Separate from the recent FUSE performance work talked about for making FUSE faster with the eBPF in-kernel JIT that hasn't been staged for mainlined, "File-Systems in User-Space" are set to see better performance on the next kernel (Linux 4.20~5.0) thanks to other changes.
This year Intel HDCP support was merged into the mainline Linux kernel for those wanting to utilize this copy protection system in combination with a supported Linux user-space application, which for now appears to be limited to Chrome OS. HDCP 2.2 support is the latest revision now being worked on for the open-source Intel Direct Rendering Manager driver.
For developers interested in delivering cross-platform Vulkan games/applications and using MoltenVK for delivering macOS/iOS support, a new release is available that has a number of feature additions.
We've known Red Hat was working on converting the VirtualBox "vboxvideo" DRM/KMS driver to using the atomic APIs for atomic mode-setting to replace the legacy APIs and now those patches are out there.
Intel VT-d revision 3.0 adds a "Scalable Mode" translation mode for enabling Scalable I/O virtualization and the patches have been in the works for supporting this within the Linux kernel.
While it will be a ways from release, the codename to the successor of the AMD Radeon "Navi" GPUs might be Arcturus.
Besides the Spectre V2 userspace-userspace mitigation patches revised and sent out earlier today, some related Spectre V2 changes are now queued for soon merging to the mainline Linux kernel.
While AMD's open-source Linux driver developers have been busy on bringing up Vega 20 support as well as Picasso APUs, they aren't done yet optimizing their Vega 10 support.
Linux Mint lead developer Clément Lefèbvrehas has issued his latest monthly update concerning the activities within this Ubuntu/Debian-derived camp and their work on the GNOME-forked Cinnamon desktop environment.
Long-running open-source, cross-platform flight simulator FlightGear is preparing for its next feature release.
The latest in our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux benchmarking is a look at how the NVIDIA Linux graphics driver performance on Ubuntu 18.04 is comparing to that of Microsoft Windows 10 when using these initial launch drivers. For additional perspective are also some basic Ubuntu vs. Windows NVIDIA tests on the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 Ti.
Shepherd, the init/service manager of the GNU system with GNU Herd and can be used as an alternative to systemd on Linux systems as well, is up to version 0.5.
For those of you using OBS Studio for screen recording on the Linux desktop or screencasting, the latest code now supports GPU-offloading to VA-API for the H.264 video encode process.
While the Linux kernel has been patched for months (and updated CPU microcode available) to mitigate Spectre Variant Two "Branch Target Injection" this has been focused on kernel-space protection while patches are pending now for userspace-userspace protection.
You may have remembered when the XDC2018 agenda was published there was "Untitled Vulkan break-out kick-off. Topic still under NDA." We now know what that was about.
Collabora has been developing a new "Zink" Gallium3D driver for Mesa that gets OpenGL running over Vulkan.
Since the start of August KDE Neon re-based to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS has been in testing while now this re-base is official.
The GNOME release team has made available GNOME 3.30.1 as the first and only planned point release to the GNOME 3.30 series.
The lead developer of the WireGuard in-kernel secure VPN tunnel, Jason Donenfeld, published his sixth round of patches on Tuesday for getting this important networking code and its related Zinc crypto code into the mainline kernel. It's looking like the code might have baked enough for debut in the upcoming 4.20~5.0 kernel cycle.
Earlier this month AMD sent out the initial Linux graphics driver patches for "Picasso" APUs and now a new patch series today sheds some light on a new capability for these new APUs reported to be similar to current Raven Ridge hardware.
With hitting the home stretch to Ubuntu 18.10, I've started with my usual benchmark process for checking out this next Ubuntu Linux release dubbed the Cosmic Cuttlefish. Yesterday were Ubuntu 18.10 benchmarks on seven desktop systems from Intel and AMD while next on my agenda has been checking out the server performance. Here's the first of those server tests on Ubuntu 18.10 with some initial AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon Gold tests.
Java 11 (JDK 11) is officially out today as the first Java Long-Term Support (LTS) release under Oracle's new six month release strategy.
NVIDIA announced today that the release date for the GeForce RTX 2070, the much cheaper but still quite capable Turing graphics card, with pricing to start at $499 USD.
Prolific Linux game porter/developer Ryan Gordon has been tackling improvements to the SDL2 library's 2D rendering code with the introduction of a batching system.
The Fedora project has officially announced the beta release this morning of Fedora 29.
Remember GraphicsFuzz? That was the effort started by university students for fuzzing GPU drivers via WebGL in the browser and over the course of their research found various OpenGL driver bugs, including for mobile drivers. Last month the start-up born out of that university research was acquired by Google and now their work is open-source.
KDE developer Roman Gilg has shared the current state of Wayland support for the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.14 release as well as an outlook to improvements on the horizon.
NVIDIA's Tegra Xavier SoC is becoming more widely available now that the Jetson Xavier Development Kit has begun shipping. Besides this latest SoC being an exciting design with its Volta-based GPU and having a Tensor Processing Unit / Deep Learning Accelerator, it's exciting on the CPU side as well with NVIDIA's custom-designed ARMv8 "Carmel" CPU cores.
The Portable Computing Language (a.k.a. POCL or PortableCL) is the effort for getting OpenCL running on CPUs as well as other hardware for this open-source code-base that supports OpenCL 1.2 with some OpenCL 2.0+ functionality.
With Fedora 29 Beta set to ship today, here's a reminder about some of the great changes on the way with this next installment of the Fedora Linux distribution that is on track to officially release around the end of October.
The Collabora open-source consulting firm whose expertise spans from the Linux kernel to LibreOffice and X.Org had another successful year. The UK-based company last week reported their 2017 financial position last week providing a glimpse at the viability of open-source / free software consulting.
Tomorrow marks the start of the annual X.Org Developers' Conference that is not only about the X11 server but also Mesa, Wayland, Linux input, and other areas of the desktop stack.
This afternoon AMD sent out their first Linux kernel patches for what might end up being a new feature for the "EPYC 2" / Zen 2 processors.
This evening the "Cosmic Cuttlefish" embarked on its beta freeze ahead of the official Ubuntu 18.10 Beta due out later this week.
It's been just under one month since Oracle's long-awaited debut of Solaris 11.4 and now its first stable release update has been issued.
Earlier this month AMD finally got back on track with issuing new patches for FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync / HDMI Variable Refresh Rate support now that there seems to be a consensus among the Linux DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) driver developers over what this API should look like so it can support the multiple technologies and drivers at play.
The developers at Siemens AG working on the Jailhouse Linux hypervisor found it wise to issue their version 0.10 release prior to heading out to Oktoberfest.
With less than one month until Ubuntu 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish" releases, I have begun my usual benchmarking dance in checking out how the Ubuntu performance is looking to its current release, in this case the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver". Our first performance look at Ubuntu 18.10 is with a mix of seven Intel and AMD desktop systems while using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with all updates, Ubuntu 18.10 in its current near-final form, and using Intel's Clear Linux as a gold standard reference with it generally offering the leading out-of-the-box Linux x86_64 performance of major distributions.
The latest open-source project now officially adopting a Code of Conduct is Vulkan.
On the server front next month Linux gets to go up against Windows Server 2019 while released today by Apple was macOS Mojave.
Mesa 18.1.9 is now available as the last planned point release of last quarter's release stream.
For those running a mix of Linux and Windows Servers or simply wanting to know what the "competition" has going on, Microsoft announced today that Windows Server 2019 will be reaching general availability in October.
Wayland's Weston compositor will no longer try to takeover your virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display.
While last week Purism entered into the hardware security space with the Librem Key as a USB-based smart card, industry veteran Yubico today announced their YubiKey 5 Series.
It hasn't been merged to Mesa 18.3-devel yet nor even published on the Mesa-dev list for review, but it turns out Valve's Samuel Pitoiset has begun working on a heads-up display (HUD) for the driver.
The past few years open-source Intel developers have been creating a new Linux wireless daemon to potentially replace wpa_supplicant. This daemon, IWD, continues getting more feature-complete and is well on its way toward version 1.0.
OpenCV, the popular Open-Source Computer Vision real-time library, is nearing its big "4.0" release with a number of improvements for this widely-used library.