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Linux Graphics and Games

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • Marek Has Been Taking To AMDGPU LLVM Optimizations

    Well known AMD open-source driver developer Marek Olšák has ruthlessly been optimizing the Radeon Mesa driver stack for years. With RadeonSI getting fine-tuned and already largely outperforming the AMDGPU-PRO OpenGL driver and most of the big ticket improvements complete, it appears his latest focus is on further optimizing the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end.

    This AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end is what's used by RadeonSI but is also leveraged by the RADV Vulkan driver, among other potential use-cases. Lately Marek has been filing patches for optimizing the instructions generated during the shader compilation process.

  • FFmpeg Expands Its NVDEC CUDA-Accelerated Video Decoding

    A few days back I wrote about FFmpeg picking up NVDEC-accelerated H.264 video decoding and since then more FFmpeg improvements have landed.

    As mentioned in the earlier article, NVDEC is the newer NVIDIA video decoding interface that is succeeding their Linux-specific VDPAU in favor of the cross-platform, CUDA-based NVIDIA Video Codec SDK. There's also NVENC on the video encode side, while the recent FFmpeg work has been focused on the NVDEC GPU-based video decoding.

  • Intel Batch Buffer Logger Updated For Mesa

    Intel's Kevin Rogovin has been working on a "BatchBuffer Logger" for the Intel graphics driver that offers some useful possibilities for assisting in debugging/analyzing problems or performance penalties facing game/application developers.

    The BatchBuffer Logger is designed to allow correlating API calls to data that in turn is added to a batch buffer for execution by the Intel graphics processor. The logger additionally keeps precise track of the GPU state and can report various metrics associated with each API call.

  • Feral Interactive continues to contribute to Mesa as one of its developers gets commit privileges

    Alex Smith of Feral has been granted the right to push code into Mesa, a continuing sign of the commitment of Feral to Mesa and Vulkan.

    In this recent exchange Feral dev and active Mesa contributor, Alex Smith, has asked and gotten permission to create an account to directly access the Mesa driver’s git. His stated purpose is to provide fixes for Vulkan drivers, so we can take that as a sign that Feral is pretty serious at not only contributing to the open source Mesa project but also at using the Vulkan API in their current and future ports.

  • I played a bit of Die Totenmaske and it was a very strange experience
  • Valve has added 11 new currencies to the Steam Store

    Recent changes to the Steam Store have seen the addition of more local currencies for customers in different regions. Expect to get more bang for your Peso or Dinar.

    Originally tweeted by the excellent SteamDB, it would seem that customers in different regions will be able to buy from the Steam Store using their local currency. This usually means lower prices and no fiddling about with conversion rates for currency and prices are also adjusted for regional standards. The changes went live earlier and users in the affected countries have gotten emails telling them about the new changes to the Steam Store.

  • Trüberbrook, a beautiful adventure game with Linux support, is on Kickstarter

    This story-driven adventure game set in 1960s Germany places you in the role of a young scientist who finds himself having to save the world.

  • Intra-System: Trust Issues fiendishly encourages betrayal, my thoughts on the experience

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Intel Pentium vs. AMD Ryzen 3 Performance For Linux Gaming

For those that may be looking to assemble a new low-end Linux gaming system in early 2018, here is a look at the Linux gaming performance of an Intel Pentium (Kabylake) processor to an AMD Ryzen 3 while testing with the GeForce GTX 1050 and Radeon RX 560 graphics cards. Read more

Containers, the GPL, and copyleft: No reason for concern

Though open source is thoroughly mainstream, new software technologies and old technologies that get newly popularized sometimes inspire hand-wringing about open source licenses. Most often the concern is about the GNU General Public License (GPL), and specifically the scope of its copyleft requirement, which is often described (somewhat misleadingly) as the GPL’s derivative work issue. One imperfect way of framing the question is whether GPL-licensed code, when combined in some sense with proprietary code, forms a single modified work such that the proprietary code could be interpreted as being subject to the terms of the GPL. While we haven’t yet seen much of that concern directed to Linux containers, we expect more questions to be raised as adoption of containers continues to grow. But it’s fairly straightforward to show that containers do not raise new or concerning GPL scope issues. Read more

Get ready to use Linux containers

One of the most exciting things to happen in the Linux world in the past few years is the emergence of containers — self-contained Linux environments that live inside another OS and provide a way to package and isolate applications. They're not quite virtual systems, since they rely on the host OS to operate, nor are they simply applications. Dan Walsh from Red Hat has said that on Linux, "everything is a container," reminding me of the days when people claimed that everything on Unix was a file. But the vision has less to do with the guts of the OS and more to do with explaining how containers work and how they are different than virtual systems in some very interesting and important ways. Read more

Samsung unveils 860 PRO and EVO SATA SSDs with improved Linux compatibility

If you haven’t yet upgraded your operating system drive from a mechanical hard disk to a solid state drive, you are really missing out. Prices have dropped dramatically over the years, while at the same time, reliability has improved. Swapping an HDD for an SSD can be very easy too, thanks to cloning software that often comes with the drive. Before you buy some random SSD, please know that they are not all the same. True, SATA models largely have equal speeds these days, but the brand really matters from a reliability standpoint. If you want a dependable solid state drive for your data, you should take a look at Samsung. Its offerings are top notch, and today the company launches its newest SATA models -- the 860 PRO and EVO. Read more