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Linux Graphics and Games

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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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Debian Packages To Eliminate Vendor-Specific Patches, Affecting Downstreams Like Ubuntu

Debian packages have supported the concept of vendor-specific patches whereby when DPKG unpacks a source package on different operating systems / distributions (such as Debian vs. Ubuntu), different patches could be selectively applied. Ubuntu is one of the main benefactors of this feature while effective immediately these vendor-specific patches to source packages will be treated as a bug and will be unpermitted following the Debian 10 "Buster" release. This vendor-specific patch behavior for DPKG is mainly to help downstreams of Debian such as Ubuntu (not to be confused with vendor-specific hardware patches, etc). This vendor-specific patching has been used where say Ubuntu wishes to make some customizations to a Debian package that are minor in nature or basic alterations, they could land the changes in upstream Debian as a vendor-specific patch that would then be applied to the source package when building on Ubuntu... But keeping the package unpatched on Debian, or vice-versa. It reduces the maintenance burden for those wanting to selectively make basic changes to a package without having to maintain multiple largely redundant packages. Read more

Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth Has No Plans Of Selling Canonical

A couple of weeks ago IBM announced its plan to buy Red Hat for $34 billion. Following that, experts started speculating that rival companies like Canonical and Suse would sell as well. However, Canonical’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth, doesn’t seem to have any plans of selling the company — at least not in the near future. In an encounter with TechCrunch, he said, “I value my independence.” One of the reasons behind this decision is that he doesn’t really need the money. But another big reason for not selling is his vision for Canonical and Ubuntu, which he would like to see through personally. Read more

A Journey on Budgie Desktop #2: Raven

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Ubuntu 19.04 Development Starts Off With Python 3.7, Merged Usr Directories

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