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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

More in Tux Machines

KaOS 2018.01 KDE-focused Linux distro now available with Spectre and Meltdown fixes

It can be difficult to find a quality Linux distribution that meets your needs. This is partly because there are just too many operating systems from which to choose. My suggestion is to first find a desktop environment that you prefer, and then narrow down your distro search to one that focuses on that DE. For instance, if you like KDE, both Kubuntu and Netrunner are solid choices. With all of that said, there is another KDE-focused Linux distro that I highly recommend. Called "KaOS," it is rolling release, meaning you can alway be confident that your computer is running modern packages. Today, KaOS gets its first updated ISO for 2018, and you should definitely use it to upgrade your install media. Why? Because version 2018.01 has fixes for Spectre and Meltdown thanks to Linux kernel 4.14.14 with both AMD and Intel ucode. Read more

Today in Techrights

KDE: Linux and Qt in Automotive, KDE Discover, Plasma5 18.01 in Slackware

  • Linux and Qt in Automotive? Let’s meet up!
    For anyone around the Gothenburg area on Feb 1st, you are most welcome to the Automotive MeetUp held at the Pelagicore and Luxoft offices. There will be talks about Qt/QML, our embedded Linux platform PELUX and some ramblings about open source in automotive by yours truly ;-)
  • What about AppImage?
    I see a lot of people asking about state of AppImage support in Discover. It’s non-existent, because AppImage does not require centralized software management interfaces like Discover and GNOME Software (or a command-line package manager). AppImage bundles are totally self-contained, and come straight from the developer with zero middlemen, and can be managed on the filesystem using your file manager This should sound awfully familiar to former Mac users (like myself), because Mac App bundles are totally self-contained, come straight from the developer with zero middlemen, and are managed using the Finder file manager.
  • What’s new for January? Plasma5 18.01, and more
    When I sat down to write a new post I noticed that I had not written a single post since the previous Plasma 5 announcement. Well, I guess the past month was a busy one. Also I bought a new e-reader (the Kobo Aura H2O 2nd edition) to replace my ageing Sony PRS-T1. That made me spend a lot of time just reading books and enjoying a proper back-lit E-ink screen. What I read? The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, A Shadow all of Light by Fred Chappell, Persepolis Rising and several of the short stories (Drive, The Butcher of Anderson Station, The Churn and Strange Dogs) by James SA Corey and finally Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. All very much worth your time.

GNU/Linux: Live Patching, Gravity of Kubernetes, Welcome to 2018

  • How Live Patching Has Improved Xen Virtualization
    The open-source Xen virtualization hypervisor is widely deployed by enterprises and cloud providers alike, which benefit from the continuous innovation that the project delivers. In a video interview with ServerWatch, Lars Kurth, Chairman of the Xen Project Advisory Board and Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix, details some of the recent additions to Xen and how they are helping move the project forward.
  • The Gravity of Kubernetes
    Most new internet businesses started in the foreseeable future will leverage Kubernetes (whether they realize it or not). Many old applications are migrating to Kubernetes too. Before Kubernetes, there was no standardization around a specific distributed systems platform. Just like Linux became the standard server-side operating system for a single node, Kubernetes has become the standard way to orchestrate all of the nodes in your application. With Kubernetes, distributed systems tools can have network effects. Every time someone builds a new tool for Kubernetes, it makes all the other tools better. And it further cements Kubernetes as the standard.
  • Welcome to 2018
    The image of the technology industry as a whole suffered in 2017, and that process is likely to continue this year as well. That should lead to an increased level of introspection that will certainly affect the free-software community. Many of us got into free software to, among other things, make the world a better place. It is not at all clear that all of our activities are doing that, or what we should do to change that situation. Expect a lively conversation on how our projects should be run and what they should be trying to achieve. Some of that introspection will certainly carry into projects related to machine learning and similar topics. There will be more interesting AI-related free software in 2018, but it may not all be beneficial. How well will the world be served, for example, by a highly capable, free facial-recognition system and associated global database? Our community will be no more effective than anybody else at limiting progress of potentially freedom-reducing technologies, but we should try harder to ensure that our technologies promote and support freedom to the greatest extent possible. Our 2017 predictions missed the fact that an increasing number of security problems are being found at the hardware level. We'll not make the same mistake in 2018. Much of what we think of as "hardware" has a great deal of software built into it — highly proprietary software that runs at the highest privilege levels and which is not subject to third-party review. Of course that software has bugs and security issues of its own; it couldn't really be any other way. We will see more of those issues in 2018, and many of them are likely to prove difficult to fix.