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Kernel: Linux in the 2010s, Some Benchmarks and Experimental GCN 1.0 GPU Support Might Be Dropped From AMDGPU Linux Driver

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • The Linux Kernel Highlights Of The 2010s From Torvalds' Sabbatical To Dealing With Vulnerabilities

    Going along with our other end of year and decade recaps, here is a look back at the Linux kernel highlights for the 2010s.

    The Linux kernel during the 2010s saw a lot of new features and expanded hardware support, fallout from many security vulnerabilities and having to provide various CPU mitigations as well, Microsoft beginning to contribute to the Linux kernel largely in the context of Hyper-V, various performance improvements, debates over the state of 32-bit's future, and much more.

  • Power Management Improvements Could Benefit Intel Server Performance In Linux 5.6

    Some Intel server platforms could see better performance with the Linux 5.6 kernel cycle.

    Intel's Rafael Wysocki who also serves as the Linux kernel's power management subsystem maintainer has been queuing some patches recently in working on ACPI _CST support around the Intel-Idle driver.

  • The AppArmor Performance Impact In 70+ Benchmarks On Linux 5.5 Git

    With bisecting one of the big regressions in Linux 5.5 and finding the culprit to be an AppArmor change while using Hackbench as one of the most affected tests, I was curious to see what other workloads are impacted big by AppArmor on the current Linux 5.5 Git code. Here are 72 tests with the Threadripper 3970X on Linux 5.5 Git when toggling AppArmor.

    These New Year's Eve benchmarks are looking at the performance of Linux 5.5 Git as of two days ago when running out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 19.10 and then booting with apparmor=0 to force AppArmor to be disabled. Thus looking at the overall cost of AppArmor on Linux 5.5 right now as opposed to just the change from the recent regression.

  • The Experimental GCN 1.0 GPU Support Might Be Dropped From AMDGPU Linux Driver

    By default the Linux kernel selects the aging Radeon DRM driver for GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" and GCN 1.1 "Sea Islands" hardware (as well as all older ATI/AMD GPUs) while it's GCN 1.2 and newer that defaults to the modern AMDGPU kernel driver. But for years there has been experimental GCN 1.0/1.1 support available via kernel module options, but now for the original GCN GPUs that code is at risk of being dropped.

Reiser5 File-System In Development

  • Reiser5 File-System In Development - Adds Local Volumes With Parallel Scaling Out

    Well, this is a hell of a way to surprisingly end the 2010s... Reiser5. Reiser5 brings a new format to the Reiser file-system and brings some new innovations to this file-system while keeping to its controversial name.

    Edward Shishkin has continued maintaining the Reiser4 file-system over the decade for new kernel releases even with no aim for mainline inclusion. Reiser4 has continued to be maintained while the likes of Btrfs, F2FS, EXT4, XFS, and ZFS On Linux among others have continued advancing... But Shishkin has quietly been working on advancing the Reiser file-system design and today announced format 5, a.k.a. Reiser5.

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Season of KDE and Creating a Rust/QML Project

  • Season of KDE Kicks Off
  • Season of KDE 2022

    I am Ayush Singh, a second-year student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanbad, India. My application has been accepted in the Season of KDE 2022. I will be working on writing a Rust wrapper for KConfig KDE Framework. This post describes my journey with KDE and why I submitted this Project for the Season of KDE.

  • Creating Rust/QML Project

    For the last few months, I have been pushing Rust/QT development along. I am the author of ki18n crate and am currently in the middle of creating kconfig crate as a part of Season of KDE 2022. In this post, I will walk you through creating a new Rust/QML project using cargo-generate templates. I made these templates to encourage more people to test out Qt development with Rust.

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (httpd), Debian (libxfont, lrzsz, nss, openjdk-17, policykit-1, webkit2gtk, and wpewebkit), Mageia (polkit), openSUSE (expat, json-c, kernel, polkit, qemu, rust1.55, rust1.57, thunderbird, unbound, and webkit2gtk3), Oracle (httpd:2.4, java-11-openjdk, and polkit), Red Hat (httpd:2.4, OpenShift Container Platform 3.11.570, polkit, and Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.1 (etcd)), Scientific Linux (polkit), Slackware (polkit), SUSE (aide, expat, firefox, json-c, kernel, polkit, qemu, rust, rust1.55, rust1.57, thunderbird, unbound, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (policykit-1 and xorg-server).

  • Qualys Research Team Warns of Significant polkit Vulnerability Affecting All Linux Users [Ed: This headline is false. It affects systemd users. And systemd isn't Linux, it's IBM vendor lock-in which isn't even compliant with UNIX philosophy.]
  • New DeadBolt ransomware targets QNAP devices, asks 50 BTC for master key [Ed: Why would anyone even connect a storage device to the open Internet in the fist place? "Smart" hype?]

    A new DeadBolt ransomware group is encrypting QNAP NAS devices worldwide using what they claim is a zero-day vulnerability in the device's software.

  • New DeadBolt Ransomware Targets NAT Devices

Games: Steam Deck (Arch Linus), Godot, SDL With Wayland, and More

  • Steam Deck Launching February 25th

    Hello, the day is almost here! On February 25th, we will be sending out the first batch of order emails to reservation holders. Customers will have 3 days (72 hours) from receipt of their order email to make their purchase, before their reservation is released to the next person in the queue. The first units will be on their way to customers starting the 28th, and we plan to release new order email batches on a weekly cadence. In addition, we're sending out press units for full review shortly. Press review embargo on Steam Deck coverage will lift on February 25th, but keep an eye out for some preview coverage and impressions before that. In the meantime we're working to tie up the last few loose ends and polish some rough edges, and are excited to get these out to you at the end of next month!

  • Steam Deck launches February 25, weekly purchase invites planned | GamingOnLinux

    The date a great many have no doubt be waiting for, Valve has today officially announced their Steam Deck handheld will launch officially on February 25. It will go by the date each user put in their reservation of course, starting off with the first lucky few who managed to dodge Valve's server issues at the time. The first batch of order invitation emails go out on February 25, and each person has just 72 hours to make the actual purchase before it moves onto the next person in the queue.

  • Valve To Formally Launch Steam Deck On 25 February, Shipping Begins 28 February - Phoronix

    After slipping from the original shipping target of Q4 due to component shortages, Valve is making good on their Q1'2022 shipping plans for the Steam Deck. Valve just announced the Steam Deck will indeed begin shipping by the end of February. 25 February is when they will ship the first batch of order emails to reservation holders and they will have three days to complete their orders. Steam Deck units are expected to begin shipping to customers on 28 February. Valve also confirmed that new order emails will be sent out on a weekly basis to reservation holders. Valve will send out the order emails in the same order as reservations that began last year. Valve has not confirmed the planned weekly batch sizes or how many units will be ready to ship on 28 February.

  • Godot Engine - Godot OpenXR 1.1.1 Plugin Release

    The Godot XR contributors are delighted to release our latest version of the Godot OpenXR plugin! This release contains several updates to provide Godot XR developers access to the latest and greatest XR APIs and features.

  • SDL2 On Linux Now Prefers Wayland Over X11 - Phoronix

    With today's SDL2 Git, Wayland is now preferred over X.Org/X11 by default without having to set the SDL video driver environment variable. As of today's Git development code for the Simple DirectMedia Layer and what will be the behavior in the upcoming SDL 2.0.22, Wayland is now preferred when present. While SDL2 has offered Wayland support for some time now, SDL2 would out-of-the-box prefer X11 (and XWayland in turn) support. The SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland environment variable can be used for forcing the Wayland code path while now it's the preferred route.

  • Valve Working On Radeon Dynamic VRS For The Steam Deck To Increase Power Savings - Phoronix

    Yet another open-source Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver improvement being worked on by Valve's engineers is around better controlling variable rate shading "VRS" behavior with a focus on improving power savings for the Steam Deck. Vulkan has the VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate extension for being able to control the shading rate depending upon the frame region being shaded. The shading at a lower resolution for less important areas of the screen can help with increasing performance as well as power-savings. One of the frequently cited examples around variable rate shading is often for the landscape within racing games.

Graphics: DirectFB2, Vulkan, Intel, and AMD

  • DirectFB2 project brings back DirectFB graphics library for Linux embedded systems - CNX Software

    DirectFB2 is a new open-source project that brings back DirectFB, a graphics library optimized for Linux-based embedded systems that was popular several years ago for 2D user interfaces but has since mostly faded away. DirectFB2 attempts to preserve the original DirectFB backend while adding new features such as modern 3D APIs like Vulkan and OpenGL ES. I personally used it in 2008-2009 while working with Sigma Designs media processors that relied on the DirectFB library to render the user interfaces for IPTV boxes, karaoke machines, and so on. I remember this forced me to switch from a MicroWindows + Framebuffer solution, but the DirectFB API was easy enough to use and allowed us to develop a nicer user interface.

  • Intel's Vulkan Linux Driver Lands Dynamic Rendering Support - Phoronix

    As part of pushing it across the Vulkan 1.3 milestone, Intel's open-source graphics driver developers have merged their VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering support to mainline. Vulkan dynamic rendering for the Intel "ANV" Vulkan driver was pending on the mailing list for the past month while on Vulkan 1.3 day it was successfully merged, with this extension being part of the core specification now. The Khronos documentation on dynamic rendering explains, "If you’re not using multiple subpasses or input attachments though, go ahead, rip those render pass objects right out! Dynamic rendering offers similar rendering performance to a single pass render pass object but with a much simpler interface on all implementations. Hopefully this extension will make writing future Vulkan renderers just a bit more enjoyable."

  • Intel's Linux Graphics Driver Patched For New Security Issue But Can Impact Performance - Phoronix

    Intel's "i915" kernel graphics driver has been patched for a software issue that could lead to malicious user-space trigger DMAR read/write faults or worse is the possibility of user-space gaining access to random memory pages. Unfortunately, the security fix comes with performance implications. If not running with an IOMMU active, CVE-2022-0330 could lead to user-space gaining access to random memory pages. This could mean either data leaks and/or random memory corruption. The issue with the Intel graphics driver stems from a missing TLB flush when releasing memory that was backing a GPU buffer object to the system memory.

  • AMDVLK 2022.Q1.2 Released With Vulkan 1.3 Support

    AMDVLK as AMD's official open-source Vulkan Linux driver derived from their Radeon Software driver sources but using the LLVM shader compiler back-end is out with a new release. AMD is ready with day-after support for the newly-launched Vulkan 1.3 specification for AMDVLK. The AMDVLK 2022.Q1.2 driver enables Vulkan 1.3 support as well as enabling SPIRV 1.6 support. The VK_EXT_provoking_vertex and VK_EXT_depth_clip_control extensions are enabled too with today's release.