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Graphics: Mesa 18.0, Keith Packard, Vulkan

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  • Mesa 18.0 Features Include Many OpenGL/Vulkan Improvements, Intel Shader Cache & Extras

    Mesa 18.0 is currently being prepared for release by mid-February and is yet another feature-packaged, quarterly update to this open-source 3D graphics driver stack with significant improvements for OpenGL and Vulkan support and performance.

  • Keith Packard's video from 'LinuxConfAu 2018' talking about Virtual Reality and Linux is up

    Keith Packard has been consulting for Valve for the past year to get Virtual Reality devices hooked up and properly working on Linux. Take a look at his presentation from LinuxConfAu 2018 [Official Site].

    It's all pretty technical as expected, but all very interesting too. It sounds like a massive amount of work, since they've had to come up with a way to have VR devices treated as a different type of display and not have your normal windowing system cause issues. The most important thing to note, is that he said at the end of the video "Virtual Reality in Linux is working great, and it should be coming to your desktop pretty soon"—nice!

  • Open-Source Project Trying To Map Vulkan Onto Direct3D 12 & Metal

    While we are seeing exciting projects at the moment about mapping Direct3D 11 over Vulkan (as well as D3D9 and D3D12 over Vulkan projects too), there are new open-source projects for mapping Vulkan over Direct3D 12 and Metal.

Linux Foundation and Linux Graphics

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  • LinuxBoot: a new Linux Foundation project for boot firmware

    The Linux Foundation has announced a new project, called LinuxBoot, that is working on replacements for much of the firmware used to boot our systems. The project is based on work by Google and others to use Linux (and Go programs) to replace most of the UEFI boot firmware.

  • GPUVM Discrete GPU Code For AMDKFD, Radeon Compute Could Be Ready For Linux 4.17

    Sent out Friday night were the latest patches for getting the discrete GPU support within the AMDKFD HSA kernel driver up to scratch for allowing the ROCm compute stack working off a mainline kernel.

    Earlier this month AMD sent out a large dGPU patch-set for AMDKFD, short for the AMD Kernel Fusion Driver. AMD's Felix Kuehling confirmed that a prerequisite PCI-E atomics patch is currently queued up for landing into Linux 4.16, which is fine since this AMDKFD material is already too late for hitting the 4.16 tree.

  • The State Of VR HMDs On Linux With DRM Leasing, Etc

    Keith Packard who has been doing contract work for Valve the past year on improving the support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs) shares a status update on his work at this week's Linux.Conf.Au in Sydney.

    A large portion of Keith's Linux VR work this past year has been on DRM leasing and as such that was a bulk of his conversation. With Linux 4.15, the DRM leasing code is in place along with other improvements around treating "non-desktop" displays, etc. But there still remains X.Org Server and Mesa patches for working along with tidying up other bits for this code to better the integration of VM HMDs with the Linux desktop while ensuring consistent and optimal performance.

Linux 3.17 To 4.15 Kernel Benchmarks On Intel Gulftown & Haswell

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Here is a look at how the Linux kernel performance has evolved since the release of Linux 3.17 in October 2014. With all the major kernel releases over the past 3+ years, here is how the performance compares using two very different Intel Gulftown and Haswell systems.

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Graphics: GLAMOR, NVIDIA, Radeon

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  • GLAMOR Acceleration Should Now Work With 30-Bit Deep Color Support

    GLAMOR as a means of providing 2D acceleration over OpenGL in X.Org Server 1.20 will support for 30-bit RGB colors.

    Landing a few days ago was supporting Deep Color / Depth 30 with the Radeon X.Org driver. But initially that support was limited to using the older EXA 2D acceleration method. Fortunately, the generic 2D-over-OpenGL GLAMOR acceleration code within the X.Org Server now supports 30-bit colors.

  • Updated Clock-Gating Comes For NVIDIA Kepler GPUs On Nouveau

    Earlier this month a Red Hat developer managed to achieve full clock-gating for NVIDIA Kepler GPUs using the open-source Nouveau DRM driver. Today the second version of these patches were published.

    Lyude Paul of Red Hat has been tackling this clock-gating support for Kepler1/Kepler2 GPUs, a.k.a. the GeForce GTX 600/700 series. The previous article covers how to enable the support, but when enabled it allows for dropping the GPU power usage by several Watts.

  • Radeon VCN Gets Mesa Patches For HEVC Main Video Encode

    For those planning to pick up a Raven Ridge laptop or the forthcoming desktop APUs, the Mesa driver now has patches for enabling H.265/HEVC video encode support for VCN 1.0 on Raven hardware.

    AMD developers today sent out a set of 12 patches for adding HEVC encode support to the Gallium3D VL interface, Radeon VCN specific HEVC encode bits, and added HEVC encoding support to the Gallium3D VA "video acceleration" state tracker.

Pentium G4600 vs. Ryzen 3 1200 On Ubuntu 17.10 Linux Benchmarks

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Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks looking at Intel Pentium vs. AMD Ryzen 3 performance for Linux gaming. Those tests on the Pentium and Ryzen systems were done with both NVIDIA and AMD Radeon graphics for seeing how the gaming performance compares in the spectrum of sub-$100 CPUs and cheap graphics cards. But for those that were just curious about the CPU performance, here are some benchmarks I also carried out with the Pentium G4600 Kabylake and AMD Ryzen 3 1200.

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The Fastest Linux Distribution For Ryzen: A 10-Way Linux OS Comparison On Ryzen 7 & Threadripper

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While we frequently do Linux OS/distribution performance comparisons on the latest Intel desktop and server hardware, some requests came in recently about looking closer at the fastest Linux distribution(s) when running on AMD's Ryzen desktop processors. Here are benchmarks of ten popular Linux distributions tested out-of-the-box on Ryzen 7 1800X and Threadripper 1950X systems.

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Linux and Graphics: Coreboot, New Releases, Radeon R600 Gallium3D Driver, XWayland

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  • New Coreboot Frame-Buffer Driver For The Linux Kernel

    A new Coreboot frame-buffer driver has been published for the Linux kernel that allows reusing of the frame-buffer setup by Coreboot during the hardware initialization process.

    Re-using the frame-buffer setup by Coreboot when initializing the graphics hardware can make for a faster booting system due to uselessly duplicating the FB setup process otherwise and for some small Linux systems just needing a basic frame-buffer can mean that the Linux kernel build doesn't even need a full graphics driver.

  • Linux Kernels 4.14.15, 4.9.78, and 4.4.113 Bring x86 and PowerPC Security Fixes

    Renowned Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman released new kernel updates for the Linux 4.14, 4.9 LTS, and 4.4 LTS series, which add more security fixes and updated drivers.

    Linux kernels 4.14.15, 4.9.78 LTS, and 4.4.113 LTS are now available, and they come with numerous improvements. While Linux kernel 4.14.15 is by far the biggest of them all, containing 104 files changed, with 1514 insertions and 447 deletions, Linux 4.9.78 LTS and 4.4.113 LTS kernels are pretty identical and include 60 changed files with 525 insertions and 167 deletions, and 64 changed files, with 960 insertions and 139 deletions respectively.

  • Radeon R600 Gallium3D Driver Nearly At OpenGL 4.5, Remaining Bits Being Finished

    It didn't happen in time for the upcoming Mesa 18.0, but the R600 Gallium3D driver for supporting pre-GCN AMD Radeon graphics processors is now nearly at OpenGL 4.5 compliance! A needed OpenGL 4.4 extension is now scratched off the list completing the necessary extensions to effectively have GL 4.5, assuming it can pass the conformance test suite.

  • XWayland Gets XDG-Output Support For Potential Fractional Scaling

    The long-in-development X.Org Server 1.20 has yet another XWayland addition: XDG-Output protocol support.

    XDG-Output is a newer Wayland protocol extension for providing more display output device information with a focus on desktop display details not already exposed otherwise.

Linux 4.0 To Linux 4.15 Kernel Benchmarks

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Our latest in benchmarking the Linux 4.15 kernel is seeing how the performance has changed since Linux 4.0 and all subsequent releases on the same system. Here are those tests driven by curiosity, especially in light of the performance changes as a result of KPTI page table isolation and Retpoline additions.

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Intel Pentium vs. AMD Ryzen 3 Performance For Linux Gaming

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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.

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Graphics: Freedreno, Gallium3D, AMDGPU, RadeonSI, Mesa

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  • Code Aurora Working On Adreno 6xx Support For Freedreno

    The Qualcomm-aligned Code Aurora is working on supporting the latest-generation Adreno A6xx graphics hardware with the open-source Freedreno+MSM driver stack.

  • Work Revised On Adding SPIR-V Support To Clover Gallium3D

    Last May we reported on a Nouveau developer adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's OpenCL state tracker. Finally the better part of one year later, Pierre Moreau is ready with the second version of these patches to accept this IR associated with Vulkan / OpenCL 2.1+ within Clover.

  • Trying Out DRM-Next For Linux 4.16 With AMDGPU On Polaris & Vega

    I have spent some time this weekend trying out the DRM-Next code slated for inclusion in Linux 4.16 when its merge window opens next week. The DRM-Next state of the AMDGPU driver appears to be in good shape, at least for the RX 580 and RX Vega cards used for my initial testing.

  • RadeonSI NIR Back-End Picks Up Support For More OpenGL Extensions

    It was just a few days ago that Valve Linux developer Timothy Arceri enabled GLSL 4.50 support for RadeonSI's NIR back-end after previously taking care of tessellation shaders and other requirements. Now he has taken to implementing some other extensions in RadeonSI's NIR code-path.

  • mesa 18.0-0-rc1

    The first release candidate for Mesa 18.0.0 is now available.

    The plan is to have one release candidate every Friday, until the anticipated
    final release on 9th February 2018.

    The expectation is that the 17.3 branch will remain alive with bi-weekly
    releases until the 18.0.1 release.

    NOTE: Building the SWR with LLVM 3.9 is currently not possible. Please use
    newer LLVM version until the issue is resolved.

    Here are the people which helped shape the current release.

  • Mesa 18.0 Now Under Feature Freeze With 18.0-RC1 Premiere

    Feature development on Mesa 18.0 has now ended with the release today of 18.0-RC1 following the code-base being branched.

    Emil Velikov of Collabora just announced the availability of Mesa 18.0-RC1. As usual, he's planning on weekly release candidates until the 18.0.0 stable release is ready to ship. Velikov tentatively expects to ship Mesa 18.0.0 around 9 February, but as we know from past releases, it might end up slipping by some days.

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