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Graphics: Greenfield and Igalia's VkRunner

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  • Greenfield Is Still Progressing As An HTML5 In-Browser Wayland Compositor

    Two years ago we covered Greenfield as an in-browser HTML5-based Wayland compositor. While at first it may seem like just a short-lived toy, it turns out the project is still around and advancing with its functionality for running Wayland apps inside modern web browsers without any browser plug-ins.

    Greenfield lead developer Erik De Rijcke talked about this in-browser Wayland compositor during FOSDEM 2019's graphics track on Saturday. Greenfield is a functioning Wayland browser written in JavaScript and with a bit of WebAssembly. Greenfield live encodes application contents to H.264 using GStreamer and sent to the web browser via WebRTC and presented using WebGL and an HTML5 canvas.

  • Igalia's VkRunner Is Helping To Check The Quality Of Vulkan Drivers

    VkRunner is a tool inspired by Mesa's Piglit shader runner and developed by consulting firm Igalia initially as part of their work on the Intel Linux graphics driver stack. VkRunner allows for running a variety of Vulkan shaders for testing a driver's compiler back-end.

Graphics: Intel's Linux 5.1 Graphics Driver, Mesa Now Supports S3TC Texture Compression With sRGB Color Components

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  • Intel's Linux 5.1 Graphics Driver Will Have Fastboot By Default, More Icelake Bits

    Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver team has sent out another feature batch of changes for queuing in DRM-Next ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle.

    Already on the plate for Linux 5.1 as it pertains to the Intel Direct Rendering Manager / Kernel Mode-Setting (DRM/KMS) driver is more Icelake additions/fixes, frame-buffer compression for 5K displays with Gen10 Cannonlake and newer, new Icelake PCI IDs, and other low-level code improvements.

  • Mesa Now Supports S3TC Texture Compression With sRGB Color Components

    Since the notorious S3TC patent expired at the end of 2017, this common texture compression implementation for OpenGL has been supported by mainline Mesa. It's now been extended to also support sRGB non-linear color components.

Initial Hands-On & Benchmarking With The Dell XPS 9380 Pre-Loaded With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

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Dell recently announced the XPS 9380 Developer Edition laptop as a minor refinement over the 9370: there's now Intel Whiskey Lake processors with minor performance boosts and the web camera is better positioned, while for the "Developer Edition" Sputnik models it means Ubuntu 18.04 LTS rather than Ubuntu 16.04 on the former model or Microsoft Windows 10. The testing so far of the Dell XPS 9380 Developer Edition has been going well and I will have my full benchmark review out soon, but for this weekend are some preliminary data points.

In the next week or two will be the full Dell XPS 9380 Linux review on Phoronix primarily looking at its performance compared to the previous Dell XPS 9370 and an assortment of older laptops going back to the Sandy Bridge days, including performance-per-Watt and other metrics. There will also be a Linux distribution comparison with the Dell XPS 9380 if Ubuntu isn't your thing.

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Graphics: AMD's Latest and Weston Adds Pixman Renderer Config Option

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  • AMD Prepping Compute Shader Support For Video Compositor Rendering

    AMD's Linux graphics deriver developers are preparing a set of Mesa patches that allow for compute shaders to be used for the video compositor render process within Gallium3D's video layer code.

    This compute shader video compositor render support is within the common Gallium3D code but obviously written with AMD's RadeonSI driver in mind. Activating this compute shader support requires setting the CS_COMPOSITOR_render=true environment variable.

  • AMDVLK Driver Updated With Environment Variable To Enable Experimental Extensions

    AMD normally just does one code drop per week to their open-source "AMDVLK" Linux Vulkan driver code-base but now today marks the second time this week being greeted by new code. This latest release, v-2019.Q1.5, should provide for some fun weekend testing by Linux gamers preferring this driver over Mesa's RADV.

    Earlier this week saw the AMDVLK 2019.Q1.4 build with Vega 20 support as well as Raven 2 support. There were also some DXX fixes/adjustments, more VK_EXT_transform_feedback code being merged, and other changes.

  • Weston Adds Pixman Renderer Config Option

    In making it easier to persistently enable Weston's Pixman rendering code, the next Weston release offers up a configuration file option for flipping it on.

    The Pixman renderer for Wayland's Weston compositor is primarily used as a fall-back in the case the OpenGL (ES) renderer isn't working for one reason or another, but should you want to use this Pixman software-based rendering, it can now be enabled with the Weston configuration by adding use-pixman=true to the core section. Weston has long supported a --use-pixman switch when launching the compositor, but this option makes it easier should you want it to be persistent, etc.

Graphics: Mesa and AMDGPU

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  • Gallium3D's Mesa State Tracker Sees Shaders Ported From TGSI To NIR For Capable Drivers

    Kenneth Graunke of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center team is the developer who has been leading the charge for the past year on developing the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver that eventually should succeed their "i965" classic Mesa driver for Broadwell hardware and newer. Today he issued a pull request for some improvements to Gallium3D's Mesa state tracker itself.

    With the new Intel Gallium3D driver, it's leveraging Intel's existing and mature NIR compiler support that is also used by their ANV Vulkan driver, among other shared code with this new OpenGL driver effort. NIR is also the intermediate representation that's beginning to be used by RadeonSI Gallium3D too in order for getting to OpenGL 4.6, Freedreno and VC4 drivers already make extensive use of NIR, and there is also work ongoing for having Nouveau use NIR. The use of NIR is in place of Gallium3D's long-standing TGSI intermediate representation, which is still used throughout the Gallium3D components in Mesa.

  • A Second Round Of AMDGPU Feature Updates Ready For Linux 5.1

    Last week AMD submitted their initial batch of feature changes slated for Linux 5.1 with their AMDGPU DRM graphics driver. Today that's been complemented by a second pull request of new material to come with this next version of the Linux kernel.

    This week's pull request is primarily about fixing bugs and includes an SR-IOV fix, a PCI Express fix for the new Vega 20 graphics processors, and a few various DC/display fixes.

Ubuntu vs. Debian vs. openSUSE On The POWER9 Raptor Talos II

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While we frequently compare the performance of many x86_64 Linux distributions, we haven't done one under IBM POWER9 since getting our hands on the Raptor Computing Systems' Talos II back in November. It's been very interesting to benchmark this libre hardware that's high performance with having 44 cores / 176 threads at 3.80GHz. But how much more performance can be tapped by using other Linux distributions? Here's a look with some of the current POWER9 Linux distribution options.

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Kernel: Mesa 18.3.3 Released and the Linux Foundation Takes 'Big Oil' Money

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  • Mesa 18.3.3 Release Notes / January 31, 2019

    Mesa 18.3.3 implements the OpenGL 4.5 API, but the version reported by glGetString(GL_VERSION) or glGetIntegerv(GL_MAJOR_VERSION) / glGetIntegerv(GL_MINOR_VERSION) depends on the particular driver being used. Some drivers don't support all the features required in OpenGL 4.5. OpenGL 4.5 is only available if requested at context creation. Compatibility contexts may report a lower version depending on each driver.

  • Mesa 18.3.3 Released With Fixes For RadeonSI/RADV, OpenGL Driver Bugs

    Mesa 18.3.3 was released today as the newest stable release for the current Mesa 18.3 series from Q4.

    Mesa 18.3.3 addresses a system freeze when running The Witcher 3 with DXVK on the RADV Vulkan driver, various OpenGL driver issues, several Meson build system updates, some Intel ANV and NIR fixes, and a variety of other mostly random fixes that accumulated since the Mesa 18.3.2 point release earlier this month.

  • The Linux Foundation Welcomes 22 New Members from Cloud, Energy, Security, and Semiconductor Industries

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced the addition of 17 Silver members and 5 Associate members. Linux Foundation members help support development of shared technology resources, while accelerating their own innovation through open source leadership and participation in some of the world’s most successful open source projects including Hyperledger, Kubernetes, Linux, Node.js and ONAP. Linux Foundation member contributions help provide the infrastructure and resources that enable the world’s largest open collaboration communities.

    Through 2018, on average, a new organization joined the Linux Foundation every day.

Graphics: AMDVLK, Mesa, NVIDIA, Sway and More

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  • AMDVLK 2019.Q1.4 Driver Brings Vega 20 & Raven 2 Support, More Transform Feedback Work

    This week's AMDVLK open-source Radeon Vulkan driver code drop brings support for the Vega 20 (Vega 7nm) graphics cards and Raven 2 APUs.

    AMD did their weekly code drop on Tuesday and tagged this new release as version 2019.Q1.4. The main highlight of this latest code is official support for Vega 20 as well as the yet-to-be-released Raven 2 hardware. This Vega 20 support comes with some basic per-app tuning as well, including disabling DCC for DOOM except for 32 bpp surfaces, always allowing DCC for Wolfenstein II, and disabling DCC for Dota 2.

  • mesa 19.0.0-rc1

    Hello list,

    This email announces the mesa 19.0 release candidate 1. I'll keep this email fairly brief since I'm already running a little late on getting this done Smile I've just had to resolve quite a few autotools issues to get the dist built.

    Notable in the 19.0-rc1 branch is SWR is set to require LLVM 7 instead of LLVM 6. It is impossible to bootstrap SWR with LLVM 6 and compile with LLVM 7 due to LLVM API changes. Since RadeonSI and Radv both require LLVM 7 I've taken the liberty of bumping SWR so that we could get a tarball built.

    We've had an exciting release cycle, plenty of GL and Vulkan extensions, ~1600 commits since the 18.3 branchpoint with substantial work across all areas of mesa.

    Expect rc2 about this time next week, see you then.


  • Mesa 19.0-RC1 Released With FreeSync Bits, Soft FP64, Many Vulkan Improvements

    After its feature freeze and code branching yesterday, the first release candidate of Mesa 19.0 is now available.

    The Mesa 19.0 release process is underway and there will be weekly release candidates until the stable release is ready to ship. Going by their expected release calendar and past release cycles, Mesa 19.0 should ship around the end of February unless struck by any blocker bug delays.

  • Panfrost Mali Driver In Primitive Form Under Review For Mesa

    The open-source, reverse-engineered Panfrost Gallium3D driver is now under review in an early form for potentially merging into mainline Mesa in the near future. Panfrost is the current open-source driver community effort around Arm's Midgard and Bifrost graphics units.

    There is just under ten thousand lines of Panfrost code up now for review to see integration in Mesa potentially for next quarter's Mesa 19.1 release. This initial patch series contains the initial driver side but for command stream support is only a stub and basic Winsys integration. The full Panfrost driver will not yet work on the mainline Linux kernel until some kernel changes are in place. This initial patch series does include the complete Midgard toolchain support.

  • NVIDIA 418.30 Linux Driver Adds Video Codec SDK 9.0, Optical Flow Support

    While the initial "G-SYNC Compatible" (FreeSync) support is the big headlining feature of today's NVIDIA 418.30 Linux beta driver drop, there are also other changes to get excited about too.

  • The Latest NVIDIA EGLStreams Wayland Backend Code Under Review For KDE/KWin

    Back in November is when NVIDIA announced they were developing an EGLStreams-based back-end for KDE's KWin so the KDE Wayland session could run with their proprietary graphics driver similar to GNOME's EGLStreams support.

  • Sway Adds Relative Pointer Support To Its 1.0 Feature List

    Just in time for the Sway 1.0 release, support for the Wayland pointer constraints and relative pointer protocols has been merged, which is important for handling various games primarily first person shooters.

    Sway 1.0 has already been working on a pretty grand feature list including support for a number of newer Wayland extensions, multi-seat improvements, multi-GPU support, improved window handling, video capture support, tablet support, and a lot of other new features.

  • Intel's Mesa Driver Nearing OpenGL 4.6 With Final SPIR-V Additions Under Review

    As some other exciting Linux graphics news today alongside NVIDIA rolling out G-SYNC Compatible support for Linux, the Intel Mesa OpenGL driver could soon finally achieve OpenGL 4.6 compliance with the mainline code.

    OpenGL 4.6 is well over one year old but none of the current Mesa drivers have supported this latest revision due to being held up by the ARB_gl_spirv and ARB_spirv_extensions that are big additions in allowing for SPIR-V ingestion as part of some Vulkan interoperability. This has been a big undertaking for both Intel as well as the RadeonSI driver stack, but at least for the Intel team, they have the finish line in sight.

NVIDIA Graphics: "G-SYNC Compatible" FreeSync

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  • NVIDIA Linux Beta Rolling Out "G-SYNC Compatible" FreeSync Monitor Support

    Earlier this month at CES was the surprise announcement that NVIDIA would be effectively rolling out FreeSync display support for Pascal GPUs and newer with forthcoming driver updates. There's been that support on Windows while beginning today that tear-free, gaming-focused display tech will also be working on Linux.

  • NVIDIA have put out a new Linux beta driver with support for 'G-SYNC Compatible monitors'

    NVIDIA have today put out their latest beta driver for Linux with quite a bit new and it sounds quite exciting.

    The big new feature, is that this is their first Linux driver to support 'G-SYNC Compatible' monitors, which they made a bit of a splash about recently. So now, for those of you with a FreeSync monitor, you should be able to turn on G-SYNC and give it a test.

Radeon ROCm 2.0 OpenCL Benchmarks With Linux 5.0 On Ubuntu 18.10 vs. NVIDIA's Linux Driver

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With yesterday having posted fresh OpenGL/Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks for the current NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards, in this article is the freshest OpenCL GPU compute data for that set of 14 graphics cards on the very latest Linux graphics driver stack. In the case of AMD Radeon open-source compute, it was tested using the new ROCm 2.0 atop the mainline Linux 5.0 kernel and Ubuntu 18.10.

There were some questions recently by Phoronix readers how well ROCm 2.0 is working (if at all) with the current mainline Linux kernel. Long story short, ROCm 2.0 was running well and straight-forward with the mainline kernel state, at least in going with Linux 5.0 for the bleeding-edge support. Additionally, the ROCm 2.0 stack was using the AMD-built Debian packages intended for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS but did work just fine on Ubuntu 18.10 paired with the mainline kernel. The Ubuntu repository information and more information pertaining to ROCm 2.0 can be found via their GitHub.

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Security: Nest Lockout, Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance, DNS Hijacking Attacks and Australian Cracking

  • Nest is locking customers out of accounts until they fix their security

    Emails were sent last night to all users that may have been affected by recent [breaches], with a new password being mandatory, as it tries to avoid the "I'll do it later" attitude that means that often vulnerable passwords remain in use for months or years.

  • A Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance

    Mondelez’s claim represents just a fraction of the billions of dollars in collateral damage caused by NotPetya, a destructive, indiscriminate cyberattack of unprecedented scale, widely suspected to have been launched by Russia with the aim of hurting Ukraine and its business partners. A compromised piece of Ukrainian accounting software allowed NotPetya to spread rapidly around the world, disrupting business operations and causing permanent damage to property of Mondelez and many others. According to reports, Zurich apparently rejected Mondelez’s claim on the grounds that NotPetya was an act of war and, therefore, excluded from coverage under its policy agreement. If the question of whether and how war risk exemptions apply is left to the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis, this creates a profound source of uncertainty for policyholders about the coverage they obtain.

  • A Deep Dive on the Recent Widespread DNS Hijacking Attacks

    The U.S. government — along with a number of leading security companies — recently warned about a series of highly complex and widespread attacks that allowed suspected Iranian hackers to siphon huge volumes of email passwords and other sensitive data from multiple governments and private companies. But to date, the specifics of exactly how that attack went down and who was hit have remained shrouded in secrecy.

    This post seeks to document the extent of those attacks, and traces the origins of this overwhelmingly successful cyber espionage campaign back to a cascading series of breaches at key Internet infrastructure providers.

  • With elections weeks away, someone “sophisticated” [cracked] Australia’s politicians

    With elections just three months away, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on February 18 that the networks of the three major national political parties had been breached by what Australian security officials described as a "sophisticated state actor."

  • Australia's major political parties [cracked] in 'sophisticated' attack ahead of election

    Sources are describing the level of sophistication as "unprecedented" but are unable to say yet which foreign government is behind the attack.

  • Parliament attackers appear to have used Web shells

    Attackers who infiltrated the Australian Parliament network and also the systems of the Liberal, National and Labor Parties appear to have used Web shells – scripts that can be uploaded to a Web server to enable remote administration of a machine.

Android Leftovers

How Linux testing has changed and what matters today

If you've ever wondered how your Linux computer stacks up against other Linux, Windows, and MacOS machines or searched for reviews of Linux-compatible hardware, you're probably familiar with Phoronix. Along with its website, which attracts more than 250 million visitors a year to its Linux reviews and news, the company also offers the Phoronix Test Suite, an open source hardware benchmarking tool, and, where test result data is stored. According to Michael Larabel, who started Phoronix in 2004, the site "is frequently cited as being the leading source for those interested in computer hardware and Linux. It offers insights regarding the development of the Linux kernel, product reviews, interviews, and news regarding free and open source software." Read more