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Graphics: Mesa 18.0.3, Allwinner, NVIDIA and Vulkan

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  • mesa 18.0.3

    Mesa 18.0.3 is now available.

    The is a fairly small release consisting of patches to fix leaks in RADV and Winsys,
    fix deadlock in internal queue, fix issues with ANV allocator, fix blit setup for
    YUV LoadImage, and some other patches.

  • Mesa 18.0.3 Released With A Handful Of Fixes

    While Mesa 18.1 is coming soon, the current stable release series for now is Mesa 18.0 with the 18.0.3 being released today as the newest point release.

  • Allwinner Open-Source Video Decode Continues Improving With Sunxi-Cedrus Driver

    Developers at Bootlin (nee Free Electrons) continue working on open-source Allwinner VPU video decode support.

    Version three of the "Sunxi-Cedrus" driver for supporting the Allwinner video decode hardware is now available. This latest version still only supports MPEG-2 with other codecs still to be tackled, but this updated driver now supports the latest media requests APIs, DMA-BUF support is improved, there are now per-platform bindings, the Allwinner A13 SoC is now supported, and a variety of other code reworks. The Sunxi-Cedrus driver overall should work on the Allwinner SoCs like the A13, A20, and A33 for open-source video decoding.

  • A fresh DXVK release is out with fixes for NVIDIA, RADV and multiple game improvements

    DXVK, the awesome project to implement a Vulkan-based compatibility layer for Direct3D 11 for use with Wine has advanced further with a fresh release.

    Version 0.50 was released last night which includes support for non-native screen resolutions including display mode changes and support for D3D11 vertex fetch rates if VK_EXT_vertex_attribute_divisor is supported.

  • NVIDIA's Work On Adding Ray-Tracing To Vulkan

    2018 appears to be the year of ray-tracing with the major hardware vendors, game engines, and others all working on modern ray-tracing efforts with the GPUs becoming powerful enough to handle this alternative to rasterized rendering, etc. While Microsoft has out the DirectX Raytracing API for D3D12, NVIDIA has been working on extending Vulkan to also suit ray-tracing use-cases.

  • DXVK 0.50 Released With Better RADV Support, Other D3D11 Capabilities

    DXVK 0.50 has been released this weekend as the latest version of the open-source project implementing Direct3D 11 over the cross-platform Vulkan graphics API primarily for the benefit of Wine/Linux gamers.

Graphics: AMD's ROCm 1.7.2 and Intel's DRM Driver

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  • ROCm 1.7.2 Brings Fixes To The Open-Source Radeon Compute Stack

    At the end of April, AMD quietly pushed out a new point release to their Radeon Open Compute "ROCm" stack.

    ROCm 1.7.2 is this newest release. Unfortunately, there isn't an official change-log for the ROCm 1.7.2 release, but some of the changes can be gathered from the recent bug reports. ROCm 1.7.2 appears to fix some issues with Convolv and TensorFlow, a GPUVM fault issue, and other unmentioned bugs are likely corrected too.

  • Intel Icelake Support Added To Mesa's Libdrm

    It looks like Intel's Icelake "Gen 11" graphics driver support for Linux will be squared away well before seeing any hardware in the hands of consumers.

    On the DRM kernel driver side there is initial support with Linux 4.17 albeit is still considered preliminary/alpha hardware support. The Icelake graphics support will continue to be refined and improved upon for kernel releases to come, just as with Linux 4.17 the Cannonlake graphics hardware support is now considered stable.

Graphics: Mesa 18.1 RC3 is Released and GeForce Partner Program (GPP) is Dead

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  • mesa 18.1.0-rc3
  • Mesa 18.1-RC3 Released, Final Expected In About Two Weeks

    The third weekly release candidate of the forthcoming Mesa 18.1 quarterly driver release update is now available for testing.

    The Mesa 18.1-RC3 release isn't too noteworthy but includes a few fixes for RADV, the Intel shader compiler, Vega/GFX9 on RadeonSI, SPIR-V, and other common areas for fixing. In total there are just over two dozen fixes collected over the past week.

  • Pulling the Plug on GPP, Leaning into GeForce

    A lot has been said recently about our GeForce Partner Program. The rumors, conjecture and mistruths go far beyond its intent. Rather than battling misinformation, we have decided to cancel the program.

    GPP had a simple goal – ensuring that gamers know what they are buying and can make a clear choice.

  • NVIDIA Ends The GeForce Partner Program

    Following controversies the past few weeks about their GeForce Partner Program (GPP), NVIDIA is today ending the initiative.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS vs. Fedora 28 vs. Clear Linux Benchmarks

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Given last week's release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and then Fedora 28 having debuted earlier this week, I decided to see how these popular tier-one Linux distributions now compare to Intel's own Clear Linux platform. This three-way Linux distribution comparison was carried out on six systems comprising both of Intel and AMD CPUs.

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Graphics: NVIDIA, Mesa, AMD and More

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  • NVIDIA 396.18.07 Vulkan Driver Continues Addressing Fallout From The New SPIR-V Compiler

    While this week brought the NVIDIA 396.24 stable Linux driver, for those Vulkan developers/gamers there is a new beta release that is actually version 396.18.07 but contains their very latest Vulkan changes.

  • VC4 Gets Syncobj For Linux 4.18, V3D Driver Landing For Linux 4.18

    Maarten Lankhorst has sent in a pile of updates from the drm-misc-next tree today of new feature material to queue in DRM-Next in turn for Linux 4.18.

    Most notable with this pull is the new driver it includes: V3D. That's the much talked about new Broadcom VideoCore driver previously known as VC5. The DRM driver is ready for mainline now for this modern VC5/VC6 Broadcom graphics hardware set to appear in more devices. The OpenGL/Gallium3D driver is coming along and there is also early work on OpenCL/Vulkan too.

  • The New Features Coming In Mesa 18.1: Intel Cache By Default, Many Vulkan Strides

    While Mesa 18.0 was just released a little over one month ago, Mesa 18.1 is already gearing up for release this month after going through two release candidates already. Here's a look at the new features of this second quarter 2018 Mesa 3D update.

  • VC5 Gallium3D Going To V3D, Ready To Turn On By Default

    Following the renaming of the VC5 DRM driver to "V3D" and the new driver on its way to the mainline Linux 4.18 kernel, Eric Anholt is now renaming the user-space VC5 Gallium3D driver to V3D and is also ready to enable it by default.

  • Color Management Support Updated For The AMDGPU X.Org Driver

    A bit more than one month ago I wrote about AMD developers working on updated color management support for their AMDGPU X.Org driver. Today a significantly updated patch-set is available.

  • Radeon Software 18.20 Preview Offers Early Support For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS & RHEL 7.5

    Just days ago AMD rolled out the Radeon Software 18.10 Linux driver that brought support for Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS but hadn't supported the newly-released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver", but that has now changed.

    AMD has now issued a public preview release driver for the Radeon Software 18.20 series. The notable changes -- well, in fact, the only mentioned changes -- for this early preview release in the 18.20 series is initial support for Ubuntu 18.04 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5.

Radeon Software 18.10 vs. Mesa 18.2 RADV/RadeonSI Benchmarks

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Last week AMD released Radeon Software 18.10 as their latest official Linux driver release for what previously was referred to as "AMDGPU-PRO" while now also offers the "All-Open" driver option too. For our latest Linux GPU benchmarking is a look at how Radeon Software 18.10 with its closed-source OpenGL/Vulkan driver builds compare to that of the RadeonSI and RADV open-source drivers when testing from the Mesa 18.2-devel state.

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Kernel and Graphics in Phoronix

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  • MIPS Shows Off Their New Linux Kernel Port To nanoMIPS

    Earlier this week MIPS Technologies announced their new MIPS I7200 processor core built on the new nanoMIPS ISA. A day after they unveiled their new GCC port to this much-changed nanoMIPS instruction set and now today they sent out their initial Linux kernel patch for bringing up this new MIPS version that is coming with a new/updated kernel ABI.

    Given the binary incompatibility to existing MIPS architecture generations, developers at MIPS Technologies took this time to also improve the compiler ABI, modernize the Linux user ABI for nanoMIPS, make more use of generic kernel interfaces, etc.

  • The Shiny New Features Of X.Org Server 1.20

    With the release of the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.20 finally being imminent, here is a look at the many features that were merged over the past year and a half for this long drawn out release process. While more of the Linux desktop continues moving towards Wayland, X.Org Server continues evolving as shown by the 1.20 release and as part of that is also plenty on the XWayland side.

  • Intel ANV Vulkan Driver Lands shaderInt16 Support

    As of this morning Intel's "ANV" open-source Vulkan driver now has 16-bit integer support for shaders (shaderInt16) as one more feature to cross-off the TODO list.

    Igalia's Iago Toral Quiroga has landed his patch series wiring up shaderInt16 support for the Intel Vulkan Linux driver. The 16-bit int support for shaders is supported with Broadwell "Gen 8" graphics hardware and newer.

  • MIPS Rolls Out New I7200 Processor Core Using New nanoMIPS ISA

    MIPS Technologies has unveiled a new processor and one that is built on nanoMIPS, a significantly redesigned MIPS instruction set architecture and the first major product launch since Imagination Technologies sold off MIPS last year.

Graphics Coverage in Phoronix

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  • NVIDIA Releases The 396.24 Linux Driver With X.Org Server 1.20 Support

    NVIDIA has introduced their first stable driver in the 396 driver series for Linux, the 396.24 release.

    The NVIDIA 396.24 driver builds off last month's 396.18 beta and its new Vulkan SPIR-V compiler and other changes.

  • Google Is Working On Vulkan Over CPUs With SwiftShader

    The 2018 Vulkan Developer Day event was held earlier this week at the Ubisoft offices in Montreal, Canada.

    The slide decks from this Vulkan Developer Day event are now available. For the most part it's routine material for those familiar with Vulkan 1.1, sub-groups, HLSL interoperability, and other modern Vulkan features.

  • RADV Enables OoO Rasterization By Default For A 1% Gain

    The Mesa-based RADV Radeon Vulkan driver is enabling out-of-order rasterization by default for a small but consistent performance gain.

  • Intel Sends In Their First Batch Of Graphics Driver Updates For Linux 4.18

    Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers today submitted their first batch of feature updates to DRM-Next of new material that in turn they are aiming for the Linux 4.18 merge window.

    Among the many changes in this first batch of new Intel i915 DRM driver updates for Linux 4.18 include some GPU documentation improvements, GuC and HuC engine code refactoring is still ongoing, PSR/PSR2 panel self refresh enabling and fixes, NV12 preparations, more enablement work around Icelake "Gen 11" graphics, power management fixes, display fixes, and a variety of other code improvements.

  • RadeonSI Gets Support For Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing

    The RadeonSI Gallium3D driver now has patches available for Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing (EQAA) that is also known as Flexible MSAA.

    EQAA is designed to deliver better quality anti-aliasing over traditional MSAA with more coverage samples per pixel while keeping the same number of color/depth/stencil samples. The EQAA visual quality is expected to be significant but with only a small performance impact compared to standard MSAA.

  • X.Org Server 1.20 To Be Released In The Days Ahead

    X.Org Server 1.19 was released 18 months ago and in the days ahead will finally be succeeded by the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.20 release.

    X.Org Server 1.20 has been a long time coming and this has been the longest duration without a major xorg-server release in more than one decade. Fortunately, release manager Adam Jackson of Red Hat is putting the finishing touches of this next installment.

  • DisplayLink DRM Driver Had A Local Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

    CVE-2018-8781 was made public today as a new local privilege escalation vulnerability in the mainline Linux kernel that has been present since the Linux 3.4 kernel release six years ago.

    The DisplayLink DRM driver's udl_fb_mmap function is prone to an integer overflow vulnerability that could allow local users on systems using the udldrmfb driver to obtain full read/write permissions on kernel physical pages, thereby allowing code execution in kernel space.

Ubuntu 16.04 vs. 18.04 Performance On Six Systems

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Continuing on with our benchmarking of the recently released Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, here are some reference benchmarks on a total of six systems with AMD and Intel hardware while looking to see how the out-of-the-box performance compares to the previous Long Term Support release, Ubuntu 16.04.

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Ubuntu 12.04 To Ubuntu 18.04 Benchmarks On An Intel Laptop

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As part of our ongoing benchmarks of the recently released Ubuntu 18.04, here is a look at the performance of Ubuntu Linux on the same laptop while testing all Long-Term Support releases from 12.04 to 18.04 for seeing how the Ubuntu performance has evolved over the past six years on this Intel laptop.

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More in Tux Machines

Server: GNU/Linux Dominance in Supercomputers, Windows Dominance in Downtime

  • Five Supercomputers That Aren't Supercomputers
    A supercomputer, of course, isn't really a "computer." It's not one giant processor sitting atop an even larger motherboard. Instead, it's a network of thousands of computers tied together to form a single whole, dedicated to a singular set of tasks. They tend to be really fast, but according to the folks at the International Supercomputing Conference, speed is not a prerequisite for being a supercomputer. But speed does help them process tons of data quickly to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Summit, for example, is already booked for things such as cancer research; energy research, to model a fusion reactor and its magnetically confined plasma tohasten commercial development of fusion energy; and medical research using AI, centering around identifying patterns in the function and evolution of human proteins and cellular systems to increase understanding of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or addiction, and to inform the drug discovery process.
  • Office 365 is suffering widespread borkage across Blighty

    Some users are complaining that O365 is "completely unusable" with others are reporting a noticeable slowdown, whinging that it's taking 30 minutes to send and receive emails.  

Google: VR180, Android and the Asus Chromebook Flip C101

Security Leftovers

  • Hackers May Have Already Defeated Apple’s USB Restricted Mode For iPhone
    Recently, the iPhone-maker announced a security feature to prevent unauthorized cracking of iPhones. When the device isn’t unlocked for an hour, the Lightning port can be used for nothing but charging. The feature is a part of the iOS 12 update, which is expected to launch later this month.
  • Cops Are Confident iPhone Hackers Have Found a Workaround to Apple’s New Security Feature
    Apple confirmed to The New York Times Wednesday it was going to introduce a new security feature, first reported by Motherboard. USB Restricted Mode, as the new feature is called, essentially turns the iPhone’s lightning cable port into a charge-only interface if someone hasn’t unlocked the device with its passcode within the last hour, meaning phone forensic tools shouldn’t be able to unlock phones. Naturally, this feature has sent waves throughout the mobile phone forensics and law enforcement communities, as accessing iPhones may now be substantially harder, with investigators having to rush a seized phone to an unlocking device as quickly as possible. That includes GrayKey, a relatively new and increasingly popular iPhone cracking tool. But forensics experts suggest that Grayshift, the company behind the tech, is not giving up yet.
  • How Secure Are Wi-Fi Security Cameras?
  • Trump-Kim Meeting Was a Magnet For Russian Cyberattacks

KDE: Usability and Productivity initiative, Kraft and Konsole

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 23
    This has been a bit of a light week for KDE’s Usability and Productivity initiative, probably because everyone’s basking in the warm glow of a well-received release: KDE Plasma 5.13 came out on Tuesday and is getting great reviews!
  • Kraft Version 0.81 Released
    I am happy to announce the release of Kraft version 0.81. Kraft is a Qt based desktop application that helps you to handle documents like quotes and invoices in your small business. Version 0.81 is a bugfix release for the previous version 0.80, which was the first stable release based on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks5. Even though it came with way more new features than just the port, it’s first release has proven it’s stability in day-to-day business now for a few month.
  • Giving Konsole some love
    I started to hack in Konsole, and first I was afraid, I was petrified. You know, touching those hardcore apps that are the center of the KDE Software Collection. I started touching it mostly because some easy to fix bugs weren’t fixed, and as every cool user knows, this is free software. So I could pay for someone to fix my bugs, or I could download the source code and try to figure out what the hell was wrong with it. I choosed the second approach.