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Graphics/Benchmarks

Graphics: Radeon and Vulkan2

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Radeon Overlay Is Similar To A Feature Mesa Offered For Years

    With yesterday's release of the Radeon Software Adrenalin driver for Windows, it actually picks up a feature that is roughly similar to something the open-source Radeon driver stack - and all of the Mesa's Gallium3D drivers for that matter - have offered for years.

  • Radeon GPU Profiler Updated For Better Profiling Of Vulkan Games

    Following yesterday's excitement around the Radeon Software Adrenalin Driver as well as word of AMD open-sourcing their Linux driver and making other Linux driver changes, AMD's GPUOpen team has announced the release of a new version of Radeon GPU Profiler.

  • Qualcomm Mentions "Vulkan2" & What I Would Suspect Of "Vulkan 2.0"

    During last week's Snapdragon Technology Summit, a few references to "Vulkan2" were dropped... Well, here's the official comment from Khronos on that as well as my thoughts on this hypothetical next version of Vulkan.

    Several Phoronix readers have pointed out (e.g.) references to "Vulkan2" in the context of the new Snapdragon 845 SoC announced at this year's Snapdragon Technology Summit. The Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630 does mention "Vulkan2" support.

Graphics: NVIDIA and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Pushes Out CUDA 9.1 With Compiler Optimizations, Volta Enhancements & More

    AMD isn't the only one busy with GPU software updates today but NVIDIA has issued CUDA 9.1 as their first feature update to the CUDA 9 compute platform.

  • Happy Holidays: AMD Finally Pushing Out Open-Source Vulkan Driver

    Ahead of the Vulkan 1.0 debut nearly two years ago, we heard that for AMD's Vulkan Linux driver it was initially going to be closed-source and would then be open-sourced once ready. At the time it sounded like something that would be opened up six months or so, but finally that milestone is being reached! Ahead of Christmas, AMD is publishing the source code to their official Vulkan Linux driver.

  • The Feature Differences Now Between AMD's Two OpenGL & Two Vulkan Linux Drivers

    For modern AMD graphics cards there are two OpenGL drivers and two Vulkan drivers available to Linux users/gamers that support the same modern AMD GPUs, not counting the older AMD Linux drivers, etc. Here's a rundown now on how those drivers compare.

    With AMDGPU-PRO 17.50 now allowing you to mix and match driver components and AMD finally open-sourcing their official Vulkan driver, the scene may be even more confusing about which AMD Linux driver(s) to use depending upon your use-case.

  • AMDGPU-PRO 17.50 Now Bundles Open-Source Components, Lets You Mix & Match Drivers

    There's more Radeon Linux excitement today beyond AMD finally open-sourcing their Vulkan driver. Coming out today is the AMDGPU-PRO 17.50 driver that bundles in the open-source RADV and RadeonSI drivers too, in letting you "mix and match" the driver components you want for your system.

Graphics: AMD, Mesa, VESA and More

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD Moving Forward In Their RadeonSI Support For ARB_gl_spirv

    AMD open-source developer Nicolai Hähnle has spent the past few months working on the ARB_gl_spirv extension as mandated by OpenGL 4.6. Some of the prep work for supporting that extension has landed in Mesa 17.4-dev Git.

    ARB_gl_spirv is about bringing SPIR-V support to OpenGL drivers, the IR shared by Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1+. ARB_gl_spirv allows for loading SPIR-V modules into OpenGL programs and allows for GLSL to be a source language in creating SPIR-V modules. This is basically for creating better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan/SPIR-V.

  • Mesa Glthread Gets Adds Another Game, AMDGPU Winsys Gets Performance Workaround

    This week has started off to being another busy time in Mesa Git just ahead of the holidays.

    First up, Mount & Blade: Warband is the latest game to be white-listed by the Mesa glthread functionality for enabling OpenGL threading on this Steam Linux game. Mount & Blade: Warband was actually whitelisted back in July but then disabled a few days later as it turned out not to be working.

  • VESA Rolls Out DisplayHDR As Its Latest Standard

    VESA has rolled out DisplayHDR 1.0 as its newest standard. As implied by the name, the standard is in regards to specifying HDR (High Dynamic Range) quality for displays.

  • VC5 OpenGL & Vulkan Driver Advancing

    Broadcom developer Eric Anholt has offered an update on the state of the VC5 Gallium3D driver for OpenGL support as well as the work being done on the "BCMV" Vulkan driver. Additionally, the VC4 Gallium3D driver for existing Raspberry Pi devices continues to get better.

  • Initial Tessellation Shader Support For RadeonSI NIR

    The RadeonSI Gallium3D driver's NIR back-end is moving one step closer to feature parity with the existing OpenGL capabilities of this AMD GCN graphics driver.

    Timothy Arceri working for Valve has been focusing on the NIR back-end recently for RadeonSI. This NIR intermediate representation handling is being driven in order to add SPIR-V ingestion support to RadeonSI with code sharing for RADV's existing NIR-based infrastructure.

Is PowerTop / TLP Still Useful To Save Power On Linux Laptops?

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Graphics/Benchmarks

This system was running Ubuntu 17.10 and the configurations tested included:

- Ubuntu 17.10 in a "stock" or "out of the box" experience when using its Linux 4.13 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.26.1 with Wayland, and Mesa 17.2.2 atop an EXT4 file-system.

- Upgrading the Ubuntu 17.10 system to Linux 4.15 Git for showing the power consumption when using the very latest kernel cycle.

- This Ubuntu 17.10 + Linux 4.15 system then with Intel PowerTop installed and changing all the tunables to their "good" values for maximum power-savings.

- Installing TLP and using its default power-saving options.

Read more

Linux 4.15 I/O Scheduler Tests: BFQ, CFQ, Kyber

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

With some BFQ performance fixes included as part of Linux 4.15 along with other I/O scheduler work and block improvements for this latest Linux kernel series, here are some fresh benchmarks of the different I/O scheduler options using the Linux 4.15 Git kernel.

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NVIDIA 387.34 vs. Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon OpenGL/Vulkan Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Tested on the Radeon side was the very latest Linux 4.15 Git code as of 6 December, including recent AMDGPU fixes that landed mainline after the 4.15 merge window. The user-space graphics stack was Mesa 17.4-dev built against LLVM 6.0 SVN provided by the Padoka PPA. Fresh AMDGPU-PRO benchmarks will be coming upon the next driver update. The AMD graphics cards tested were the Radeon RX 580, R9 Fury, RX Vega 56, and RX Vega 64.

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Also:

X.Org Server Patches Updated For Non-Desktop & Leases To Better VR HMD Support

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Keith Packard has sent out his latest X.Org Server side patches for the improvements he's been working on the past year for improving the SteamVR / VR HMD support on the Linux desktop.

Keith sent out the latest patches for adding RandR 1.6 leases support. These have been re-based against the latest X.Org Server Git code and while there was initial DRM leasing in Linux 4.15, Keith says these patches only work against drm-next, which would mean Linux 4.16. These patches do go through and wire up the leasing support with the xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver.

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Mesa 17.3

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • mesa 17.3.0

    The release consists of approximately 2700 commits from over 120 developers.

  • Mesa 17.3 Brings Intel i965, RadeonSI, and Nouveau Drivers Closer to OpenGL 4.6

    Collabora's Emil Velikov is pleased to announce today the general availability of the final Mesa 17.3 graphics stack release for GNU/Linux distributions.

    Mesa or Mesa 3D Graphics Library is an open-source graphics stack, a collection of open-source graphics drivers to bring support for the latest OpenGL and Vulkan technologies to Intel, AMD Radeon, and Nvidia graphics cards on Linux-based operating systems.

  • Mesa 17.3 Officially Released: Nearly OpenGL 4.6, Better Vulkan Support

    Delays pushed back the Mesa 17.3 release from November, but this quarterly update to the Mesa 3D graphics stack is now available for users.

    Mesa 17.3 is another significant update this year for the open-source graphics drivers. Mesa 17.3 offers nearly complete OpenGL 4.6 support for RadeonSI / Intel / Nouveau NVC0 drivers with the notable exception of the SPIR-V ingestion support yet not being complete. Mesa 17.3 also contains significant improvements to the Radeon RADV and Intel ANV Vulkan drivers with new extension support, performance optimizations, and all important fixes.

  • Mesa 17.3.0 release to further advance open source graphics drivers

    Mesa 17.3.0 is the latest version of the open source graphics drivers and it has officially released today.

    While this is a major new version, as always, new versions can cause a bit of breakage due to so much changing. The Mesa developers recommend waiting for the first point release 17.3.1 if you're after a stable and reliable experience.

Games and Graphics Leftovers

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • 2D horror 'Corpse Party' is now available for Linux on GOG, some thoughts

    GOG have now put up the recently released Linux version of Corpse Party, the 2D horror game from Team GrisGris and XSEED Games.

  • Something for the weekend: The X Franchise on Steam is free for a few days and on sale

    If you're stuck for something to do this weekend, you might want to take a look at the X Franchise on Steam, it's quite a good deal.

  • Running OpenCL On The CPU With POCL 1.0, Xeon & EPYC Testing

    This week marked the release of the long-awaited POCL 1.0 release candidate. For the uninformed POCL, or the Portable Computing Language, is a portable implementation of OpenCL 1.2~2.0 that can run on CPUs with its LLVM code generation and has also seen back-ends for its OpenCL implementation atop AMD HSA and even NVIDIA CUDA. I've been trying out POCL 1.0-RC1 on various Intel and AMD CPUs.

  • Intel Stages More Graphics DRM Changes For Linux 4.16

    Last week Intel submitted their first batch of i915 DRM driver changes to DRM-Next that in turn is slated for Linux 4.16. Today they sent in their second round of feature updates.

    This latest batch of material for DRM-Next / Linux 4.16 includes continued work on execlist improvements, better GPU cache invalidation, various code clean-ups, continued stabilization of Cannonlake "Gen 10" graphics support, display plane improvements, continued GuC and HuC updates, a hardware workaround for Geminilake performance, more robust GPU reset handling, and a variety of other fixes and code clean-ups/improvements.

Programming: C, Simplistic Programming, and Benchmarks

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Development
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • A mini-rant on the lack of string slices in C
  • Simplistic programming is underrated

     

    I should explain. It is absolutely true that if you deploy a larger vocabulary, if you use longer, more pompous sentences, many people will think you are smarter. The same is true with programming. If you can cram metaprogramming, pure functional programming, some assembly and a neural network into one program, many programmers will be impressed by your skills.

  • Comparing C, C++ and D performance with a real world project

    Some time ago I wrote a blog post comparing the real world performance of C and C++ by converting Pkg-config from C to C++ and measuring the resulting binaries. This time we ported it to D and running the same tests.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 7.6 Released

    Phoronix Test Suite 7.6.0-Alvdal is now available as the latest quarterly feature update to our cross-platform, open-source benchmarking software.

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Debian-Based Q4OS Linux Distro to Get a New Look with Debonaire Desktop Theme

Q4OS is a small GNU/Linux distribution based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux operating system and built around the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE). It's explicitly designed to make the Microsoft Windows to Linux transition accessible and more straightforward as possible for anyone. Dubbed Debonaire, the new desktop theme uses dark-ish elements for the window titlebar and panel. Somehow it resembles the look and feels of the acclaimed Arc GTK+ theme, and it makes the Q4OS operating system more modern than the standard look offered by the Trinity Desktop Environment. Read more

today's leftovers

Software: GIMP, VLC, Cryptsetup, Caprine, KWin and NetworkManager

  • GIMP 2.9.8 Open-Source Image Editor Released with On-Canvas Gradient Editing
    GIMP 2.9.8, a development version towards the major GIMP 2.10 release, was announced by developer Alexandre Prokoudine for all supported platforms, including Linux, Mac, and Windows.
  • GIMP 2.9.8 Released
    Newly released GIMP 2.9.8 introduces on-canvas gradient editing and various enhancements while focusing on bugfixing and stability. For a complete list of changes please see NEWS.
  • It Looks Like VLC 3.0 Will Finally Be Released Soon
    VLC 3.0 is something we've been looking forward to for years and it's looking like that big multimedia player update could be released very soon. Thanks to Phoronix reader Fran for pointing out that VLC 3.0 release candidates have begun to not much attention. VLC 3.0 RC1 was tagged at the end of November and then on Tuesday marked VLC 3.0 RC2 being tagged, but without any official release announcements.
  • cryptsetup 2.0.0
  • Cryptsetup 2.0 Released With LUKS2 Format Support
    A new major release is available of Cryptsetup, the user-space utility for dealing with the DMCrypt kernel module for setting up encrypted disk volumes. Cryptsetup 2.0.0 is notable in that it introduces support for the new on-disk LUKS2 format but still retaining support for LUKS(1). The LUKS2 format is security hardened to a greater extent, more extensible than LUKS, supports in-place upgrading from LUKS, and other changes.
  • Caprine – An Unofficial Elegant Facebook Messenger Desktop App
    There is no doubt Facebook is one of the most popular and dynamic social network platform in the modern Internet era. It has revolutionized technology, social networking, and the future of how we live and interact. With Facebook, We can connect, communicate with one another, instantly share our memories, photos, files and even money to anyone, anywhere in the world. Even though Facebook has its own official messenger, some tech enthusiasts and developers are developing alternative and feature-rich apps to communicate with your buddies. The one we are going to discuss today is Caprine. It is a free, elegant, open source, and unofficial Facebook messenger desktop app built with Electron framework.
  • KWin On Wayland Without X11 Support Can Startup So Fast It Causes Problems
    It turns out that if firing up KDE's KWin Wayland compositor without XWayland support, it can start up so fast that it causes problems. Without XWayland for providing legacy X11 support to KDE Wayland clients, the KWin compositor fires up so fast that it can cause a crash in their Wayland integration as KWin's internal connection isn't even established... Yep, Wayland compositors are much leaner and cleaner than the aging X Server code-base that dates back 30+ years, granted most of the XWayland code is much newer than that.
  • NetworkManager Picks Up Support For Intel's IWD WiFi Daemon & Meson Build System
    NetworkManager now has support for Intel's lean "IWD" WiFi daemon. IWD is a lightweight daemon for managing WiFi devices via a D-Bus interface and has been in development since 2013 (but was only made public in 2016) and just depends upon GCC / Glibc / ELL (Embedded Linux Library).

Linux Foundation: Servers, Kubernetes and OpenContrail

  • Many cloud-native hands try to make light work of Kubernetes
    The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, home of the Kubernetes open-source community, grew wildly this year. It welcomed membership from industry giants like Amazon Web Services Inc. and broke attendance records at last week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon conference in Austin, Texas. This is all happy news for Kubernetes — the favored platform for orchestrating containers (a virtualized method for running distributed applications). The technology needs all the untangling, simplifying fingers it can get. This is also why most in the community are happy to tamp down their competitive instincts to chip away at common difficulties. “You kind of have to,” said Michelle Noorali (pictured), senior software engineer at Microsoft and co-chair of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America & Europe 2017. “These problems are really hard.”
  • Leveraging NFV and SDN for network slicing
    Network slicing is poised to play a pivotal role in the enablement of 5G. The technology allows operators to run multiple virtual networks on top of a single, physical infrastructure. With 5G commercialization set for 2020, many are wondering to what extend network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) can help move network slicing forward.
  • Juniper moves OpenContrail's SDN codebase to Linux Foundation
    Juniper Networks has announced its intent to move the codebase for OpenContrail, an open-source network virtualisation platform for the cloud, to the Linux Foundation. OpenContrail provides both software-defined networking (SDN) and security features and has been deployed by various organisations, including cloud providers, telecom operators and enterprises to simplify operational complexities and automate workload management across diverse cloud environments.
  • Juniper moves OpenContrail’s codebase to Linux Foundation, advances cloud approach
    Juniper Networks plans to move the codebase for its OpenContrail open-source network virtualization platform for the cloud to the Linux Foundation, broadening its efforts to drive more software innovations into the broader IT and service provider community. The vendor is hardly a novice in developing open source platforms. In 2013, Juniper released its Contrail products as open sourced and built a user and developer community around the project. To drive its next growth phase, Juniper expanded the project’s governance, creating an even more open, community-led effort.
  • 3 Essential Questions to Ask at Your Next Tech Interview
    The annual Open Source Jobs Report from Dice and The Linux Foundation reveals a lot about prospects for open source professionals and hiring activity in the year ahead. In this year’s report, 86 percent of tech professionals said that knowing open source has advanced their careers. Yet what happens with all that experience when it comes time for advancing within their own organization or applying for a new roles elsewhere?