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Latest on Radeon/AMDGPU Graphics

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  • Radeon Pro 18.Q1.1 Enterprise Edition Released For Linux Workstations

    AMD on Monday quietly released their quarterly update to the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition Linux driver that is derived from their AMDGPU-PRO stack for FirePro / Radeon Pro class hardware.

    Like with AMDGPU-PRO, Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition 18.Q1.1 remains focused on supporting the enterprise Linux distributions including Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS and RHEL/CentOS 6 (6.9) and 7 (7.4).

  • AMDGPU DC's Latest 34 Patches Provide More Fixes

    Another week, another code drop derived from AMD's internal driver code-base providing an updated DC display code stack.

    This week's collection of 34 AMDGPU DC patches are mostly comprised of general fixes. Surprisingly no mentions of Raven Ridge (and only one patch mentioning DCN), so it's looking like at least from the display side things are calming down for those Vega+Zen APUs -- I've been running tests the past day and will have an update later today or tomorrow on the situation.

A new era for Linux's low-level graphics - Part 1

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Over the past couple of years, Linux's low-level graphics infrastructure has undergone a quiet revolution. Since experimental core support for the atomic modesetting framework landed a couple of years ago, the DRM subsystem in the kernel has seen roughly 300,000 lines of code changed and 300,000 new lines added, when the new AMD driver (~2.5m lines) is excluded. Lately Weston has undergone the same revolution, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Daniel Vetter's excellent two-part series on LWN covers the details quite well, but in short atomic has two headline features. The first is better display control: by grouping all configuration changes together, it is possible to change display modes more quickly and more reliably, especially if you have multiple monitors. The second is that it allows userspace to finally use overlay planes in the display controller for composition, bypassing the GPU.

A third, less heralded, feature is that the atomic core standardises user-visible behaviour. Before atomic, drivers had very wide latitude to implement whatever user-facing behaviour they liked. As a result, each chipset had its own kernel driver and its own X11 driver as well. With the rewrite of the core, backed up by a comprehensive test suite, we no longer need hardware-specific drivers to take full advantage of hardware features. With the substantial rework of Weston's DRM backend, we can now take full advantage of these. Using atomic gives us a smoother user experience, with better performance and using less power, whilst still being completely hardware-agnostic.

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Fresh Benchmarks Of CentOS 7 On Xeon & EPYC With/Without KPTI/Retpolines

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While every few weeks or so we have ended up running benchmarks of the latest Linux Git kernel to see the evolving performance impact of KPTI (Kernel Page Table Isolation) and Retpolines for Meltdown and Spectre V2 mitigation, respectively, a request came in last week from a premium supporter to see some new comparison test runs on CentOS 7 with its older 3.10-evolved kernel.

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Graphics: Mesa/Mali, Wayland 1.15 Beta, and Mesa 17.3.7 RC2

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  • Reverse-Engineering of ARM Mali "Midgard" Now Has A Working NIR Shader Compiler

    Earlier this year work on the "Chai" open-source Mali T700 GPU driver resumed with an aim to get a working Mesa driver for this "Midgard" graphics architecture. There's still a long battle ahead, but their NIR shader compiler is beginning to work.

    Alyssa Rosenzweig remains the main developer working on this Chai driver effort but with using some remnants done by Luc and Connor during the Lima driver days. Her focus lately has been on assembler and shader support for this reverse-engineered driver for ARM Mali graphics.

  • Wayland 1.15 Beta Released With Weston 4.0 Beta

    The beta releases are available today of Wayland 1.15 and the Weston 4.0 reference compositor.

    Wayland 1.15 is another relatively modest cycle. Wayland 1.15 pulls in libwayland-egl where as before that library was part of Mesa, making some semantics of Wayland more clear in the documentation, improvements to wayland-scanner, and some minor API additions.

  • Mesa 17.3.7 RC2 Issued With Even More Patches

    Last week the release candidate of Mesa 17.3.7 was issued with more than 50 patches queued. That count grew more over the weekend resulting in an additional release candidate.

    Mesa point releases tend to get just one RC and a few days of testing before going gold, but on top of the 50 patches last week another handful of patches were since proposed and queued up for this increasingly large point release. The very latest patches include a RADV Vulkan driver fix by Feral Interactive, and several other RADV and Intel Vulkan fixes.

Radeon GPUs Are Increasingly Competing With NVIDIA GPUs On Latest RadeonSI/RADV Drivers

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As it's been a few weeks since last delivering a modest Linux GPU comparison and given the continuously evolving state of the Linux kernel Git tree as well as the Mesa project that houses the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers, here are our latest benchmarks showing the current state of the AMD Radeon open-source Linux graphics driver performance relative to NVIDIA's long-standing and high-performance but proprietary driver using several different graphics cards.

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Wine 3.4 and Vulkan

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  • The WineHQ Wine development release 3.4 is now available for Linux and Mac

    The WineHQ Wine development release 3.4 is now available for Linux and Mac

  • Wine Developers Determining How To Handle Vulkan Loader Support

    While this week's Wine 3.4 release delivers on working Wine Vulkan ICD support for beginning to allow Windows Vulkan programs to work under Wine assuming the host has Vulkan API support, this current implementation still requires the user to install the Windows Vulkan SDK.

    At the moment those wanting to use Windows Vulkan games/applications under Wine still need to download the LunarG Vulkan SDK for Windows in order to obtain the Vulkan loader (DLL) for pairing with Wine's Vulkan ICD driver.

Graphics: X.Org Foundation Board of Directors and Vulkan

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  • Six Candidates Are Vying For This Year's X.Org Foundation Board

    There are six candidates running for this year's X.Org Foundation Board of Directors with four seats being open this election.

    Those six candidates for this year's X.Org elections include Eric Anholt (Broadcom), Robert Foss (Collabora), Bryce Harrington (Samsung), Keith Packard (HP), Laurent Pinchart (Ideas on Board), and Harry Wentland (AMD).

  • Vulkan 1.1.71 Released As The First Update To Vulkan 1.1

    The first point release to the Vulkan 1.1 release from earlier this month is now available. Vulkan 1.1 promoted a lot of functionality to core while also officially adding sub-groups and protected content support. This Vulkan 1.1.71 point release adds a new extension and fixes.

    This first point release to Vulkan 1.1 is officially version 1.1.71. This is because when Vulkan 1.1 was created, Khronos decided not to reset the patch number... Vulkan 1.1 was technically 1.1.70 and not 1.1.0. So now with this first update it's bumped to Vulkan 1.1.71.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Updated With Improvements For Sub-Groups & Multi-View

    The AMD developers working on their official cross-platform "AMDVLK" Vulkan driver have updated their open-source code-base for Linux users.

    On Friday the AMD developers pushed to the open-source repository their latest work, their first update since introducing Vulkan 1.1 support back on launch day earlier this month.

Graphics: AMDGPU, Mesa 17.3.7, RADV

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  • Linux 4.17 To Enable AMDGPU DC By Default For All Supported GPUs

    Since the introduction of the AMDGPU DC display code (formerly known as DAL) in Linux 4.15, this modern display stack has just been enabled by default for newer Radeon Vega and Raven Ridge devices. With Linux 4.17 that is changing with AMDGPU DC being enabled by default across the board for supported GPUs.

    Building off the earlier DRM-Next material for Linux 4.17, Alex Deucher minutes ago sent in another round of feature updates for targeting this next kernel cycle. This latest batch has continued code refactoring around PowerPlay, support for fetching the video RAM type from the video BIOS, allowing the TTM memory manager to drop its backing store when not needed, DC bandwidth calculation updates, enabling DC backlight control for pre-DCE11 GPUs, various display code fixes, and other bug fixes.

  • AMDGPU / ATI 18.0.1 X.Org DDX Driver Releases, Fixes Infinite Loop & Crashes

    Michel Dänzer of AMD issued bug-fix updates on Thursday for the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers.

    Just two weeks after the AMDGPU 18.0 X.Org driver release as the first version under their new year-based versioning scheme, the 18.0.1 bug-fix release is out. The xf86-video-amdgpu 18.0.1 DDX update fixes a potential infinite loop after a xorg-server reset in some configurations, Xorg crashing when multiple primary screens are configured, and using the TearFree feature could trigger Pixman library debugging spew.

  • Mesa 17.3.7 Nearing Release With 50+ Changes

    While waiting for Mesa 18.0, the Mesa 17.3.7 point release will soon hit stable users of this open-source, user-space graphics stack.

  • RADV Patches Are Closer For Sub-Group Capabilities

    Daniel Schürmann continues hacking on the sub-group patch-set for the RADV Vulkan driver to expose this important feature of the recent Vulkan 1.1 release.

Benchmarks Of Russia's "Baikal" MIPS-Based Processors, Running Debian Linux

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A few years back was the news of Russia wanting to get into the CPU business and at the time were aiming for ARM-based processors but ended up settling for MIPS. It turns out those "Baikal" processors are still around and being worked on as indicated by some fresh benchmarks this week.

Back in 2015 is when Baikal Electronics/T-Platforms announced their Baikal-T1 28nm SoC with DDR3 support, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz, SATA connectivity, USB 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet. The Baikal-T1 was initially advertised as for use in networking appliances and industrial platforms but has also wound up in some Russian desktop PCs.

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Some Windows Server 2016 vs. Linux Network Benchmarks

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A Phoronix Premium supporter recently requested some Windows vs. Linux networking performance benchmarks. That is being done as part of a larger comparison also featuring the popular BSDs, but for some initial measurements, here are some Netperf networking performance metrics on Microsoft Windows Server 2016 and various Linux distributions.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Games Chronicon, BROKE PROTOCOL, Internet Archive

  • 2D action RPG 'Chronicon' to arrive on Linux with the next big update
    The colourful action RPG Chronicon [Steam, Official Site] should arrive on Linux with the next big update, the developer has said.
  • BROKE PROTOCOL is like a low-poly GTA Online and it's coming to Linux
    BROKE PROTOCOL [Steam], a low-poly open-world action game that's a little like GTA Online and it's coming to Linux.
  • The Internet Archive Just Uploaded a Bunch of Playable, Classic Handheld Games
    The non-profit Internet Archive is perhaps best known for its Wayback Machine that takes snap shots of web sites so you can see what they looked like in the past. However, it also has a robust side project where it emulates and uploads old, outdated games that aren’t being maintained anymore. Recently, the organization added a slew of a unique kind of game that’s passed into memory: handheld LCD electronic games. The games–like Mortal Kombat, depicted above–used special LCD screens with preset patterns. They could only display the exact images in the exact place that they were specified for. This meant the graphics were incredibly limited and each unit could only play the one game it was designed to play. A Game Boy, this was not.
  • Internet Archive emulator brings dozens of handheld games back from obscurity
    Over the weekend, the Internet Archive announced it was offering a new series of emulators. This time, they’re designed to mimic one of gaming’s most obscure artifacts — handheld games. When I say a “handheld game,” I don’t mean the Game Boy or the PSP — those are handheld consoles. These are single-game handheld or tabletop devices that look and feel more like toys. The collection includes the very old, mostly-forgotten games sold in mini-handhelds from the 80s onward.

Linux Foundation Videos and Projects

LibrePlanet free software conference celebrates 10th anniversary, this weekend at MIT, March 24-25

This weekend, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) present the tenth annual LibrePlanet free software conference in Cambridge, March 24-25, 2018, at MIT. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels. LibrePlanet's tenth anniversary theme is "Freedom Embedded." Embedded systems are everywhere, in cars, digital watches, traffic lights, and even within our bodies. We've come to expect that proprietary software's sinister aspects are embedded in software, digital devices, and our lives, too: we expect that our phones monitor our activity and share that data with big companies, that governments enforce digital restrictions management (DRM), and that even our activity on social Web sites is out of our control. This year's talks and workshops will explore how to defend user freedom in a society reliant on embedded systems. Read more Also: FSF Blogs: Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: March 23rd starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC