I've been testing out SteamVR on Linux with the HTC Vive the past few days. From my time spent and trying out various graphics cards with Destinations, Dota 2, and Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter, my impressions is that for this Linux VR beta at least a GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 is really needed for good performance.
The X.Org Foundation has been once again accepted as a mentoring organization for this year's Google Summer of Code. Yes, the X.Org involvement in GSoC isn't limited to just the xorg-server but also covers Mesa, Wayland, and other involvements.
It's going on five years since there was the call for deprecating FBDEV within the mainline Linux kernel and various ongoing efforts to get more drivers to making use of the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) rather than FBDEV. But with Linux 4.11, FBDEV still remains in place.
David Airlie sent in another pull request of DRM material for Linux 4.11, which follows last week's main DRM feature update for Linux 4.11.
In celebrating their five-year milestone, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced their latest product: the Raspberry Pi Zero W.
Thanks to the work done in part by Fedora, Arch Linux has enabled in testing support for the GLVND-enabled Mesa that can happily co-exist alongside the NVIDIA proprietary driver.
Now that Vulkan 1.0.42 is public and it contains the extensions needed for SteamVR on Linux, the RADV changes are now public.
Now that Google has proven SHA1 as unsafe, Ubuntu's Mir display server developers were quick to abandon its usage in favor of SHA256.
Now that Vulkan's external memory patches are now public with today's Vulkan 1.0.42 big update, the Intel ANV open-source Vulkan driver is getting ready to roll out their support for their new extensions.
According to Purism's Youness Alaoui, their Coreboot port to the Librem 13 v1 laptop is now considered complete.
While most are focused on the OpenXR VR announcement from The Khronos Group as well as the new Vulkan extensions, less people seem to be talking about their call for participation around a new "3D Portability Initiative", which if it succeeds could be a win for Linux gamers and others.
For many months now there has been vkQuake as a port of Quake 1 to Vulkan while now there is a port of that pulling in SteamVR support.
We are now through week one of two for the Linux 4.11 kernel merge window. I've already written a number of news posts this past week covering features I find interesting for Linux 4.11. If you are short on time and behind in your Phoronix reading, here's a quick overview of the material so far for this next major kernel bump.
The Khronos Group not only is shipping Vulkan 1.0.42 with many new extensions for this week's GDC but the embargo just expired on even more exciting announcements!
LLVM's LLD linker still isn't too widely used yet on Linux systems, but the performance of this linker alternative to GNU Gold and GNU ld are quite compelling.
The "GDC Vulkan update" has arrived with a number of new extensions!
OpenBenchmarking.org has turned six years old while in June is when Phoronix.com will celebrate its 13th birthday and the Phoronix Test Suite has its 9th birthday.
The NV_dedicated_allocation extension that is one of the Vulkan extensions needed by Valve's SteamVR on Linux, has now been enabled within mainline Mesa for the RADV driver.
AMD's Ryzen CPU is finally shipping in a few days! If you are planning to be an early adopter of AMD Ryzen processors, you will really want to be running a newer Linux kernel release for proper support and performance.
The GNU Linux-libre 4.10 kernel was released last weekend just after the official Linux 4.10 kernel release while I hadn't noticed the de-blobbed kernel release until today. The Linux-libre folks continue to criticize the open-source GPU DRM drivers as being offenders for using binary blob firmware/microcode.
Back in November we saw patches for wiring in PRIME support to the RADV Vulkan driver and last week rewritten RADV PRIME code was released while this weekend it has landed in Mesa Git.
The out-of-tree Reiser4 file-system has been updated for the Linux 4.10 kernel.
This past week Valve brought SteamVR on Linux into public beta. With watching the constant hype around VR on Windows, I was quite excited to finally give VR a try with having lined up an HTC Vive for testing and currently Oculus or others not offering current Linux support. I was thinking that I would have some large GPU/driver comparisons and such completed this weekend, but once actually setting up the hardware and software, I realized that wasn't going to be feasible in such short time. So for those interested in the Linux VR space, here are some of my first impressions and why I would consider the current SteamVR more like an alpha release than beta, just yet another struggle Linux gamers face, and another obstacle to overcome if Linux is to be a more serious competitor to Windows in the gaming space.
It's been a while since hearing anything out of the Linux From Scratch (LFS) camp, but this weekend they announced the release of LFS 8.0 as well as Beyond Linux From Scratch (BLFS) 8.0.
LLVM/Clang 4.0 are running a few days behind schedule but should be released in the very near future. With that said, here's our usual look at the new features of this next compiler infrastructure and C/C++ compiler front-end updates.
The Allwinner DRM driver added in Linux 4.7 continues to be worked on and one of the latest efforts by the open-source community is on enabling Allwinner Display Engine 2.0 "DE2" support.
Thomas Rini of the Konsulko Group presented at this week's Linux Foundation Embedded Linux Conference (ELC2017) about the state of U-Boot.
Wayland 1.13 was released this week along with Weston 2.0. In announcing v1.13, Bryce Harrington also laid out plans for Wayland 1.14.
The second release candidate to the upcoming NetBSD 7.1 is now available for testing.
The Linux Foundation's annual Embedded Linux Conference happened this past week in Portland, Oregon. Of interest to Phoronix readers are a few of the graphics-related talks that happened.
For those curious how Ubuntu 17.04 is shaping up, considering this week was the "beta" release for participating flavors, I decided to take a fresh Ubuntu 17.04 x86_64 daily ISO and see how its performance compares to Ubuntu 17.10, Clear Linux 13600, Antergos 17.2, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.
Last year there was a Google Summer of Code student working on a library to implement double-precision operations (FP64) in pure GLSL 1.30 as a benefit to older GPUs not having native FP64 capabilities. While that work didn't materialize as a solution in 2017 for those wanting "soft" ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 for being able to potentially expose OpenGL 4.0 on more R600g era GPUs, the work is ongoing.
Several years back we wrote about Ultra Kernel Samepage Merging (UKSM) for data de-duplication within the Linux kernel for transparently scanning all application memory and de-duping it where possible. While the original developer is no longer active, a new developer has been maintaining the work and continues to support it on the latest Linux kernel releases.
Systemd 233 is expected to be released in the days ahead and as usual it's packing new features and various additions.
Better support for Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 are among the changes to find with the platform-drivers-x86 updates for the Linux 4.11 kernel.
Last month an independent contributor to the AMD Linux graphics stack posted AMDGPU patches for HDMI Stereo 3D support within this open-source Radeon DRM driver. Those patches were rather dismissed in part because they didn't implement the support along the new DAL/DC display code-paths, but that has now changed.
Junio Hamano announced on Friday the release of Git 2.12.0.
OpenRISC continues advancing with its sights on being a free and open processor for embedded systems using the RISC instruction set architecture.
The MD pull request was submitted on Friday for the Linux 4.11 kernel as were the Btrfs file-system changes.
Wayland 1.13 was released earlier this week but the adjoining Weston compositor update didn't happen at the same time due to some last minute changes needing more time to test, but this Friday, Weston 2.0 is now shipping.
A few days ago I posted some results of surprise performance improvements for a Radeon RX 470 when testing the DRM-Next code queued for Linux 4.11. I've now tested that kernel on more systems and can confirm at least benefits more widespread for RADV's Vulkan performance.
When posting last week our Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Radeon benchmarks and Windows vs. Linux NVIDIA Pascal benchmarks and then the Windows vs. Linux relative performance analysis, as usual, it didn't take long for some to argue that the Linux gaming performance is actually faster but "Unity 7 is slower" and the similar FUD that is usually waged whenever looking at cross-platform performance.
Last December we wrote about work being done on fuzzing OpenGL shaders leading to wild differences with the work being done at the Imperial College London. While they were testing other drivers on different operating systems, they have now fired up tests of Mesa.
Chances are if you are using a NVIDIA GeForce graphics card and planning to game on Linux you are using NVIDIA's official Linux driver, but in case you are trying to use the free software Nouveau driver stack, I tried running Feral's recent HITMAN game release with this open-source NVIDIA driver.
A mix of Qt5, Vulkan, Android on AArch64, and a NVIDIA Shield TV with Tegra X1 SoC sounds like a fun weekend for those wanting to experiment with the latest Qt tool-kit possibilities in development.
While Linus Torvalds yesterday was criticizing the DRM code quality using colorful language and threatening not to accept the DRM changes for Linux 4.11, he ended up merging the code to mainline.
Arnd Bergmann has submitted the big batch of ARM hardware changes for the Linux 4.11 kernel merge window.
With the addition of over two thousand lines of code, GStreamer's video-convert code within gst-plugins-base is now properly multi-threaded.
This week marks the 17.01.0 final release of the Linux Embedded Development Environment (LEDE). They also presented at this week's Linux Foundation Embedded Linux Conference about their project that's a fork of OpenWRT and aims for router/embedded use-cases.
The TTY/serial patches were mailed in earlier this week by Greg KH for the Linux 4.11 kernel merge window. Normally this isn't a pull request with much interest from us as it's generally not too interesting, but this time around it introduces a new bus.
The Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) changes have arrived for the Linux 4.11 kernel and there is a lot of them with over 200 commits and the introduction of new features for many of the supported architectures.