Most of the Mesa Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver development has been done by the likes of Valve, Google, and Red Hat engineers with it being an "unofficial" driver while AMD supports AMDVLK as their official open-source Vulkan driver as well as supporting their closed-source AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan driver too that shares common code with their Windows Vulkan driver. It was pleasant to see AMD this week though submitting new feature code to RADV.
Last summer Intel published guidance around the Data Operand Independent Timing (DOIT) instruction mode that can be enabled with recent generations of Intel processors to ensure constant time execution for a subset of the Intel instruction set, which can be particularly important for cryptographic algorithms. Linux kernel developer discussions fizzled out last year over handling this DOIT functionality for what is described as a CPU vulnerability with recent Intel CPUs. However, now a Linux kernel patch from a Google developer would enable this change unconditionally for newer Intel CPUs but raises performance concerns.
TornadoVM is an open-source plugin for OpenJDK and GraalVM that allows for running Java programs on heterogeneous hardware like GPUs and FPGAs. With today's TornadoVM 0.15, it's the first release now supporting discrete Intel Arc Graphics hardware.
Earlier this month Intel announced they would be discontinuing development of HAXM as a hardware-accelerated execution manager that's been popular on Windows and macOS for Android emulation. While the original announcement discontinued its development immediately, they decided to go ahead and put out one final version: Intel HAXM 7.8 is available today for concluding this open-source project.
Microsoft engineers seem to be working on getting the Dozen "dzn" Mesa driver up to speed as quickly as possible. It was just earlier this month it began passing nearly all Vulkan 1.0 conformance tests, Vulkan 1.1 was then exposed just a few days ago, and now Dzn is ironing out Vulkan 1.2.
For those making use of Intel's sub-NUMA cluster (SNC) configuration option available on their servers since Skylake, the Linux resource control "resctrl" kernel code is being improved upon to better handle this resource configuration.
The Intel "habanalabs" AI driver is moving to the new accelerator "accel" subsystem with the upcoming Linux 6.3 kernel cycle.
While Mesa 23.0 will hopefully be out next week, Mesa 22.3.4 was released today as the newest bi-weekly stable bug-fix release for the open-source Mesa 3D drivers.
Intel open-source engineers continue to be quite busy in bringing up the Linux support for Emerald Rapids as the successor to Sapphire Rapids and then as well for Granite Rapids as the Xeon Scalable processors following that. With the i10nm EDAC changes queued up ahead of Linux 6.3, there is support through Granite Rapids as well as confirming Granite Rapids supporting up to 12 channel DDR5 system memory.
Canonical announced this morning that their Ubuntu Pro subscription service has been promoted from beta to general availability (GA).
With many Phoronix readers having been excited by the recent helloSystem v0.8 release as a FreeBSD-powered OS taking major design inspiration from Apple's macOS, I decided to run some benchmarks to see how this FreeBSD 13.1 based operating system was competing with a few different Linux distributions from an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X (Zen 4) desktop.
Following the month-long Christmas break, the Vulkan API working group is back to carrying out weekly(-ish) updates to the Vulkan specification. Out this morning is Vulkan 1.3.240 that brings one new extension in addition to a number of clarifications and corrections to the document.
Now that Wine 8.0 shipped earlier this week, the Wine Git tree is back to accepting new feature patches after it was under a feature freeze since early December. With nearly two months worth of feature work to land, it's been a busy week landing new code for what in turn will be found in the Wine 8.1 bi-weekly development release.
PipeWire 0.3.65 is out today as the newest feature update to this novel server for managing audio/video streams on Linux.
FreeBSD has published its 2022'Q4 quarterly status report that outlines all of the progress made by this open-source BSD operating system project.
Following the recent release of the Intel Media Driver 2022Q4, Intel's oneVPL GPU runtime has been updated for its quarterly feature release that builds atop the Media Driver / VA-API stack and is about oneAPI integration for the video processing layer.
AMD sent out a set of 32 kernel patches today for their AMDKFD/AMDGPU kernel driver code in providing upstream support for debugging of their GPU compute instruction set architecture (ISA).
Much of the Rust programming language support/infrastructure for the Linux kernel thus far has been with an x86_64 focus while obviously AArch64 is an important target as well. It's nice to see Arm Limited engineers working on the Rust Linux kernel support for AArch64/ARM64.
Arch Linux has five different officially supported kernel builds: stable, hardened, long-term. real-time, and Zen, but which of these is the fastest for desktop Arch Linux users? Here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the performance out of these different kernel build options for Arch Linux and its derivatives.
Google engineer Ilya Tocar has introduced the notion of "light" AVX support within the LLVM compiler infrastructure for utilizing some benefits of Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) but trying to avoid the power/frequency impact that AVX-512 use has on older generations of Intel processors.
Hitting the linux-firmware.git tree this morning were new AMDGPU firmware files for IP blocks found on upcoming hardware. It's likely these new firmware files are for the forthcoming Ryzen 7040 series mobile processors with RDNA3 graphics.
Among the numerous exciting aspects of Intel's next-generation Meteor Lake client processors is the introduction of the Versatile Processing Unit (VPU) inference accelerator for Computer Vision (CV) and Deep Learning (DL) workloads.
After Microsoft engineers got Vulkan 1.0 conformance tests to nearly 100% for their Dozen "Dzn" Mesa driver, they have now enabled Vulkan 1.1 support as their next step for this Vulkan-atop-Direct3D 12 open-source implementation.
LLVM 16 feature development is now officially over with the code having been branched, LLVM 17.0 development now happening with the mainline code, and LLVM 16.0 stable hoping to officially release in early March.
Red Hat continues investing in Stratis Storage as their modern Linux storage solution built atop XFS and LVM with intentions of providing ZFS and Btrfs like functionality but atop a mature and proven base. Released on Tuesday was Stratis 3.5 as the latest version of their Rust-written daemon.
Barring any release-blocking issues from coming up in the next week, Mesa 23.0 aims for its official release while 23.0-rc3 is now available for last minute testing.
Systemd developers today released their first release candidate of the upcoming systemd 253 feature release, which introduces a new "ukify" tool and has many other changes for this dominant Linux init system.
Expected to be squared away in time for the Linux 6.3 kernel cycle, which is kicking off in February, is Automatic IBRS as a new feature of Zen 4 processors. The patches already have been queued up into TIP's x86/cpu branch so barring any issues will be all wired up for this next kernel version. Automatic IBRS can provide better performance than the Retpolines implementation used currently on Zen 4 and prior CPUs as part of the Spectre V2 mitigations. With the switch over to Automatic IBRS for Zen 4, it means better performance in some areas as shown by these benchmarks today with AMD 4th Gen EPYC "Genoa" processors.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board of Directors has adopted updated by-laws that go into place next month with an aim of further protecting copyleft licensing.
DXVK 2.1 has just been released as this Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan API translation layer that is most notably used by Valve's Steam Play (Proton) for helping to run Windows games with great speed on Linux.
The openSUSE project in collaboration with Cisco is making it easier to deploy H.264 codec support on openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed.
Wine 8.0 is now officially out as the annual stable feature update for enjoying Windows games and applications on Linux and other platforms.
Sound Open Firmware 2.4.1 is out today as the first stable v2.4 release for this open-source audio / DSP firmware stack for not only modern Intel platforms but AMD, Mediatek, and other increasing industry use as well. With Sound Open Firmware 2.4 they have continued the transition in making use of Zephyr RTOS.
Going back to last August AMD Linux engineers began posting Linux kernel patches for new Quality of Service features coming with Zen 4. After a few rounds of review and updates to those patches, this work enabling the AMD SMBA and BMEC features for 4th Gen EPYC "Genoa" processors appear positioned for introduction in the Linux 6.3 kernel cycle.
MoltenVK is out with a new release for implementing the Vulkan API atop Apple's Metal API for enjoying this industry-standard graphics/compute API on macOS and iOS.
Red Hat's Peter Hutterer has released new versions of the xf86-video-qxl and xf86-video-vmware DDX drivers for those making use of these X.Org drivers in virtualized environments.
GStreamer 1.22 is out today as the first major release of 2023 for this open-source multimedia framework. With GStreamer 1.22 comes some exciting feature additions.
For fans of the IceWM X11 window manager that has been around since the late 90's, IceWM 3.3.1 was released today as the first (minor) release of 2023.
It's easy to forget that Microsoft maintains a command-line package manager for Windows... The open-source WinGet package manager is approaching three years since its announcement while it continues to not be as rich and robust of what Linux users for many years have enjoyed, but in any case it's continuing to be improved.
There still is another month to go until the Linux 6.2 kernel is released as stable and in turn kicking off the Linux 6.3 merge window. But from my monitoring in recent weeks, here is an early preview of some of the material expected for the v6.3 kernel based on what's been queuing in the various subsystem "-next" branches or otherwise looking like it should align for the next cycle.
With this weekend's release of helloSystem 0.8 as a macOS-inspired open-source desktop OS built atop FreeBSD, I decided to try out this new release on an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X desktop to see how it would go.
The Armv8.1-M based Cortex-M85 processor support has made it into the GCC 13 compiler for this highest performing Cortex-M processor use for MCUs and embedded applications.
Fwupd 1.8.10 is out this morning to kickoff a new week and continuing to enhance the open-source firmware updating support on Linux systems.
It's been a while since last having a fresh look at the Mozilla Firefox vs. Google Chrome performance on the Linux desktop, but with a slow Linux/open-source news weekend, here are some fresh numbers with their latest browser releases.
A new feature with Intel 4th Gen Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" that hasn't been talked about too much is the new User Interrupts (UNITR) functionality. The Linux kernel support for it still also hasn't been merged but has shown promising results in patch form.
Two quality of service features new with the Zen 4 processors are still seeing their software support squared away ahead of mainlining in the Linux kernel.