It's happened! After three years in the making, the GNOME desktop Variable Refresh Rate "VRR" support has been merged after obtaining a feature freeze exception for GNOME 46 due out later in March.
Recently there has been out-of-tree successes on adapting Mesa to work on Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP). UWP is also used by the Microsoft Xbox Series X/S game consoles and in turn paired with the Microsoft D3D12 driver work within Mesa for allowing OpenGL and other APIs atop D3D12, is allowing new games/software to be ported to the Xbox.
Vulkan 1.3.279 debuted on Friday with many fixes/clarifications to the specifications plus one new extension.
Back in 2020 AMD rolled out a video mode optimization for FreeSync on Linux, continued being revised in 2021, FreeSync Video mode then attempted by default in 2022 but then was reverted and then only last year FreeSync Video enabled by default. But now come Linux 6.9, the feature appears to be effectively retired.
The WavPack open-source lossless wavefile compressor is up to version 5.7 after more than one year in development. Making this new release quite notable is adding multi-threaded encode and decode support to the WavPack library and its CLI tools.
Should you be running nine or more GPUs per system, the Mesa 24.1 release next quarter will raise the limit of 8 DRM devices for the Vulkan API per system to now allow a theoretical 256 GPUs per system.
With Steam on Linux use for January clocking in at 1.95%, I was very eager to see if the February results would once again surpass the 2.0% threshold... Unfortunately, it moved in the opposite direction.
Intel has made open-source its NPU Acceleration Library (intel-npu-acceleration-library) as a user-space library for Windows and Linux systems for interfacing with the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) found initially on their new Meteor Lake laptops.
It looks like the new Panthor DRM driver will be submitted for the upcoming Linux 6.9 kernel now that it made it into drm-misc-next today. In turn the Mesa 24.1-devel code has landed support for this newer Arm Mali graphics into the Panfrost Gallium3D driver.
Succeeding last year's Coreboot 4.22 release is now a new release... Coreboot 24.02. This open-source system firmware project is now the latest to shift to a year-month versioning system. The newly-christened Coreboot 24.02 brings support for three new motherboards, a number of ACPI updates, and also pulls in the new GRUB 2.12 and other changes.
The long in-development work for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support plumbed into GNOME's Mutter compositor might still make it for the GNOME 46 desktop release due out this month. It's still being treated as an experimental feature at this point but a feature freeze exception is being sought to allow its inclusion this release rather than waiting for GNOME 47 in the autumn.
Intel has published oneDNN 3.4 as the newest version of this Deep Neural Network Library that is part of their oneAPI software collection. The oneDNN library provides deep learning primitives for software like PyTorch, MXNet, ONNX Runtime, OpenVINO, MATLAB Deep Learning Toolbox, and other sotware.
The X.Org Foundation's elections for the Board of Directors have been delayed as there weren't enough participants nominated for the available seats to hold an election.
There had been some hope that the Ubuntu 24.04 desktop would support the JPEG-XL image format out-of-the-box, but that isn't going to happen as a default change.
A last set of drm-intel-next feature patches were submitted this week for DRM-Next to stage ahead of the upcoming Linux 6.9 kernel merge window.
February was an exciting month in the hardware and Linux/open-source space with 224 original news articles written by your's truly over the past month along with 15 Linux hardware reviews / multi-page benchmark featured articles. There was a lot of exciting open-source accomplishments, the launch of the AMD Ryzen 8000G series APUs with RDNA3 graphics, breaking the news about ZLUDA providing CUDA atop AMD ROCm as a formerly stealth project, the Znver5 GCC patch emerging, and more.
Musl libc 1.2.5 released on Thursday as the newest version of this lightweight, speedy, and free software C library implementation that is popular for embedded use, containers, and elsewhere.
Now rolling into March, Ubuntu 24.04 LTS "Noble Numbat" has entered its feature freeze period ahead of its official release in April.
Ikey Doherty's Serpent OS Linux distribution continues being raised and over the past month made progress on packaging up various GNOME 45 desktop components, working on stateless system support with systemd, and other features.
The Arch Linux based CachyOS Linux distribution aims to be a "blazingly fast and customizable Linux distribution" that is aggressive with its performance optimizations. CachyOS takes to leveraging compiler optimizations like Link-Time Optimizations (LTO), the BORE scheduler, and also offering package archives compiled for x86-64-v3 and x86-64-v4 in allowing the distribution's packages to be catered toward newer Intel and AMD processors. In this article is a comparison of CachyOS packages from their main archive, the x86-64-v3 optimized packages, and then the x86-64-v4 wares that can be beneficial for modern Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC / AMD Ryzen systems.
Valve contractor Mike Blumenkrantz is back at it working on some exciting improvements to Mesa and in particular for the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation.
Building upon the existing AV1 encode support for RDNA3 GPUs within the Mesa RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, AV1 Long-Term Reference "LTR" support is now enabled within Mesa 24.1.
The GNOME Prompt terminal emulator in-development by Christian Hergert with a focus on GPU-acceleration and being a very speedy and beautiful terminal option has been renamed to Ptyxis.
Distrobox is the open-source software making it easy to run any Linux distribution inside your terminal by leveraging Podman, Docker, or Lilipod for containerizing the Linux distribution of your choice. Distrobox works well with a range of Linux distros and has developed quite a following. Out now is Distrobox 1.7 with yet more improvements to this innovative software.
NetBSD 10.0-RC5 was released on Wednesday as what is hopefully the last release candidate.
Mesa 24.0 series release manager Eric Engestrom is out with another on-time bi-weekly point release for this set of open-source GPU user-space driver components. There are many fixes, new Intel ADL-N PCI IDs, and other backported updates for this latest stable release.
Wednesday's small Steam client beta update should fix a crash when starting the Steam client when no OpenGL drivers are found.
It's a big day today in the open-source NVIDIA Nouveau/NVK space... The Mesa NVK driver is now officially declared a Vulkan 1.3 conformant implementation by the Khronos Group! In turn the NVK driver is no longer considered experimental and with Mesa 24.1 will build by default for x86/x86_64-based installations.
One of the limitations of AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver has been the inability to implement HDMI 2.1+ functionality on the basis of legal requirements by the HDMI Forum. AMD engineers had been working to come up with a solution in conjunction with the HDMI Forum for being able to provide HDMI 2.1+ capabilities with their open-source Linux kernel driver, but it looks like those efforts for now have concluded and failed.
Besides the integrated RDNA3 graphics making the Ryzen 8000G series desktop APUs interesting, making the AMD Ryzen 5 8500G a fun benchmarking target besides its sub-$200 price tag is having a mix of Zen 4 and Zen 4C cores. Here are some benchmarks looking at the Zen 4 vs. Zen 4C performance and power efficiency when offlining various core combinations on the Ryzen 5 8500G desktop processor.
Back in 2022 Cloudflare announced they were ditching Nginx for an in-house, Rust-written software called Pingora. Today Cloudflare is open-sourcing the Pingora framework.
Being worked on and off for several years has been FUSE read/write passthrough support for improving the performance of File-Systems in User-Space by avoiding the daemon overhead on a per-file basis where read/write operations are forwarded by the kernel directly to the lower file-system rather than the FUSE daemon. FUSE passthrough mode has shown to be a big performance win and it looks like it could be finally mainlined come Linux 6.9.
Upstreamed for Linux 6.8 is the experimental Xe kernel graphics driver that is a modern replacement to the "i915" Direct Rendering Manager driver. The Xe kernel driver targets Tigerlake graphics and newer while it won't be until Lunar Lake / Xe2 when it aims to become the default driver for Intel iGPU/dGPU graphics. For the upcoming Linux 6.9 kernel merge window are more feature changes and fixes to this new open-source Intel kernel graphics driver.
The open-source NVIDIA "NVK" Vulkan driver within the Mesa codebase has merged support for the important VK_EXT_shader_object and VK_EXT_graphics_pipeline_library extensions. Additionally, as part of supporting these new extensions, this introduces the code for a common Vulkan runtime to Mesa.
The Servo web engine project has put out a new blog post that outlines all of their accomplishments made during the course of February.
Today's the day! KDE MegaRelease 6 is out for shipping Plasma 6.0, KDE Frameworks 6.0, and KDE Gear 24.02 apps.
Daniel Almeida with Collabora has posted a rewritten of the VP9 codec library code within the Linux kernel's Video 4 Linux 2 (V4L2) subsystem. In using Rust rather than the existing C code, this should yield better memory safety and better fend off potential issues within the existing code.
Continuing to bring-up the Wine Wayland driver for offering native Wayland support without X11/XWayland, Alexandros Frantzis opened the pull request today for enabling basic OpenGL support.
By default the AArch64 kernel on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions tend to default to a standard 4K page size but for newer AArch64 hardware especially in the server/HPC space, there can be great benefits to using a 64K page size. As it's been a while since I last ran any 64-bit ARM 4K vs. 64K kernel page size benchmarks, while having remote access to the NVIDIA GH200 I ran a fresh comparison for looking at the performance advantages to switching over to a 64K page size kernel. These new 64K kernel numbers are shown alongside the recent AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon CPU reference benchmark results for a look at how the 4K vs. 64K page size affects the overall computing landscape.
Ahead of this week's big KDE Plasma 6.0 release, the KWinFT project forked from the KDE KWin compositor code is re-branding as Theseus' Ship.
Longtime Phoronix readers may recall the Libre-SoC project that for the past 5+ years has been wanting to build a libre/open-source SoC for graphics acceleration and other uses.
The Mold high performance linker has long been known for offering excellent performance over GNU Gold/ld and LLVM lld while some fresh benchmark numbers reinforce the competitive advantage that persists today for this open-source project.
With the Mesa 24.1-devel Git code as of this morning, the Radeon RADV Vulkan driver is now exposing the VK_KHR_video_decode_av1 for Vulkan Video accelerated decoding of AV1 video content.
The Linux kernel has supported the Intel Hardware Feedback Interface "HFI" via the "intel_hfi" driver since 2022 for bettering supporting Core hybrid processors. The Intel HFI can be used for communicating performance and energy efficiency capabilities of individual CPU cores of the system. In turn the Linux kernel can leverage Intel HFI details for better task placement among the available CPU cores/threads. With a new patch series, the Intel HFI driver can "save tons of CPU cycles" by only enabling it when needed.
It looks like AMD will soon be announcing the ROCm 6.1 update to its open-source GPU compute stack.
The first release candidate of FreeBSD 13.3 is now available for testing. While FreeBSD 14 stable has been out now for months, FreeBSD 13.3 is the latest in the prior series for those continuing to rely on FreeBSD 13 in production.
Ubuntu/Canonical has for a while now promoted the prospects of Rust programming within the Linux kernel and one of their kernel engineers, Andrea Righi, wrote a Rust-written Linux scheduler with promising results that leverages eBPF for dynamically loading it at run-time. While Ubuntu isn't yet committing to using it as part of their distribution, appearing on the Ubuntu blog today was more praise for the work and even talking about the potential for a "micro-kernel design" in the future via leveraging Rust and eBPF.
KiCad 8.0 has been released as the latest major feature release for this open-source Electronics Design Automation (EDA) software suite. KiCad supports designing PCB layouts, provides a 3D viewer for inspecting PCBs, and other functionality.
Ant Group and Alibaba have proposed PVM, the Pagetable Virtual Machine, as a new virtualization framework built upon the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. PVM does not require hardware-assisted virtualization while working with KVM-enabled software like Kata Containers.
Released last June was the SDDM 0.20 display manager with experimental Wayland support and other enhancements after being in development for three years. Out this morning is SDDM 0.21 as another step toward SDDM 1.0 with improved Wayland support and other enhancements to this Qt-tooled display manager.
Longtime AMD open-source Mesa developer Marek Olšák after more than one decade working officially for AMD and years before that as an independent open-source contributor going back to the R300g days still has not run out of new performance optimizations to pursue. The most recent accomplishment for this leading Mesa contributor are some refinements to the OpenGL threading "glthread" code for lowering the memory footprint.
Intel confirmed at their MWC 2024 briefings that Granite Rapids D will debut in 2025 as the successor to Ice Lake D for Xeon D edge processors.
When it comes to neural processing unit NPU/AI accelerators for Linux there is open-source options with the likes most notably of Intel-owned Habana Labs leading the way, Intel's iVPU driver for the NPU found within Meteor Lake SoCs, AMD recently posting a Ryzen AI Linux driver, etc. When it comes to reverse-engineered efforts, the Etnaviv project has expanded its scopes from just Vivante graphics IP to also embracing the Vivante NPU IP for running workloads like TensorFlow Lite. With the latest open-source achievements, the Etnaviv NPU performance is coming incredibly close to the proprietary and official driver.