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AMD Catalyst Might Be Coming To FreeBSD

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  • AMD Catalyst Might Be Coming To FreeBSD

    Phoronix: AMD Catalyst Might Be Coming To FreeBSD

    AMD tech support has allegedly confirmed that Catalyst is being ported to FreeBSD...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...st-FreeBSD-New

  • #2
    Well in principle I could totally see this happening, as AMDGPU will let it happen, but... not only does AMDGPU have yet to be released, but FreeBSD would need to get to a state where it could pull it in. Of course on the other hand there's clearly a driver for FreeBSD because of the PS4.

    Personally I'm throwing this into the "Well... Eventually yes, but not now or anytime soon" bucket

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
      Of course on the other hand there's clearly a driver for FreeBSD because of the PS4.
      PS4 do not use OpenGL / OpenCL, only proprietary API (LibGCN) and GLES which is likely Sony in-home implementation on top of LIBGCN. And of course it's also don't have X server or anything like X server. What for you're suppose Catalyst can be used there?
      Last edited by SXX⁣; 04-04-2015, 12:35 PM.

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      • #4
        IIRC, there was once a version of Catalyst ported to FreeBSD. Some guy signed an NDA with ATI and ported the Catalyst control panel and the 2D acceleration code to FreeBSD but 3D didn't work.

        Maybe our AMD employee forum member can confirm if this is happening or not?

        While AMD support on FreeBSD would be nice, I think everyone has accepted Nvidia as the sole option for FreeBSD and without native Steam on FreeBSD or any of the 1000+ Linux Steam games on FreeBSD, I don't understand the reason for AMD's interest.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SXX⁣ View Post
          PS4 do not use OpenGL / OpenCL, only proprietary API (LibGCN) and GLES which is likely Sony in-home implementation on top of LIBGCN. And of course it's also don't have X server or anything like X server. What for you're suppose Catalyst can be used there?
          Oh the Engrish.

          X server is only a part of the battle. The driver has to support a way for the X server to create a context in which it can display things. However, that's probably not the most complicated sections of the driver (if you don't mind agonizing over the age of the X11 protocol and don't worry about supporting DRIx and gang).

          A lot of the driver is translation from commands and shader languages to something that the GPU understands which in turn requires interacting with the kernel driver. It's not really a far out thought that the kernel driver for the PS4 (which uses FreeBSD in a way that's most likely platform agnostic) is compatible with upstream FreeBSD. I would also imagine most of the command and language translation to be platform agnostic as well unless they've done something completely horrific (well... knowing AMD...).

          Then again, I'm only familiar with the overview of driver development and lack anything past that. I might be missing the big picture or I might be severely simplifying a very complicated beast.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Xaero_Vincent View Post
            While AMD support on FreeBSD would be nice, I think everyone has accepted Nvidia as the sole option for FreeBSD and without native Steam on FreeBSD or any of the 1000+ Linux Steam games on FreeBSD, I don't understand the reason for AMD's interest.
            Maybe because FreeBSD Foundation raised unexpected > $2millions last year and because Nvidia has the FreeBSD driver.

            A driver for Solaris OR DragonflyBSD would be appreciated too. But I think all hardware vendors should make drivers for NetBSD's Anykernel method, and thus avoiding all these ports efforts.
            Last edited by Dharc; 04-04-2015, 01:18 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by computerquip View Post
              I would also imagine most of the command and language translation to be platform agnostic as well unless they've done something completely horrific (well... knowing AMD...).
              Console vendors prefer to keep control over everything which means driver likely maintained by SCE or even written by them.

              Originally posted by computerquip View Post
              Then again, I'm only familiar with the overview of driver development and lack anything past that. I might be missing the big picture or I might be severely simplifying a very complicated beast.
              You may want to start with reading PS3 dev wiki:
              http://www.psdevwiki.com/ps3/Main_Page

              If you think that fact console firmware is "based on FreeBSD" mean that anything written for PS4 somehow compatible with BSD likely you're seriously wrong. Of course we won't know that for sure until it's hacked, but there is extremely high chance that most main libraries in system is heavily rewritten as well as kernel.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Xaero_Vincent View Post
                While AMD support on FreeBSD would be nice, I think everyone has accepted Nvidia as the sole option for FreeBSD and without native Steam on FreeBSD or any of the 1000+ Linux Steam games on FreeBSD, I don't understand the reason for AMD's interest.
                Well... no. All 4 BSDs have decided on doing linux kms-shim as their way forward, FreeBSD got things sorted out to be at Linux Kernel 3.8 compatibility, and will be working forward from there. Conceivably by the time FreeBSD 11 is released Radeon should be in a usable state, and AFAICT the Intel drivers are already in a usable state.

                As far as Steam on FreeBSD goes, they just need to develop the linuxolator far enough to be able to use it, which PC-BSD has as one of their longterm goals. If Valve decides to support FreeBSD as well, great, but... doesn't look like it for the time being.

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                • #9
                  For what it's worth, I haven't heard anything about this. Doesn't mean it isn't being discussed somewhere in the company, of course.

                  As Michael mentioned, one side-effect of the amdgpu effort is that work done to port the latest radeon kernel driver code to BSD (or any OS) will also benefit amdgpu and at least reduce the porting effort for the Catalyst stack in future.

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                  • #10
                    With how the new driver will be interacting with the Kernel and relying on the Open source stack it should be a lot easier to implement for BSD.

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