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Linux 4.5-rc4 Is A Valentine's Day Kernel

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  • Linux 4.5-rc4 Is A Valentine's Day Kernel

    Phoronix: Linux 4.5-rc4 Is A Valentine's Day Kernel

    Linus Torvalds has announced the release today of the Linux 4.5-rc4 kernel...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...5-rc4-Released

  • #2
    On a happy side of things:

    Hi everyone,

    I know, it's about f**king time and I apologize for the time it took us to finally put this together. m(__)m

    I have pushed two git branches which enable GM200 and GM204 (GM206 to follow soon) owners to finally load NVIDIA-provided signed firmware and start GR:

    - https://github.com/Gnurou/linux-firmware/tree/secboot contains the signed firmware for GM200 and GM204 (they are mostly the same). For each chip, "gr" contains the signed firmware for GR, and "acr" the signed firmware loader. ACR stands for Access Controlled Regions and is a secure firmware that runs on the PMU and is responsible for setting up a write-protected (WPR) region in VRAM where the other signed firmware can be verified and loaded without anyone tampering it. The ACR itself is also signed and verified by the hardware. More details on the signed firmware loading process can be found at ftp://download.nvidia.com/open-gpu-d...-Security.html .

    This ACR binary is currently custom-built for Nouveau and allows to only load GR. This means that other falcons which require signed firmware (like PMU) cannot be used as of now. Our goal is to eventually have Nouveau use the same firmware as our own driver (RM), but this will take some more work. One of the obstacles being that since RM embeds the firmware, both can safely evolve in lockstep, while in the context of Nouveau we must make sure older kernels remain supported forever and either avoid incompatible changes or manage different firmware versions.

    - https://github.com/Gnurou/nouveau/tree/secboot is a Nouveau branch capable of loading the signed firmware. The patches are mostly in good shape and I hope that they will be merged once we iron out the last details about the firmware format, hopefully in time for 4.6. I still have issues with suspend/resume (module unload/reload works fine though) but hope to sort this out soon.

    To test this, checkout my linux-firmware secboot branch and copy it to /lib/firmware, then build Nouveau from the secboot branch of my repo and load it. If your console switches to nouveaufb and you don't see Nouveau complaining about ACR boot failing, congratulations! GR is now ready to work. You won't go much further though unless you can add support for Maxwell 2 into Mesa - but the changes for basic support are rather modest, and hopefully this pre-release will be enough to enable patches to land in Mesa.

    An official submit to linux-firmware will happen once we agree on the final firmware format and the kernel code is good to go. For now, please consider these branches as work-in-progress and do not distribute them or embed them anywhere to avoid compatiblity issues. Also update both together I as will heavily rebase in the next few days.

    So while we have still some work ahead, this at least unlocks a very unpleasant situation for everyone, and we will take further steps to keep improving it.

    Please test, hack Mesa, and comment on the kernel code so that we can get all this in time for 4.6!

    Cheers,
    Alex.
    ________________

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    • #3
      I'm waiting the day when a simple physx ageia card will be able to manage physx, havok and other fisic engines.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Azrael5 View Post
        I'm waiting the day when a simple physx ageia card will be able to manage physx, havok and other fisic engines.
        That's unlikely to happen. First, that hardware isn't being fabricated anymore, and second the architecture is pretty limited. It's not going to evolve.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Azrael5 View Post
          I'm waiting the day when a simple physx ageia card will be able to manage physx, havok and other fisic engines.
          Third, PhysX runs on Cuda since a while back, it's not even compatible anymore with Ageia cards.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post

            Third, PhysX runs on Cuda since a while back, it's not even compatible anymore with Ageia cards.
            So physx cards are completely useless on Linux!?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Azrael5 View Post
              So physx cards are completely useless on Linux!?
              Ageia cards are useless on any OS since NVIDIA acquired Ageia back in 2008 and moved PhysX on CUDA, dropping suport for PPUs (the ageia cards).
              PhysX beyond version 2.8.3 can't use Ageia cards at all, on any OS.

              Also, Ageia cards don't have a linux driver at all afaik http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item&px=ODQ5OQ

              On windows, NVIDIA even added checks to disable PhysX acceleration if they detect another brand of dedicated card (*cough*AMD*cough*) in the system, so while you can use a secondary crappier NVIDIA GPU as a Physx coprocessor (and room heating element), and it's a good idea for PhysX-heavy games, you can't mix with AMD cards.

              Don't know about linux because PhysX is the last of the problems of linux gaming at large, but I'm sure that NVIDIA will probably pull the same trick if they feel it's needed.


              Anyway, it's not a tragedy even if NVIDIA kept acting like they always act.
              Ageia cards couldn't really compete with a half-decent GPU, NVIDIA cards were nuking them back then when the support was dropped, nowadays they would be beyond obsolete.

              Afaik decent physics engines like Havok are GPU-accelerated with OpenCL or something already because otherwise they would murder the CPU.

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              • #8
                I agree Nvidia destroyed Physx cards as well as a good chipset as ULI was. I will set it on legacy hardware with legacy operating system: it works well on XP matching also ATI cards.
                Last edited by Azrael5; 02-16-2016, 07:44 PM.

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                • #9
                  Well, Havok started using openCL in 2009 if not earlier.
                  Ageia cards were not a good idea because they are a one-trick pony. Not reconfigurable, new features would need you to buy a new card.
                  Using a secondary (weaker) GPU as physics coprocessor (not sli/crossfire) is the way to go for the future as it does not have this limitation.

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