AMD Is Hiring To Improve Its Linux Graphics Driver Installation Experience

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 12 July 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT. 36 Comments
RADEON --
While AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver stack is wonderful if living on the bleeding-edge with a modern Linux distribution, for those on enterprise Linux distributions that tend to stick to older versions of packages for the support lifetime or where wanting to run a vetted/qualified driver stack, it can be more of a pain. For AMD's packaged Linux driver stack it only supports those select enterprise Linux distributions and can run into pain points trying to run elsewhere or even say running brand new LTS distributions at times can lack support. There are also challenges in installing/running the ROCm compute stack outside of the few officially supported Linux distributions by AMD. Fortunately, they are now hiring Linux build engineer(s) to work on such issues.

In addition to their recent hiring for a open-source Linux GPU driver developer with multimedia experience, this week they have posted a new role looking for Linux build engineer(s) to focus on their graphics driver.


The new job posting explains, "We are looking for experienced software engineers to enhance build, packaging, and install. Successful candidates will utilize their knowledge of Linux application development or Linux systems administration to become key contributors to the ongoing development of AMD GPU drivers for current and future hardware...Experience with multiple Linux distributions and use of multiple package managers (rpm, dpkg, apt, yum, dnf, zypper, etc.)."

This is excellent news if fulfilled considering the small set of supported Linux distributions right now by their packaged Radeon Software for Linux drivers. As noted, installing the ROCm open-source compute stack as well can be quite a challenge outside of the supported few. Packaging ROCm for non-supported Linux distributions continues to be a challenge with Fedora and Debian making some progress but seemingly minimal progress elsewhere.

AMD's open-source driver stack is great but largely relies upon being able to run newer versions of the AMDGPU kernel driver in upstream Linux and Mesa especially when it pertains to new hardware support, performance optimizations, and other very recent features. Even at times the very latest Ubuntu release isn't capable of running just-launched graphics cards from AMD unless resorting to third-party packages. If there was broader Radeon Software for Linux driver package support that would be great. NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver meanwhile is relatively easy to run near universally across Linux distributions.

So it will be very interesting to see what comes of AMD hiring now in 2022 for Linux build engineering. It's years late but hopefully those experienced in cross-distribution packaging and wanting to take on a challenge will check out the new AMD Linux role.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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