AMD's New "AMDGPU" Kernel DRM Driver Might Finally Be Close

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 15 April 2015 at 08:39 AM EDT. 40 Comments
It looks like AMD might finally be close to publishing the code to their new AMDGPU kernel driver that's key to their new unified Linux driver strategy where their open-source stack and Catalyst share a common, open-source kernel driver.

Making it look like the AMDGPU kernel driver is close -- which originally we were hoping/expecting to see in the winter -- is an AMD engineer requesting a new account for the development of the AMDGPU kernel driver.

Sent in yesterday was an account request on for DRM/AMDgpu. The request explains, "I'd like to request a FDO account for development of the new amdgpu driver. The ssh key is attached. And the gpg key is given below."

Up to now one might have just expected the development of the -next code for AMDGPU to happen with Alex Deucher's Radeon driver tree or for him to create a new tree, but it looks like they're separating it out. The DRM/AMDgpu request comes in from Jammy Zhou. Most Phoronix readers probably won't recognize Jammy Zhou, but he's been part of the Catalyst team for a while. He's dealt with many Catalyst bugs on Ubuntu and has earned mentions on Phoronix in the past.

Jammy Zhou has been with AMD Shanghai since 2011 as an engineer (and from 2007 to 2010 too, before leaving for Freescale for one year to work on ARM graphics). Zhou has been involved with AMD Catalyst on Linux while now it looks like he's apparently taking up the responsibilities of the AMDGPU DRM driver.

It's too late for the AMDGPU kernel driver to go through its public review now, but hopefully it will get out and reviewed in time for inclusion into the Linux 4.2 kernel. Until this new kernel driver is out there, there isn't open-source support for the Radeon R9 285 (Tonga) and the AMD Carrizo APUs aren't too far out and will also need this new kernel driver.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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