Fedora & Debian Developers Look At Packaging ROCm For Easier Radeon GPU Computing Experience

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 16 December 2021 at 02:08 PM EST. Add A Comment
When it comes to the Radeon ROCm GPU software support AMD only officially supports it on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, RHEL / CentOS, and Ubuntu LTS releases. But Arch Linux already makes it fairly easy to deploy with their third-party packages and now Fedora and Debian have developers also eyeing possible packaging of the Radeon Open eCosystem software for more easily deploying on those distributions.

If you are on Ubuntu, RHEL/CentOS, or SUSE as the supported enterprise Linux distributions, AMD has an installation guide and packages available for setting up their open-source GPU compute software. But for those on other distributions, your mileage may vary with no universal installer and rather complicated build steps in rolling your own ROCm binaries.

The good news in recent weeks Debian has been making progress on packaging ROCm as part of their distribution. The Debian packages in turn could flow down to a number of Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop!_OS, etc. Debian maintainers have been working on this ROCm packaging in cooperation with some AMD/ROCm folks. More details on the Debian + ROCm effort can be found via this forum thread.

Meanwhile a Fedora packager who also happens to be an AMD employee is interested in personally working on ROCm packages for Fedora. Currently he is gauging interest there and seeing what other Fedora developers would want to get involved with the effort.

It's not a trivial task building the ROCm software stack, but AMD has been making progress on improving packaging and there is more interest coming from other distribution maintainers.

A few years ago there was also talk of packaging ROCm for Fedora that never quite materialized besides a subset of the ROCm packages. Hopefully this time things can pan out as it would be great seeing ROCm easily available to bleeding-edge Fedora users.

Let's hope this expanded distribution packaging of ROCm pans out in 2022 so it's easier for users outside of the conventional enterprise Linux distributions to experiment with the Radeon open-source GPU computing software.
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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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