Proposed SIG Could Help Fedora Linux Become A Leader For Heterogeneous Computing

Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 13 June 2022 at 02:00 PM EDT. 7 Comments
To organize efforts around improving Fedora Linux for heterogeneous computing, a new special interest group "SIG" is looking to be established to help ensure the success of Fedora in the world of XPUs, the growing and very diverse software ecosystem around accelerators, etc.

Stemming from the efforts to package Radeon's ROCm for Fedora (a still ongoing and significant/time-consuming effort), a Fedora Heterogeneous Computing "HC" group is being talked about with interest from a few developers to organize efforts around getting more Radeon ROCm components into Fedora and also in working on related Fedora packages. ROCm is the current focus but the SIG's focus doesn't appear to be limited to AMD/ROCm so hopefully will also involve more Intel oneAPI packaging and other embracing of open-source software for supporting the XPU/accelerator ecosystem and AI / machine learning software in general.

If successful, this proposed SIG would help provide a robust collection of packages around heterogenous computing software and support libraries not only for Fedora Linux but also RHEL/CentOS/other-ELs by way of the EPEL repository too.

The proposed HC SIG's mission is described as, "To encourage the packaging and accessibility of heterogeneous computing projects in Fedora and EPEL. This includes machine learning, OpenCL, and scientific computing." The EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) is significant as well as beyond Fedora that ensures getting the packages easily available to RHEL / CentOS Stream / AlmaLinux / other RHEL-based distributions too.

The HC SIG idea was started by Jeremy Newton who works for AMD but has been working on the Fedora ROCm packaging on his own time and a Fedora contributor in a personal capacity for the past decade.

Fedora and EPEL could soon become more attractive for heterogeneous compute purposes with an expanded collection of packages.

So far the HC SIG Wiki page is carrying information on the status of ROCm packages for Fedora and EPEL as well as noting the lengthy list of packages yet to be packaged up. Hopefully this list will expand soon to cover Intel oneAPI open-source components and other open software that is available but can be tricky for end-users to quickly/easily setup.

Interest in the Fedora Heterogeneous Compute SIG can be expressed via the Fedora devel mailing list. I'll keep an eye on the effort and see what comes of the Fedora HC SIG for improving heterogeneous compute on Fedora and EPEL.
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