Intel Linux Driver Patches Revived For Useful Per-Process Load Statistics

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 27 October 2019 at 02:12 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Just over one year ago were proposed changes to improve the insight into per-client load activity for Intel graphics under Linux. The changes would indicate how busy each Intel graphics engine (render, blitter, video, etc) was on a per-client basis and other metrics similar to what users have to look at when it comes to analyzing CPU activity. Those patches were never followed up on or merged but have been revived this past week.

As a result of some Intel Linux customers, those patches for being able to report the per-client engine state have now been revived. The patches have been re-based to the state of the current Intel i915 DRM kernel driver and expose the per-client per-engine state via sysfs.

From the sysfs interface, the intel_gpu_top utility or other user-space utilities can then read just how busy each individual graphics/display engine is being kept by any/each client on the system. here was the textual mock-up last year:

The 2019 revised patches for now can be found on the intel-gfx mailing list. Let's hope this go-around the patches will be merged for benefiting Intel-GPU-Top and any other interested user-space software wanting to read into per-client GPU statistics and hope other DRM drivers will support a similar interface.
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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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