Mageia 8 RC1 Brings AMDGPU For GCN 1.0/1.1, NVIDIA GLVND, Linux 5.10 LTS
The first release candidate of Mageia 8 was issued on Saturday. Mageia 8 RC1 brings brand new artwork for its desktop, is powered by the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel, ships with KDE Plasma 5.20.4 / Xfce 4.16 / GNOME 3.38.3 desktop options, and a wealth of other package updates including the recently released PHP 8.0.
Besides updating a lot of packages and new artwork, Mageia 8 is also now using the OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch (GLVND) enabled NVIDIA driver configuration for better compatibility with Mesa being present on the system. Another notable graphics change is Mageia 8 defaulting Radeon GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" and GCN 1.1 "Sea Islands" hardware to using the AMDGPU kernel driver rather than the Radeon DRM kernel driver.
The upstream Linux kernel is still defaulting GCN 1.0/1.1 GPUs to Radeon but good to see Mageia 8 making the change to the modern AMDGPU kernel driver that allows for using this more modern driver, Vulkan compatibility, the possibility of better performance, and other improvements. One of the last remaining caveats of AMDGPU on GCN 1.0/1.1 is no support for VGA analog outputs. But video acceleration, power management, and other bits are in good shape. It will be interesting to see if other Linux distributions begin to follow Mageia 8 in defaulting to AMDGPU over Radeon for these original "Graphics Core Next" GPUs.
More details on the changes to find with Mageia 8 RC1 via the Mageia.org blog.