AMD "Green Sardine" Firmware Published For Linux Users
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 14 February 2021 at 01:38 PM EST. 3 Comments
RADEON --
The open-source Linux graphics driver support for the Ryzen 5000 series mobile hardware has been developed under the "Green Sardine" codename. With the soon-to-be-stable Linux 5.11 kernel offering the initial enablement for the new hardware and Ryzen 5000 series laptops expected this quarter, the Green Sardine firmware blobs have landed in linux-firmware.git.

On Thursday the necessary "Green Sardine" firmware binaries were merged into linux-firmware.git, the central repository for Linux harware firmware/microcode files. All 11 binaries, which are required for working hardware acceleration with the open-source driver, were merged. Hopefully the major Linux distributions will all quickly pick up the new firmware files and thus when paired with a new kernel will allow for working out-of-the-box 3D acceleration with the new AMD graphics hardware.

Ideally AMD would have pushed out the firmware binaries sooner to allow more time for adoption, but this is one of the areas where AMD has left room for improvement with often times the firmware files not coming until shortly before the hardware launch or in some unfortunate cases afterwards. At least on the AMDGPU kernel driver side, the open-source code for Green Sardine was published in early October to allow decent time for upstreaming. The turnaround means distributions like Ubuntu won't see out-of-the-box support until 21.04 and not the current 20.10, but at least the code has made its way to stable versions in time for hardware availability.

(For those wondering about Ryzen 5000 series Linux laptop support, as soon as I am able to find a Cezanne laptop I plan to buy one for Linux benchmarking and compatibility testing... AMD hadn't reached out during the initial round of Windows reviews / testing a few weeks back when various Windows reviewers were seeded with a Cezanne laptop for testing, so unfortunately will likely be left buying one once finding any retail model available.)
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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