AMD Begins Queueing Graphics Driver Changes For The Linux 5.3 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 22 May 2019 at 06:52 AM EDT. 12 Comments
Being past the Linux 5.2 kernel merge window, AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver developers have already begun queuing changes anticipated for Linux 5.3 via a work-in-progress tree.

Given the short time that this 5.3 WIP tree has been around, there isn't too much exciting about the changes -- yet. But surely over the weeks ahead it will get interesting. Making things particularly interesting is that we are expecting initial Navi support to make it for Linux 5.3... In recent weeks AMD began pushing AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end changes for GFX10/Navi and we expect the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver enablement to come for Linux 5.3. Linux 5.3 will already be arriving after the rumored release of the first Navi graphics cards so having to wait past 5.3 for mainline support would already be tragic. But given the recent LLVM activity, we expect AMD to push out the Navi kernel driver changes soon. For that likely massive patch-set to be reviewed in time, the Navi patches would need to make their debut within the next few weeks.

But for now the drm-next-5.3-wip tree just contains code in the works for the next kernel.

One of the minor but nice changes with Linux 5.3 is the new mem_busy_percent sysfs interface for the AMDGPU driver to indicate the real-time memory utilization as a percentage for indicating how busy the vRAM usage is at the moment. And, yes, the Phoronix Test Suite already has support for that vRAM utilization reporting when running on a supported kernel (WIP / 5.3+).

Stay tuned for more on the AMDGPU Linux 5.3 changes over the weeks ahead.
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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 or contacted via

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