Here's An Ubuntu/Debian Kernel To Play With AMDGPU On GCN 1.0/1.1 GPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 6 October 2016 at 08:20 AM EDT. 24 Comments
If you have a GCN 1.0 Southern Islands or GCN 1.1 Sea Islands graphics card and have been wanting to play with the experimental AMDGPU kernel DRM driver as an alternative to the Radeon DRM driver, here's an opportunity for Ubuntu/Debian users.

With the forthcoming Linux 4.9 kernel is the new experimental Kconfig option to enable GCN 1.0 GPU support in AMDGPU, complementing the existing GCN 1.1 build-time option for turning on support there in this more modern DRM driver. In case you missed my tests this week of the experimental functionality in AMDGPU DRM, see AMDGPU vs. Radeon GCN 1.0/1.1 Performance On Linux 4.9 DRM-Next and Regressed R9 290 Isn't Affected By Issue When Using AMDGPU DRM Driver.

For those benchmarks, I spun my own kernel for Ubuntu/Debian and based it off the latest DRM-Next. It's a pretty vanilla kernel build except it disables the Radeon DRM driver and enables the AMDGPU Kconfig switches for having the GCN 1.0/1.1 hardware support.

So if you want to try out this experimental AMDGPU support on any Radeon HD 7000 series or newer hardware, you can download this test kernel spin. Of course, use with caution as the DRM-Next code hasn't been fully vetted yet and won't be released as stable in Linux 4.9 for another two months while even at that point the SI and CIK AMDGPU support will still likely be disabled-by-default for several more kernel releases.
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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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