AMDGPU-PRO 18.50 Linux Preview Driver Available For RHEL7, Begins Work On Navi
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 25 November 2018 at 07:26 AM EST. 19 Comments
RADEON --
It turns out AMD quietly pushed out a public preview release of their upcoming Radeon Software 18.50 Linux driver (also referred to as AMDGPU-PRO 18.50). The public change-log is light, but there are references to the initial bring-up for next-generation Navi graphics.

Available from AMD.com is a Radeon Software for Linux 18.50 "Early Preview" driver release. The 18.50 driver packages at this point are just RPMs intended for use on CentOS/RHEL 7 systems.

The only change mentioned for the 18.50 Linux driver release is providing initial support for RHEL 7.6 that was released at the end of October.

The Radeon Software 18.50 driver also ships with the option of the "Open" components over just their proprietary stack. If going that route their Open driver components are built against Mesa 18.2 but they have now upgraded to using the LLVM 7.0 AMDGPU compiler back-end.


What is interesting to note that with this binary driver package, we are now seeing references to "Navi" and "Navi 10 LITE" within the driver. AMD so far has not posted any open-source driver patches for bringing up their next-generation Navi graphics, but it appears they are working on it and have it staged internally for their binary driver builds. Firm details are still light on the 7nm Navi GPUs expected next year, but seeing these driver references now are not very surprising as it's a process that takes months. Hopefully the open-source/upstream driver support will be squared away in time for launch as well, which would mean needing to see the initial AMDGPU kernel bits within the next few months given the lengthy review and release process.

The official Radeon Software 18.50 Linux driver should be out in December. That's useful for workstation/HPC customers but most Linux gamers will continue being best off running the latest mainline driver support via the upstream Linux kernel and Mesa releases. On that front, Mesa 18.3.0 is coming out in the days ahead with the latest RadeonSI/RADV driver improvements. If you enjoy our daily Linux driver coverage, consider going premium for Cyber Monday to help support our news and benchmarking efforts.
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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 10,000 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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