AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Sees Its First Tagged Release
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 12 November 2018 at 05:30 AM EST. 2 Comments
RADEON --
In the nearly one year that the AMDVLK official Vulkan driver has been open-source there hasn't been any "releases" but rather new code drops on a weekly basis that is pushed out of their internal development repositories. But surprisingly this morning is now a v2018.4.1 release tag for this open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver.

The AMDVLK public source repositories have just been perpetual Git while AMD pulls from their internal repositories when building out their official closed-source Windows/Linux Radeon Software driver releases (that also use their closed-source shader compiler currently rather than the open-source AMDGPU LLVM back-end, as used by the public AMDVLK sources). Waking up this morning there is now the first release tag in AMDVLK as v2018.4.1.

From the release is now a blessed source code drop as well as an Ubuntu 18.04 binary. There doesn't appear to be any real changes over the AMDVLK code drop from last week.

Perhaps this new release tag is to align with the Q4 Radeon Software driver releases -- which would be nice to know for comparison purposes as up to now that hasn't really been communicated. We should hear more soon and of course I'll work on firing up some benchmarks of it against the more common Mesa RADV Radeon Vulkan driver. This also marks the first official binary builds we are seeing of AMDVLK albeit only for Ubuntu 18.04 as generally users wanting to try out this driver have had to build it from source unless on Arch or the few other distributions where there are third-party package builds of it.

It will be interesting to see how AMDVLK evolves moving into 2019 considering that most Linux gamers remain devoted RADV users thanks to it generally working out well, being part of Mesa and so it's packaged much more widely, and generally "just works" well for Linux gaming.
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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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