AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Now Supports Direct Display Mode For VR HMDs
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 12 July 2018 at 08:06 AM EDT. 4 Comments
RADEON --
The AMDVLK open-source Radeon Vulkan Linux driver has seen its latest weekly code drop that brings with it some of the extensions needed for supporting the Steam VR experience.

The AMDVLK driver now supports VK_EXT_direct_mode_display and VK_EXT_acquire_xlib_display extensions. These extensions are needed so a Vulkan application/compositor can take exclusive control of display(s), such as the use-case for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs) with being controlled by the SteamVR compositor. The VK_EXT_acquire_xlib_display extension is needed for acquiring control of a display that is associated with an X11 screen from the X.Org Server.

Up to now for Radeon graphics with a Linux virtual reality experience, Valve has been backing RADV as the de facto driver while it looks like now or quite soon AMDVLK should become a legitimate option for a good (and performant) Linux VR gaming experience.

Other code landing as part of AMDVLK's XGL/PAL component updates include supporting variable pointers of storage buffers, updating against Vulkan 1.0.77 headers, and various performance optimizations and fixes.

Build instructions for the AMDVLK driver from Git can be found via GitHub.
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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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