Intel Still Hasn't Gotten To Landing Per-Client Engine Busyness Reporting For Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 14 July 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT. 4 Comments
INTEL --
One of the patch series I have been looking forward to see land going back to 2018 has been the per-process GPU load statistics or as it's known officially the "per client engine busyness" series. The work didn't land for Linux 5.14 but at least this week the latest revision was posted.

The newest "per-client engine busyness" patches are pretty much the same as what has been volleyed out now for about three years. This functionality is not only about reporting how busy the render/3D, blitter, video engines, and other blocks are but for being able to report such information on a per-process basis. Thus quite interesting to performance-oriented folks like myself for having this per-process and per-hardware-block reporting.

While this newest patch series is basically re-basing this long standing patch series against the latest code, new this time around is adding documentation on the format for reporting this information to user-space. The hope is this DRM documentation can become a common specification so user-space tools can implement reading of this information but ideally seeing other Linux DRM graphics drivers also export their per-process reporting in a compatible format. This is a much welcomed addition but remains to be seen if/when other drivers will jump on this bandwagon, which would likely motivate more user-space tooling to utilize this per-process GPU information.

This latest Intel Linux graphics driver patch series can be seen on the driver mailing list. This patch has the new documentation outlining what is exposed to user-space.

Here's to hoping it doesn't take another year before these patches are finally merged... This functionality would also be useful if an Intel Linux graphics control panel / UI materializes.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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