RADV Is Almost Ready For SteamVR With Mainline Mesa
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 23 July 2017 at 08:39 AM EDT. 3 Comments
Those using Radeon graphics for your Steam VR Linux gaming experience will soon be able to use the mainline Mesa stack with the necessary RADV changes almost all being in place.

RADV has worked with SteamVR on Linux for some months, but you've had to rely upon a branched version of Mesa that offers all the necessary Vulkan extensions required by SteamVR. The day is finally coming where the mainline open-source Radeon Vulkan driver stack has all those extensions in place, as discussed here.

RADV shared semaphores landed in Mesa on Friday, which is needed for SteamVR Linux use-cases. One of the last changes needed is EXT_external_objects.

The external objects support has been worked on by a Valve developer and already gone through a few patch revisions, so it should be good to go in short order.

The only downside is whether the external objects code lands in time for the Mesa 17.2 merge window... Emil Velikov had postponed the branching from Friday to Sunday (today) and it remains to be seen if that code will land today or if Velikov is willing to postpone the branching to allow this work to land. It's probably unlikely to see it backported to 17.2 stable since the patch series touches around two thousand lines of code.

So we'll have to see how it plays out and if Mesa 17.2 mainline will work with RADV on SteamVR, but they are getting very close to the finish line. I'll have some fresh Linux VR experience tests shortly; the last time I tried RADV with SteamVR it didn't go too well with only the R9 Fury really delivering fast enough performance.
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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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