Fedora Developers Look At Packaging Up The Radeon Open Compute Stack (ROCm)
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 9 January 2019 at 11:01 AM EST. 12 Comments
RADEON --
While the ROCm "Radeon Open Compute" stack has been fully open-source for a while and in recent months even able to work fine off a mainline Linux kernel, a barrier to its adoption has been officially just have binaries produced by AMD for RHEL/CentOS/Ubuntu and not seeing these components including its OpenCL driver available through Linux distribution repositories. Fortunately, in 2019, that may finally be changing.

Over the Linux kernel releases in 2019 we saw the AMDKFD "Kernel Fusion Driver" support in the mainline Linux kernel get into good shape so that it's running well with recent discrete graphics cards and jiving with the latest releases of ROCm. Previously, ROCm depended upon an out-of-tree DKMS kernel module due to necessary functionality not being mainlined. That was a blocker to ROCm's wider/easier adoption but is no longer the case and new Linux kernel releases continue tacking on improvements to AMDKFD.

With no license issues and no kernel headaches, in 2019 we'll hopefully see more distributions packaging the ROCm components for easy installation that can run alongside the rest of the Radeon OpenGL/Vulkan Linux driver stack. It turns out Fedora may be working on this packaging soon. Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller confirmed today that he actually talked recently to AMD about this topic.

There is this Fedora devel thread started today about collecting interest in packaging ROCm for Fedora, which is where Matthew Miller then revealed his recent communication with AMD.

The self-contained change submission deadline is at the end of January if packagers aim to offer ROCm in this spring's Fedora 30 release otherwise could end up being part of Fedora 31.

Along similar lines, hopefully this year will bring broader adoption/packaging of Intel's OpenCL NEO driver that is their next-gen successor to the widely-packaged Beignet.

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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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