Radeon Software 21.40.1 Linux Driver Unifies ROCm, Uses New Driver Distribution Model
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 12 November 2021 at 03:52 PM EST. 48 Comments
RADEON --
AMD this week quietly released Radeon Software for Linux 21.40.1 as a fundamentally big update for this packaged driver stack targeting enterprise Linux distributions.

The Radeon Software for Linux 21.40.1 packaged driver release is their first that usess unified ROCm (Radeon Open eCosystem) and graphics drivers. This packaged driver has integrated/unified their compute stack with what is offered by ROCm compared to prior releases also having still shipped their legacy OpenCL/compute components. Moving forward it's all the ROCm-based approach for OpenCL/compute. However, machine learning users for now at least are encoutaged to use the upstream ROCm packages as the v21.40.1 point release hasn't been formally validated for that use-case yet.

Radeon Software for Linux 21.40.1 is also significant for shifting around its driver distribution model. Rather than hosting a local repository of native (RPM/DEB) packages as part of the driver download, AMD.com is now hosting a public package repository from which the driver download will setup access to that remote public repository for the respective supported distribution. The updated Radeon Software for Linux installer takes care of setting up that repository, still allows users to select what components they would like to install, EULA acceptance, and related duties.

Radeon Software for Linux 21.40.1 also comes with prompt support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 and other RHEL 8.5 based platforms like the newly-released AlmaLinux 8.5.

This updated Radeon Software for Linux 21.40.1 driver can be downloaded from AMD.com. The supported distributions for the packaged driver are Ubuntu 18.04 / 20.04 LTS, RHEL/CentOS 7.9 and 8.4/8.5, and SUSE Linux Enterprise SLED/SLES 15 SP3. For those not on a supported enterprise Linux distribution, your mileage may vary but you are basically best off using otherwise just the upstream Linux kernel / Mesa / ROCm for the best experience.
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