The Intel-Developed Vulkan Overlay Layer Picks Up New Features, Dump FPS To File
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 28 February 2019 at 08:02 AM EST. 2 Comments
It was just one week ago that developers from the Intel Open-Source Technology Center contributed their new Vulkan Overlay later to Mesa 19.1 for providing various performance metrics/statistics of use to application/driver developers. This Vulkan overlay continues being improved upon as well as making it more applicable to gamers/enthusiasts.

This Vulkan Overlay layer was developed with Intel's own "ANV" Vulkan Linux driver in mind but is working out as well for at least the Radeon RADV driver too. A few days back, an FPS counter was added to the Vulkan Overlay to make it of more interest to end-users, particularly enthusiasts and gamers, for Vulkan games that might not otherwise have a built-in frame-rate counter. Hitting yesterday meanwhile was a fix for multi-lib support for this library.

And now hitting Mesa 19.1-devel this morning are fixes for minimum/maximum computations and a rework of the option parsing. More interesting though is support now for a fps_sampling_period= to make the frames per second reporting configurable for how often to sample.

Of interest to some will be the new output_file= option for dumping the frame-rate to a text file. Rather than just displaying the frame-rate on the screen, the Vulkan overlay can dump the FPS values to a text file for parsing later. This is similar to some OpenGL open-source FPS reporting libraries of the past, but previously hasn't been this ability to easily have it on Vulkan, at least for ANV/RADV -- I don't believe it's been tested with the NVIDIA binary driver at all. This makes it easier for some games that lack a benchmarking function, albeit doesn't entirely solve the problem of reproducibility for all games.

For details on how to make use of these options via the VK_LAYER_MESA_OVERLAY_CONFIG environment variable, see the layer's README file. Again, this layer is only being introduced with Mesa 19.1.

Great to see this Vulkan overlay layer continuing to add in extra functionality to make it similar to the Gallium HUD.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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