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Found 8 results

  1. Canonical: 2017 Will See a Mir 1.0 Release, Plans to Implement Vulkan Support 2016 was a good year for Mir, says the company behind Ubuntu As most of you are aware, Canonical develops its own display server for Ubuntu, called Mir, which, in some ways, is similar to the X.Org Server and Wayland technologies. While Ubuntu on the desktop still uses X.Org Server's components, Mir is currently heavily tested for the Unity 8 user interface that Canonical plans on implementing by default for future releases of Ubuntu Linux, for desktops. However, until now, Mir has only been successfully deployed on mobile devices, powering the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system used in various official and unofficial Ubuntu Phone and Tablets. According to Alan Griffiths, Software Engineer at Canonical, 2016 was a great year for Mir, and in 2017 the company plans on releasing the 1.0 milestone of the display server, which should implement the long-anticipated Vulkan support. "2017 will see a cleanup of our "toolkit" API and better support for "platform" plugin modules," said Griffiths. "We will then be working on upstreaming our Mesa patch. That will allow us to release our (currently experimental) Vulkan support." Canonical is working on reducing latency for Mir Canonical worked very hard in 2016 to improve its Mir display server by enabling a client-side toolkit, application, or library to work on Mir, as well as to upstream Mir support into GTK+ 3, Qt, SDL2, and Kodi. They also managed to create Mir Abstraction Layer and released MirAL 1.0, but for 2017 the company plans on enabling Mir on new platforms, upstream their Mesa patch, and enable Mir on a new graphics API, such as Vulkan. Canonical is now working on reducing latency for Mir, and hops that 2017 will be the year when Mir becomes mature enough to be used on desktops, powering the next-generation Unity 8 display server. At the moment, the company did not reveal the exact date when Mir 1.0 will see the light of day, so we can only guess that it could launch sometime around the release of Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), in mid-April, when they'll prepare for Ubuntu 17.10. Source
  2. Valve Finally Makes Steam Work Out-of-the-Box with Open-Source Graphics Drivers Also introduces idle detection and updates the Vulkan loader The new Steam Client Beta update brings quite a lot of changes (see them all in the changelog attached at the end of the story), but we're very interested in the Linux ones, which appears to let Steam work out-of-the-box with open-source graphics drivers on various modern GNU/Linux distributions, while implementing a new setting for older ones to improve the interaction between Steam's runtime and system's host libraries. "Improved interactions between the Steam runtime and host distribution libraries, which should let Steam work out of the box with open-source graphics drivers on modern distributions. If using an older distribution or running into problems, use STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 to revert to previous behavior," reads the release notes. Vulkan loader updated to enable Xlib support, idle detection added Additionally, Valve implemented idle detection for Linux platforms, automatically switching the friend status in the built-in chat to Away/Snooze when you're not at pressing any buttons on your PC, improves keyboard and mice support for Vulkan apps when using the Overlay, as well as the Vulkan loader to enable Xlib support. It also looks like the close-to-tray behavior is now unified with other platforms besides Steam OS. Users can now use the "STEAM_FRAME_FORCE_CLOSE=0" setting to force the Steam Client to close to tray on GNU/Linux distributions that don't offer a proper system tray area. Other than that, the new Steam Client Beta update addresses some DRI3-related crashes with open-source graphics drivers by shipping with an updated libxcb library, and adds a bunch of Steam Controller improvements. All these goodies and much more are coming soon to the Steam Client when a new stable build will be released. Again, you can view all the improvements in the changelog attached below, and if you can't wait until the new stable version arrives, you can switch right now to the Beta channel in the General section of the Setting dialog, but please try to keep in mind that this is a pre-release build. Steam Client Beta Changelog: Source
  3. Vulkan Support Might Be Implemented in Ubuntu Linux's Mir Display Server Soon Full support for the Vulkan API should come in Mir 0.24.0 Unity 8 is the next-generation Unity desktop environment for the popular GNU/Linux operating system, Ubuntu Linux, and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth promised earlier this month that it will be available, installed by default, in the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) release. Installed by default does not mean enabled by default, as Unity 7 will remain the main desktop environment for Ubuntu 16.10, which should see the light of day later this year, on October 20, 2016. And, of course, the new Unity 8 interface will be ready for use, without the need for users to install any special packages. Canonical already uses the Unity 8 user interface with great success on its Ubuntu-powered smartphones and tablets, powered by the Mir display server, another innovation from Canonical. And now that these new technologies are being ported to the Ubuntu desktop, new feature requests started are submitted on Launchpad. Full support to Vulkan for Mir 0.24 The current Mir release is 0.22.1, but a feature request submitted by Emanuele Antonio Faraone at the end of January 2016, for Ubuntu developers to implement full support to the Vulkan libraries in the Mir display server and Ubuntu's system image, got Canonical's attention, and it looks like it might just become reality. "Initial Vulkan (Mesa) integration was done a few weeks ago, but it uses some private headers," said Cemil Azizoglu, Team lead, Mir Display Server, Canonical. "There were a few new Mir interfaces that have yet to be published. Once they are published in the dev trunk, they will then go out on an official release (0.24)." At the moment of writing this article, Canonical has set the target milestone for the full Vulkan API implementation to be Mir 0.24, which is currently the focus of development. But, as you can see from the above quote, some work still needs to be done to ensure that Vulkan support works as expected on Mir. Source
  4. AMD Crimson Edition Software Beta 1 for Vulkan As a complement to OpenGL, descended from AMD's Mantle, and forged by the industry, Vulkan™ is a powerful low-overhead graphics API that gives software developers deep control over the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of Radeon™ GPUs and multi-core CPUs. More information on Vulkan™ can be found here. AMD Radeon™ Software Beta for Vulkan™ Version 16.15.2111.1001 Beta1 DriverVer= 03/16/2016, 16.150.2111.1001 Compatible Operating Systems AMD Radeon™ Software Beta for Vulkan™ is designed to support the following Microsoft® Windows® platforms: Windows® 10 (32 & 64-bit version) Windows 8.1 (32 & 64-bit version) Windows 7 (32 & 64-bit version with SP1 or higher) Highlights PowerXpress Systems - Added Vulkan Support The Talos Principle - Potential version compatability issues addressed Hologram - No longer crashes on launch Important Notes Product is conformant with Vulkan™ 1.0 Specification. This driver is intended as beta level support for use solely with Vulkan applications and as such some Radeon Software functionality has been removed. This is including and not limited to support for other Graphics APIs, Radeon Settings and other Radeon Software driver features. Current comformance status can be found at www.khronos.org/conformance/ What is Vulkan™? As a complement to OpenGL, descended from AMD's Mantle, and forged by the industry, Vulkan™ is a powerful low-overhead graphics API that gives software developers deep control over the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of Radeon™ GPUs and multi-core CPUs. More information on Vulkan™ can be found here. More information on the latest AMD Vulkan™-related news can be found here. Known Issues Windows re-sizing in some applications may cause an application crash HDMI and DP to DVI adapters on Windows 7 may intermittently cause display issues Some AMD PowerXpress systems may experience flickering in some applications Downloads: The AMD Radeon™ Software Beta for Vulkan™ can be downloaded from the following links: AMD Radeon Software Vulkan Beta Driver for Windows® 10, Windows 8.1 & Windows 7 64 -bit AMD Radeon Software Vulkan Beta Driver for Windows® 10, Windows 8.1 & Windows 7 32 -bit
  5. On Friday night to much surprise, AMD published the beta version of their new hybrid Linux driver stack with Vulkan support alongside OpenCL, OpenGL, and VDPAU support. Here's some more details from my initial testing of this new driver that AMD is currently calling the Radeon Software AMD GPU-PRO Beta Driver for Linux. First of all, apologies for the short article yesterday announcing the launch and this piece too will be shorter than normal while I hope to have out the results in the next day or two. With my luck, less than an hour before this new AMD GPU-PRO driver was announced on Friday, my pointer finger crossed paths with a running 6-inch hole saw bit on a drill (as part of working on the server room modifications)... Not fun and while finger is recovering, bit hard to type, etc. Anyhow, for those not following all of our past stories on AMD's new Linux driver model and confused by this "hybrid" driver, AMD's John Bridgman explains it as, "three closed-source components running on top of slightly tweaked copies of open source kernel driver, X driver, libdrm and multimedia drivers." It's the mix of open and closed-source AMD Linux driver components while at the center of it is the open-source AMDGPU kernel DRM driver and the main binary blobs are the OpenGL and Vulkan implementations in user-space. This initial AMD GPU-PRO beta driver is very centric towards Ubuntu and the 64-bit packages are all in the form of Debian packages. The installer script also specifically checks for the presence of Ubuntu. In time, the AMD GPU-PRO driver is expected to be more distribution agnostic. Installing this new driver basically comes down to extracting the archive and then as root running the amdgpu-pro-install script found within the directory. It's that easy -- assuming you are on Ubuntu! At first I was trying an Ubuntu 16.04 daily system with its packaged Xenial kernel. However, even though this packaged AMDGPU binary driver uses DKMS, there is broken compatibility with this kernel driver's code against Linux 4.4. Due to some changes in the DRM kernel interface of Linux 4.4, building the DKMS module failed. This should be fixed by AMD soon as Bridgman noted in the forums, but for now the easy fix was just installing Linux 4.2 on the Ubuntu 16.04 box -- AMD primarily has been testing against Ubuntu 14.04 LTS while Ubuntu 16.04 support is forthcoming. With Ubuntu 15.10 and Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS using Linux 4.2, I just installed the generic mainline 4.2 kernel from the Ubuntu PPA and this AMD GPU-PRO beta driver installed then without any further problems. After a reboot, sure enough it was working! The binary blob allowed for OpenGL 4.5 over the AMDGPU DRM driver compared to RadeonSI Gallium3D in Mesa currently yielding just OpenGL 4.1. Be forewarned though that AMD has mostly been focusing upon the Vulkan Linux upbringing and haven't done too much yet on the OpenGL optimization side for this new "PRO" driver. That will come in due time but for now don't expect any performance miracles out of this OpenGL implementation in AMD GPU-PRO. OpenGL 4.5 is exposed both for core and compatibility profile contexts. There's also OpenCL 2.0 support that works atop AMDGPU! Much better than the incomplete OpenCL ~1.1 support found with OpenCL (Clover) Gallium3D on RadeonSI. AMD has enabled GCN 1.1 support in their DKMS version of the AMDGPU kernel driver rather than only GCN 1.2 support as currently found in the upstream AMDGPU driver. Similar to the VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) support offered by RadeonSI Gallium3D with the VDPAU state tracker, there is native VDPAU support too with this driver stack. No more messing around with AMD's poor Linux video acceleration attempt with XvBA. And what many Radeon Linux customers have been waiting weeks to see... Vulkan 1.0 support! It's there and working! The AMD-GPU PRO stack works with The Talos Principle on Steam when switching to the Vulkan renderer, but the very simple "vkcube" Vulkan demo was seg faulting right away... Well, that's all the basic information on this new Radeon Software AMD GPU-PRO Linux beta release. I'm working on some benchmarks for publishing in the next day or two; while AMD makes it clear they haven't done any OpenGL optimizations yet on this new stack, will run some tests there for reference purposes and with having a surplus of OpenGL benchmarks. Stay tuned for more information soon and join in on the conversation about the new driver stack via this lengthy forum thread. The Source
  6. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to Ship with Full Support for Vulkan in Mir Display Server Canonical is jumping on the Vulkan train Vulkan is stealing all the headline in the Linux world and with good reason. It’s an incredible leap forward for the open source platform, even if Vulkan is technically aimed at all the major operating systems, including Windows, Android, and even Tizen. From the looks of it, even if the hardware industry was well aware of the schedule for the release of Vulkan 1.0, there were someone surprised by the announcement and companies were not ready from the get-go with drivers and proper support. It’s true that some of them have landed Beta drivers, but we were expecting more. Vulkan is a portable low-level graphics API that is built to work across many GPU vendors and operating systems, which means that in theory it should become much more efficient than the existing OpenGL or DirectX solution. You’ve read that right, for not this is pretty much in theory as Vulkan requires a lot more work and optimizations. "Vulkan for Mir" That doesn’t mean that companies and developers mustn’t prepare for it. This is why Canonical aims to have Vulkan support in Mir, in time for the Ubuntu 16.04 launch. “It's officially out. Full support in the Mir display server will be landing in time for inclusion in Ubuntu 16.04,” wrote today on Google  Stephen M. Webb, who is a software engineer working for Canonical. This isn’t exactly a surprise since Canonical is also in talks with Nvidia, Intel, and AMD. They need these companies to provide driver support for the new Mir display server, and since these hardware makers are trying to make Vulkan happen, it only natural for Canonical to do the same. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) is expected to arrive on April 21. It will most likely have two versions, one with X server and Unity 7, and one with Mir and Unity 8. Source
  7. AMD Launches Beta Driver Supporting Vulkan 1.0 A new age starts for OpenGL and Vulkan 1.0 With the Vulkan 1.0 specifications made public by the Khronos Group, the companies are starting to integrate the new technology in their drivers. AMD has been quick to announce the launch of a new Vulkan API-enabled Radeon Software driver, which for now is in the Beta stages. The promise of Vulkan could be setting the expectations of the community a little bit too high, but the Khronos Group did this by themselves. This is a concern of companies from the hardware and software industry, including Valve, Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and many others. It's the same group that has been working on OpenGL since forever. Unlike the development cycle of OpenGL, which has been slow, the companies seem much more eager to adopt the new specifications for Vulkan. From the looks of it, more has been done for Vulkan in the last two years than we had for OpenGL in the past ten, and that is a direct result of the funds that have been pumped into the project. "Vulkan 1.0 is here" The release of Vulkan 1.0 should have been made a few months ago, but it was postponed for 2016. AMD didn't forget to remind us that Vulkan is a descendant of Mantle and that, compared to OpenGL, Vulkan substantially reduces API overhead (background work a GPU or CPU must do to interpret what a game is asking of the hardware). “The release of the Vulkan 1.0 specification is a huge step forward for developers. The Vulkan API, which was derived from Mantle, will bring the benefits of low-overhead high-performance Graphics API to the benefit of cross-platform and cross-vendor targeted applications,“ said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. For now, the new AMD drivers are still in Beta and Vulkan is just at version 1.0, and that means that there is a lot of work left to be done. Hopefully, we'll be able to see some Vulcan-powered games in 2016. Source
  8. Gaming on Linux, Steam Machines Set to Soar With DirectX Competitor Vulkan The Vulkan API may also be useful for robotics, VR and automotive applications The look of games on Linux-based Steam machines and mobile devices should improve significantly with the soon-to-be-released Vulkan API (application programming interface). Vulkan can be used for many applications, but is most relevant to games, much like DirectX for Windows. The new API is a much-needed upgrade from the aging OpenGL, which was first introduced in 1991 by Silicon Graphics. Khronos, the consortium behind the development of Vulkan, hasn't provided a formal release date for Vulkan. But momentum for the API has grown in recent weeks with Intel and Qualcomm talking about it. Khronos has scheduled an introductory Vulkan webinar for Feb. 18. The consortium in December delayed the release of Vulkan 1.0, but said development was in its "final stretch." The Vulkan API will improve the look of games on Linux and Mac systems and mobile devices. Games will use fewer system resources and preserve battery life in laptops and mobile devices. In addition to gaming, the API could have other applications. Cars, virtual reality headsets, robots and drones rely on visual computing, so applications for those devices could be written using the API. Vulkan is a low-level API that has closer interaction with hardware than OpenGL, which will help render games faster. There are fewer steps involved in drawing up images as Vulkan is more in tune with modern hardware such as multi-core processors and high-performance GPUs than OpenGL. OpenGL provided an abstraction layer, better suited for older hardware, while newer low-level APIs reduce the level of abstraction and overhead involved for programs to interact with hardware. Games will exploit the full power of GPUs with Vulkan, as developers can define how they want graphics rendered. That's a change from OpenGL, which mostly hid how hardware rendered graphics. Most games today are developed in DirectX, but Vulkan also makes porting games to other platforms quicker, said Jason Ekstrand, a developer at Intel, during a talk at the FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting) forum in late January. Previously, graphics quality would degrade when trying to port from Windows to Linux or Mac. But with Vulkan, quality remains largely intact when porting from DirectX, Ekstrand said. Writing games becomes easier, Ekstrand said, and supporters hope that will draw developers to Vulkan. Tech vendors have recently pushed to develop low-level APIs such as Apple's Metal, DirectX 12 and AMD's new GPUOpen. Vulkan is also a low-level API, but is designed to work across multiple hardware platforms. It shares some characteristics with OpenCL, which is mostly hardware agnostic and used for high-performance computing. Companies supporting Vulkan, including AMD and Intel, have committed to releasing open-source drivers. Other graphics chip makers are backing Vulkan. Imagination Technologies -- which makes GPUs for Apple devices -- will demonstrate Vulkan at the upcoming Mobile World Congress show. Nvidia is holding sessions to discuss Vulkan at its GPU Technology conference in April. Vulkan SDKs will be available for Windows, Android and Linux, according to Khronos' Web site. Source