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GPUVis, an open source Linux GPU profiler similar to GPUView

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It seems Valve have been busy. GPUVis is a Linux GPU profiler similar to GPUView on Windows. It's supposed to help track down Linux gpu and application performance issues.

While Valve announced it and did a presentation on it, it's mostly developed by Michael Sartain. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais said he's a "consumer of it". It's largely written for VR and as a front-end for Ftrace, but it could be useful for other things. Right now, it's limited to AMDGPU and they're looking into Intel too. They say it's easy to add support for a GPU driver, so it will be interesting to see if NVIDIA look to make it work with their drivers.

It was introduced at the 2017 X.Org Developer's Conference (XDC 2017). You can see a video about it below, you need to watch from 8:10:40 onwards:

The source can be found on GitHub, under the MIT license. Great to see more open source tools coming out, especially nice to see Valve getting their hands dirty on more projects. Considering Valve are the ones to announced it, I imagine they're working closely and possibly even contracting the developer to do it.

Thanks for the tip from our Telegram Group, Andrew!

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TheRiddick 22 September 2017 at 12:22 am UTC
I thought PPA worked on debian releases?
m0nt3 22 September 2017 at 6:17 am UTC
charliebrownau
jaycee
charliebrownauI still havent found an easy way to get my R9 380 video card to work correctly in mint or ubuntu or debian

Why does drivers have to be such a chore in linux

While I know how you feel, these days it is pretty easy on Ubuntu/Mint:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:paulo-miguel-dias/pkppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

reboot

I tired 5 different messa drivers and 3 different kernals on ubunutu mate , none gave the same performance as AMD GPU PRO

I am now using Debian 9.1 Mate , it lacks PPA support


Also Ubuntu Mate 17.04 had issues working with my audio interface correctly
it seemed when i was messing around with mesa drivers it resulted in screwing up pulse audio

The only solution I could see to fix pulse audio was to install debian

If you are running debian 9.1 and running an AMD GPU, I would highly recommend updating to Debian Sid/Unstable (unstable is not crashing, just in reference to update frequency) It has been solid for me and gives me the latest Mesa (17.2.1) and Kernel (4.12.3). Much safer than trying to add ubuntu PPA's to your installation.
Ardje 22 September 2017 at 8:57 am UTC
inlinuxdudeIt gives one hope that their Linux/SteamOS push may indeed not be over yet!
If you only subscribe to the bugtracking of steam on linux you know they are working hard...
And I mean very hard.
And you can find the valve people communicating on irc with linux vive developers.
Valve really is involved with linux. You just have to approach the developer side, not the consumer side.
I think just like Samsung, the R&D budget of valve >>> PR budget. Any cut they take from a sale, a part of it is going to linux development.
But to be clear: their goal is to get the ultimate free gaming platform. Not make it run on linux because it is cool. The fact that they choose linux is because you can develop and shape it's future. Make it work. Not like other platforms that you have to fix all your incompatibilities because some ass decided to close down some api's to hide bugs in other software they create.
(I am not going to mention UNC paths and word...)


Last edited by Ardje at 22 September 2017 at 9:00 am UTC
somebody1121 22 September 2017 at 9:03 am UTC
charliebrownau
jaycee
charliebrownauI still havent found an easy way to get my R9 380 video card to work correctly in mint or ubuntu or debian

Why does drivers have to be such a chore in linux

While I know how you feel, these days it is pretty easy on Ubuntu/Mint:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:paulo-miguel-dias/pkppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

reboot

I tired 5 different messa drivers and 3 different kernals on ubunutu mate , none gave the same performance as AMD GPU PRO

I am now using Debian 9.1 Mate , it lacks PPA support


Also Ubuntu Mate 17.04 had issues working with my audio interface correctly
it seemed when i was messing around with mesa drivers it resulted in screwing up pulse audio

The only solution I could see to fix pulse audio was to install debian
You have tried kernel 4.8? For me is the last kernel that perform well on my 380x. Beyond that i have 4 - 12 fps on life is strage...
dubigrasu 22 September 2017 at 9:18 am UTC
jayceeJust hope it doesnt go the same way as VOGL, which turned out to be useless
What's the problem with it, too limited/buggy/etc or the lack of maintenance?
jaycee 22 September 2017 at 9:47 am UTC
dubigrasu
jayceeJust hope it doesnt go the same way as VOGL, which turned out to be useless
What's the problem with it, too limited/buggy/etc or the lack of maintenance?

All of the above, not to mention it was nigh-on impossible to build. We had to get Valve to send us binaries. Most of the time any traces we tried to get either became too large, or simply crashed VOGL/the driver when attempting to play them back.

RenderDoc looks more sensible, but we ended up writing our own frame profiling system in the end, so we have not tried it.
charliebrownau 22 September 2017 at 9:53 am UTC
ElectricPrism@charliebrownau -- I suspect that the latest mesa will perform the best. I get good enough frames on RX 480 to tackle anything at 1080p / 60hz.

You'll need the latest xorg-amdgpu driver and mesa driver. It also doesn't hurt to use the amd-staging kernel. In my experience Arch has been the best. If you have a spare drive and some time to give it a check I would download Manjaro and the related packages and give it a ago to confirm or deny this.

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/linux-amd-staging-git/

https://www.archlinux.org/packages/extra/x86_64/mesa/

https://www.archlinux.org/packages/extra/x86_64/xf86-video-amdgpu/

Thanks
If possible I would like to stay on the Debian/Ubuntu eco system

Can you use xorg-amdgpu/AMDGPU (opensource driver from AMD???) and MESA at the same time ???

Do I need a third driver to get vulkan working aswell ???
dubigrasu 22 September 2017 at 11:57 am UTC
jaycee
dubigrasu
jayceeJust hope it doesnt go the same way as VOGL, which turned out to be useless
What's the problem with it, too limited/buggy/etc or the lack of maintenance?

All of the above, not to mention it was nigh-on impossible to build. We had to get Valve to send us binaries. Most of the time any traces we tried to get either became too large, or simply crashed VOGL/the driver when attempting to play them back.
Disappointing then, I had hopes for it (for developers use that is) since it was presented at Steam dev days and developed IIRC by Rich Geldreich. Too bad it went nowhere...
mirv 22 September 2017 at 10:01 pm UTC
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Something like this is probably of more use to driver developers right now. I suspect some more development is required before it's more use to "developers at large". At the very least, it's a step in the right direction.

Trying to find the requirements, it's a viewer of trace-cmd output, itself a front-end for ftrace (kernel stuff). Which means it needs enabling in the kernel too....I guess not a problem for some distros, but maybe others don't provide it by default. Of course, if you build your own then it will need enabling.

An interesting thing that I've no time to delve into further right now, but maybe by the time I do we'll see if it's gone the way of vogl or not.
Peapoll 26 September 2017 at 12:00 pm UTC
Something to take notice of:
- GPUVis has a LOT more pleasing visual design than the Windows equivalent GPUView
- The presenter from Valve comes prepared, he use Linux and you can see that he use KDE
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