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Dave Airlie sent in a massive patch-set of 31 patches for 'radv', the open source AMD Vulkan driver, to support geometry shaders.

In the first entry to the public Mesa-dev mailing list Dave said this:
QuoteThis is a first pass at geometry shader support on radv, all the code should be here in reviewable pieces, it seems to mostly pass CTS tests but triggers some llvm 3.9 bugs around kill, and there might still be a GPU hang in here, but this should still be a good place to start reviewing.


It's really fantastic to watch radv progress, in such a short time it's become quite feature-filled and before long it should be able to run most Vulkan games without too many issues.

They still have their work cut out for them, but hopefully soon with the next major version of Mesa after Mesa 17, a lot of AMD users using the open source drivers should get a decent Vulkan experience.

Of course we still need more games to support Vulkan, but with Feral Interactive bringing games to Vulkan this year and Unity supporting Vulkan we should see more trickle onto Linux soon. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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9 comments

buenaventura 20 Jan, 2017
I'm not sure I understand Vulkan, I presume it brings better performance? So, if I have a game that supports both OpenGL and Vulkan, I would be better of using Vulkan (when this driver is mature)?
Liam Dawe 20 Jan, 2017
Quoting: buenaventuraI'm not sure I understand Vulkan, I presume it brings better performance? So, if I have a game that supports both OpenGL and Vulkan, I would be better of using Vulkan (when this driver is mature)?
Vulkan enables lower-level access to a GPU, meaning developers can squeeze more performance. It also has better multi-threading. In theory it should bring better performance, but some games may still be perfectly fine on OpenGL.
tuxintuxedo 20 Jan, 2017
Quoting: buenaventuraI'm not sure I understand Vulkan, I presume it brings better performance? So, if I have a game that supports both OpenGL and Vulkan, I would be better of using Vulkan (when this driver is mature)?
It depends on the developers. If they use it the right way, it can achieve better performance. Although in Unity3D or other engines, it should be more like a switch to turn on. In that case, it depends on their own implementation.
buenaventura 20 Jan, 2017
Okay, well, graphic driver people are wizards, go go!
GustyGhost 20 Jan, 2017
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: buenaventuraI'm not sure I understand Vulkan, I presume it brings better performance? So, if I have a game that supports both OpenGL and Vulkan, I would be better of using Vulkan (when this driver is mature)?
Vulkan enables lower-level access to a GPU, meaning developers can squeeze more performance. It also has better multi-threading. In theory it should bring better performance, but some games may still be perfectly fine on OpenGL.

Probably also important to note is that the Vulkan driver doesn't run validation on each frame like OpenGL does. End users are not debugging.
Maelrane 22 Jan, 2017
I hope that all those patches will fix my first attempt at a vulkan engine :)

Actually the main thread just crashes and it looks like a RADV problem :/
tuubi 22 Jan, 2017
Quoting: MaelraneI hope that all those patches will fix my first attempt at a vulkan engine :)

Actually the main thread just crashes and it looks like a RADV problem :/
As great as radv is, you might want to test your engine on AMDGPU-Pro as well. No need to make your work even harder than it is. Although this particular bug seems like something you might be able to catch with the Vulkan debug layers.
Maelrane 22 Jan, 2017
Quoting: tuubi
Quoting: MaelraneI hope that all those patches will fix my first attempt at a vulkan engine :)

Actually the main thread just crashes and it looks like a RADV problem :/
As great as radv is, you might want to test your engine on AMDGPU-Pro as well. No need to make your work even harder than it is. Although this particular bug seems like something you might be able to catch with the Vulkan debug layers.

Not targeting proprietary drivers at all (not gonna test on nvidia either). Just a pet project to me, to see how far I can come porting one of my OpenGL engines to Vulkan and from C++ to Rust.


Last edited by Maelrane on 22 January 2017 at 11:57 am UTC
Nod 28 Jan, 2017
Very interesting talk by David Airlie at linux.conf.au 2017 where he discusses the development of this driver https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynyO3O3zd3E

Interesting stuff at the end about valve hiring Samuel Pitoiset to work on this driver and their focus on getting steamVR going on it. The also sent Dave a HTC vive.
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