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Is Vulkan going to be the saviour of Linux gaming? I have no idea, but the spec is being updated regularly to solve all sorts of issues. It's now on it's 34th revision since release.

You can find the docs on github (prettier version of the docs found here) if you're interested. It's really nice to not only see regular updates, but the fact that they actually pay attention to the publicly reported issues too.

Here's what has changed in the latest update:
QuoteChange log for November 18, 2016 Vulkan 1.0.34 spec update:

* Bump API patch number and header version number to 34 for this update.

Github Issues:

* Allow vkUpdateDescriptorSets overflow to skip empty bindings. Clarify
that unused bindings have a descriptorCount of zero. Improve some valid
usage for vkUpdateDescriptorSets (public issue 256).
* Require that slink:VkImageSubresourceRange always define a non-empty
range of the resource (public issue 303).
* Added valid usage for slink:VkPresentInfoKHR on the layout of presented
images (public issue 397).

Internal Issues:

* Add dependency in src/spec/Makefile so specversion.txt is regenerated
when needed (internal issue 462).
* Shorten the table of contents in the single-page ref page HTML output.
Still working on the PDF (internal issue 536).


You can find the specification changelog right here.

Vulkan is really being presented in such a different way to OpenGL, everything seems far more open which is awesome to see. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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mirv 18 November 2016 at 10:06 pm UTC
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Purple Library GuyIt's been mentioned hereabouts before, but the prospects would be better if Apple had gone with Vulkan instead of turning their noses up and rolling their own (Metal) as usual. At least Android is using Vulkan, which is huge although I'm not sure how much mobile development overlaps with the PC space.

With Vulkan, there might be more divergence than people think for mobile development. This is just because the GPU architectures are quite different, e.g you won't find tiled renderers on a desktop much.
TheRiddick 19 November 2016 at 12:36 am UTC
I really wish Bethesda would give the keys to their games for porting to Linux. Many of them already run well under Wine but its just too clunky to run mods and related programs via Wine so a actual port would be nice for those games!

SkyrimSE and FO4 being the latest, but might require some actual work to port. I think Bethesda is openly ANTI Linux in a BIG way unfortunately... real sad...
liamdawe 19 November 2016 at 5:03 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy
mirv
cRaZy-bisCuiT
pete910Just need some games now! {looks toward feral/aspry)
Please not only Windows ports - I'd like to see some well optimized native-cross-platform developed and optimized games as well. Of course a well optimized vulkan port will run better than OpenGL 4 - still it will take them a lot of time to get used to Vulkan. The first ports won't offer us such a great performance gain as many people expect - at least it's very unlikely.

Have to agree that something natively developed from the start is what we should be pushing for. Almost all the people who have so far touted the performance gains from Vulkan have had engines designed with DX11 in mind and tried previously to kludge OpenGL into it.
The only game I can think of that might be more representative of moving to Vulkan is Doom, which of course isn't available for GNU/Linux, but does come from a codebase more friendly towards OpenGL. Even then, they had access to special extensions made just for them, so it's not really something that can be considered a true comparison.

By this point, developers really should be using libraries that do away with 99.99% of platform specifics, and be cross-platform developing from the start. It makes sense even as a basic sanity check. Not that I think sanity prevails as much as it should, of course.

It's been mentioned hereabouts before, but the prospects would be better if Apple had gone with Vulkan instead of turning their noses up and rolling their own (Metal) as usual. At least Android is using Vulkan, which is huge although I'm not sure how much mobile development overlaps with the PC space.
I should mention for clarity that Metal actually came way before Vulkan. Likely as everyone was dragging their heels with OpenGL-Next as it was known then.
Kimyrielle 19 November 2016 at 6:15 pm UTC
TheRiddickI really wish Bethesda would give the keys to their games for porting to Linux. Many of them already run well under Wine but its just too clunky to run mods and related programs via Wine so a actual port would be nice for those games!

SkyrimSE and FO4 being the latest, but might require some actual work to port. I think Bethesda is openly ANTI Linux in a BIG way unfortunately... real sad...

"Anti Linux"? I know that (like most larger publishers) they don't care about Linux and said so, but I have never hear them openly hating on it?
tuubi 19 November 2016 at 7:27 pm UTC
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Kimyrielle"Anti Linux"? I know that (like most larger publishers) they don't care about Linux and said so, but I have never hear them openly hating on it?
This is the Internet where everything is black and white. Indifference isn't love so obviously it's a sign of hatred. As a wise man once said: "If you're not with us, you're against us."
1xok 20 November 2016 at 8:05 pm UTC
Bethesda supports with Vulkan Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. I think this is the main reason why we will see a lot of Vulkan developments in the near future. But unfortunately this does not mean automatically Linux ports.
STiAT 21 November 2016 at 1:23 pm UTC
mirvHave to agree that something natively developed from the start is what we should be pushing for. Almost all the people who have so far touted the performance gains from Vulkan have had engines designed with DX11 in mind and tried previously to kludge OpenGL into it.

Actually, that's what engine devs are doing right now with Vulkan as well. They're developing Vulkan below a DX11ish API.

So basically, all engines - and I mean all, being Serious Engine, UE4, Unity etc. are using a DX11 "look-alike" interface, having an implementation in Vulkan below the hood.

I think what we'll see is very much what has been missing the past decade. Engines will build their own graphics API to be developed/scripted from the game development studios, mapping that internally to what ever export target we see out there, providing the maximum performance they can deliver on a certain API / Platform. And we'll see this API to be very DX11ish in the end anyway. Why? Because the game development studios are used to DXish APIs.

Vulkan / DX12 are basically for engine devs to push the performance to the limit. Game development studios will expect something more high level to use.
STiAT 21 November 2016 at 1:29 pm UTC
PixelPiBethesda supports with Vulkan Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. I think this is the main reason why we will see a lot of Vulkan developments in the near future. But unfortunately this does not mean automatically Linux ports.

Agreed. Blizzard will do the same for the next iteration for their engine. The good part about this is, that for Wine it's quite straight forward then, so we can expect better performance and less issues with wine ports in future. Of course we want native ports, but hey - let's stay realistic, it would be nice already if we don't have to fiddle around for every game to get it working well and after that still suffering performance issues.
Sgt.Romeo9 21 November 2016 at 10:00 pm UTC
PixelPiBethesda supports with Vulkan Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. I think this is the main reason why we will see a lot of Vulkan developments in the near future. But unfortunately this does not mean automatically Linux ports.
As @TheRiddick has mentioned Bathesda just really couldn't be bothered with Linux and anything cross-platform supportive. The only reason they pro Vulkan is because Nintendo ask them to port Skyrim SE to nintendo switch which uses Vulkan. The decision to use Vulkan on Doom I believe was an Id decision not a bathesda decision.
This however is a big issue for me in itself. Nintendo crash and burned with the WiiU and the Switch was a gamble to say the least and yet Bathesda would port Skyrim to a console with a current userbase of... 0. But not to Linux which has a userbase of over 100000 gamers atleast.
And this isn't just a Bathesda with Nintendo issue. There have been so many fly by night consoles that have popped up over the years with big name studios making games for them including EA, Activision, Ubisoft etc... yet these same studios would not port a single game to an operating system that has been around for over 20 years and has never stopped growing even from a gamer userbase.
And the reason I truly believe not more development studios have looked at Linux is because they still on auto-pilot from 20 years ago.
Hey guys why not port to Linux? Because not enough users, not enough money, no interest etc... Take your pick same old crap. If they really innovative they'll blame the software stack or distro fragmentation like that has anything to do with it or lack of middleware which is nonsense since most middleware companies support Linux and if not will either give you an internal Linux version or let you build it from source code if you actually asked.
Either way I really don't get why game devs/publishers are still so against Linux despite being 2016.
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