Unreal Engine 4.17 released with expanded Vulkan support

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Epic Games have released Unreal Engine 4.17 which comes with some nice improvements to their handling of Vulkan.

Hopefully with Epic putting some real focus on Vulkan, that developers using Unreal Engine will start using it on Linux instead of OpenGL, which has caused multiple developers headaches. We've heard from the developers behind EVERSPACE, as the most recent example who seem to be having many issues. I don't imagine upgrading to a new UE release as being simple to do, but maybe they will be able to and take advantage of Vulkan.

With Unreal Engine 4.17, Vulkan now uses Shader Model 5 by default. They also completed a Vulkan refactoring which they say "brings stability and correctness to SM5 and Editor". They've also worked out some stability fixes for Vulkan, to make it a better experience overall.

Unreal Engine isn't developed by Epic alone any more, they note that this release actually includes around 90 improvements made by the community, since their code is available on github. This includes work contributed by people like Timothee Besset (TTimo) who mostly recently ported Rocket League, Sam Hocevar of Dontnod the Life is Strange developer and plenty of other awesome people.

As expected, there's masses of other changes that come with this new version of Unreal Engine, with the changelog being really quite long. See the full release notes here.

Thanks for the tip, Raven! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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salamanderrake 8 Aug, 2017
There is some stability and performance issues with Vulkan and the Editor on Linux, would still be more advisable to use OpenGL4 as the default in the editor but target and stage/build for Vulkan.
DarkMavrik 8 Aug, 2017
I am super excited about this, I have been developing in unreal engine for months, I just hope they improve the native editor on linux since it is extremely complicated and buggy in current form.
salamanderrake 8 Aug, 2017
Here is a video of UE4 4.17 running with vulkan in the editor,
I wouldn't use vulkan for the editor for production atm as its still quite a bit unstable, but you can't set vulkan sm4/sm5 under Project Settings -> Platforms -> Linux.

*Edit* Compare against using the default OpenGL 4.3 in editor.

Last edited by salamanderrake on 8 August 2017 at 10:16 pm UTC
rea987 8 Aug, 2017
Timothee Besset? Man, this is the guy we owe our gaming enjoyment during the dark days of Linux gaming.

  • Quake III Arena

  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein

  • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

  • Doom 3

  • Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil

  • Quake 4

  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

  • Quake Live

In fact, I just played an ETQW clan match and I still cannot believe that I am able to play such masterpiece on Linux natively. I hope he keeps making quality contribution to UE4.
Zaxth 8 Aug, 2017
For all of Epic's talk of how much they like Linux. And how little trust their CEO has in Microsoft. They've done nothing to support the platform. It's just a happy accident, due to their open sourced engine. Their latest game "Fortnite" has no support for Linux either. Supports Mac though.
ison111 9 Aug, 2017
I really hope the next version of UT has Vulkan support. There's still graphical bugs that have been around almost since the beginning which a Vulkan version would probably have fixed for free.

Actually it probably won't happen on the next release since even on the roadmap for the engine it still doesn't list "Vulkan support for PC and Linux" under the current release, while it shows up under Future Releases instead.
Still it's good to see them starting to work on it some more.

Last edited by ison111 on 9 August 2017 at 12:52 am UTC
evergreen 9 Aug, 2017
Hope that Ark will be updated soon on last UE... lol!!!
Power-Metal-Games 9 Aug, 2017
As someone who uses UE4 everyday and on Linux, I couldn't care less about Vulkan. All I want is that UE4 finally can be used „normally“ as it's possible on Windows. It's so painful to everyday use a blueprint editor that is lagging without any reason on a cpu and a gpu that costs more than 1500€. Unfortunately, from 4.13 to 4.16 almost no changes. It looks that so few work is needed for UE4 to become fully usable on Linux and I'm hoping about that with every new release, but it seems that true is that Epic simply doesn't care at all to anything else than Windows and PS4.
At last when I copy my project entirely done on Linux to Windows partition and try to run it there, it's always working without any problem. That's great, in fact. After all, I got habituated. Now hopping that 4.17 will finally bring something new. Downloading today and compiling to test it...
ison111 9 Aug, 2017
Quoting: Power-Metal-GamesAs someone who uses UE4 everyday and on Linux, I couldn't care less about Vulkan. All I want is that UE4 finally can be used „normally“ as it's possible on Windows.
I don't understand why you wouldn't be excited for Vulkan then.

UE4 doesn't seem to be changing with each new release probably because they just aren't working on the OpenGL side very much. So we retain bugs.

But Vulkan is a game changer in that regard. It bridges the gap between Windows and Linux development cycles. Even among windows users Vulkan is in high demand among those who can't use DX12 (because they don't want to switch to windows10)
So Vulkan would receive regular updates and bug fixes which would directly effect us on Linux. Even if Epic forgets about us, with Vulkan we'd still feel like first class citizens.

Not to mention Vulkan is supposed to be a much simpler and more bare bones api, meaning that all development on it is going to be more implementation independent, and performance on both Windows and Linux should always be quite similar for free, without them having to do much special development for just Linux.
Power-Metal-Games 9 Aug, 2017
Quoting: ison111But Vulkan is a game changer in that regard...

Probably because I'm not a Linux warrior, zealot or whatever. If it is the game changer, the time will show it. If it's good enough, it will win. If not, it will not change big thing.

I switched from windows 2 years ago because 10 become such a terrible piece of s... that that become insupportable. Now I'm just a computer user that feels no need to tell the other people what os is better for them to use. They use what they want, it's not my problem at all.
Now, when I need to spend some hours working with Windows 10, I still can't believe what MS made with that crap. It's updating for hours, taking cpu time all the time for some obscure thing, it's taking my mouse cursor from me for few seconds without reason... and many more terrible things.

Now when I got used to Linux, I can say that it's a really good os with a big potential. But, my main problem is that UE4 is not good enough and it's not changing for a year to now.
With any new release people who don't use UE4 at all are only talking about Vulkan. I don't care for Vulkan at all. I just want those simple and elementary things to work and I see that this is not asking for too much work from Epic but they are simply not interested. With millions they are earning they could pay someone to work on this, but they don0t want it.

And, actually I compiled UE4 and for the first time after a year I can see the actual changes. Now editor works really better. There is no lag anymore and everything seems to work much better except few things: in the blueprint editor, mouse cursor is always returning to center of the screen when I release right mouse button, and this is super frustrating. And, my projectiles are completely blurred and strange when they fly. It seems that editor mostly got fixed but some things become fup. Everything else seems to work better.
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