Tag Archives: Driver

Linux 5.3’s ASUS WMI Driver Add ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop Support & More


LINUX KERNEL --

The x86 platform driver updates were sent in and already merged for the ongoing Linux 5.3 kernel. It’s the x86 platform driver updates that bring the recently mentioned Intel Speed Select Technology for Linux driver but there is also more.

Beyond the interesting Intel Speed Select support, the ASUS WMI driver has gone through a refactoring in order to support ASUS’ TUF Gaming laptops. In the process, there’s even been a regression fix for once popular Eee PC laptop models where their backlight were stuck permanently off.

The Mellanox platform drivers also now support more hardware, there is now touchscreen support on the Chuwi Hi10 Plus tablet, Xiaomi WMI notebook driver support, HP ProBook 450 G0 support in its accelerometer driver, and at long last there is even OLPC XO-1.75 platform support. While the OLPC XO-1.75 is based on a Marvell Sheeva ARM SoC, this platform support went in through this merge request and long overdue.

More details via this honored pull request.


NVIDIA’s Graphics Driver Will Run Into Problems With Linux 5.3 On IBM POWER


NVIDIA --

For those using the NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver on an IBM POWER system, it could be a while before seeing Linux 5.3+ kernel support. Upstream has removed code depended upon by the NVIDIA binary driver for supporting the POWER architecture and as is the case they don’t care that it will break NVIDIA driver support since it’s binary/out-of-tree.

The POWER changes for Linux 5.3 remove NPU DMA code. In the pull request they do acknowledge this DMA code is “used by the out-of-tree Nvidia driver, as well as some other functions only used by drivers that haven’t (yet?) made it upstream.”

The patch removing the NPU DMA code by Linux kernel veteran Christoph Hellwig does acknowledge this basically reverts the POWER support for NVIDIA NVLink GPUs. The code is being dropped since it’s no longer being used by the in-tree kernel code and thus a burden when it comes to maintaining the upstream DMA code.

IBM developer Alexey Kardashevskiy did warn that this particular code is “heavily” used by NVIDIA’s graphics driver. Hellwig responded though that “Not by the [driver / code] that actually exists in the kernel tree, so it simply doesn’t matter.

This isn’t just a function or two being removed but amounts to 1,280 lines of code now stripped out of the kernel that was used by the NVIDIA binary driver on POWER. The NVIDIA POWER support will now break on Linux 5.3 but hopefully NVIDIA will be able to come up with a timely solution to fix their driver on 5.3 and newer.


RADV Vulkan Driver Manages Launch-Day Support For AMD Navi 10/12/14 GPUs


AMD --

Leading up to today’s Radeon RX 5700 “Navi” series launch it was looking like there wouldn’t be any support within Mesa’s Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver for this community-maintained open-source implementation. But the open-source developers at Valve managed to not only deliver Navi 10 support but also Navi 12 and Navi 14 are also supported with this new Mesa 19.2 code.

Various folks at AMD didn’t believe the “community” RADV developers at the likes of Valve and Red Hat were provided with samples or documentation in advance, but however it turned out, Valve developer Samuel Pitoiset along with Google developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen managed to land the Navi/GFX10 enablement code just minutes ago into Mesa 19.2 Git.

The code is just about one thousand lines on top of the existing RADV GFX9 support. Interestingly, some 600 lines of that code is just for bringing up the NGG (Next Generation Geometry) support for vertex shaders. So overall at least from the Vulkan driver side it wasn’t much new code for driving Navi, granted, it also leverages the Navi support within the AMDGPU kernel driver and LLVM shader compiler.

It’s not clear at this stage how well optimized RADV is for the Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT if it will be like RadeonSI where a lot of additional optimizations are pending. At least though this means Mesa 19.2 due out around the end of August / early September will have both open-source OpenGL and Vulkan support for these new GPUs.

Also somewhat entertaining is that this RADV Navi support has beat out AMD’s official Vulkan Linux driver “AMDVLK” for Navi support as that is still pending and expected in the days ahead once finishing up its internal/legal reviews.

I’ll have up some new RadeonSI+RADV benchmarks on the RX 5700 and RX 5700XT to allow for any imminent optimizations/fixes to land.


Ubuntu to Package Proprietary Nvidia Driver » Linux Magazine


According to reports, Ubuntu developers are planning to add the proprietary NVIDIA drivers to the ISO of the next release of Ubuntu (19.10).

However, these drivers will not be activated/enabled by default.

The reason for backing these drivers is simple. As mentioned in the Launchpad bug report, “On Ubuntu desktop, without a network connection, the user can elect to install 3rd party drivers (which states that it’ll install graphics driver) but even if the user selects this option, Nvidia proprietary drivers won’t be installed because they are not on the pool of the ISO.”

With drivers backed into the ISO, users can install these drivers without Internet. To ensure that there won’t be any licensing issues, Will Cooke of Canonical said that they have worked with Nvidia to ensure that they are allowed to distribute the drivers on the ISO. Depending on user feedback, Canonical might also back-port this to earlier releases of Ubuntu.

Canonical will continue to offer open-source Nouveau drivers as the default driver for NVIDIA cards.



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Ubuntu 19.10 To Bundle NVIDIA’s Proprietary Driver Packages As Part Of Its ISO


UBUNTU --

For Ubuntu 19.10 the developers are adding the NVIDIA driver packages onto the ISO. The NVIDIA binary drivers won’t be activated by default, but will be present on the install media to make it easier to enable post-install.

The open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” drivers will remain the default for NVIDIA graphics on new Ubuntu installations, but this change is positioning the mainline and legacy NVIDIA proprietary drivers onto the Ubuntu ISO so that they can be easily obtained locally post-install. The main driver here is allowing users to enable the NVIDIA proprietary graphics on Ubuntu even if you don’t have an Internet connection. NVIDIA has already okay’ed the distribution of their driver packages with the Ubuntu ISO.

On the downside, adding the NVIDIA 390 and 418 drivers to the ISO pool has inflated the size of Ubuntu Eoan by 114MB. The overall Ubuntu x86_64 ISO size is now up to around 2.1GB.

This NVIDIA plan for Ubuntu 19.10 “Eoan” was firmed up this week via this Launchpad thread.