Vega Linux Desktop Maturity?

Discussion in 'AMD Flavor' started by Zarathustra[H], Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Hey all,

    I am considering building my fiance a Ryzen 5 2400G based system for Linux desktop use.

    The GPU on it is apparently Vega based. I remembered from back when I last had an AMD GPU in my main rig, that while Nvidia's closed drivers are the best source, the reverse engineered open source drivers from the Xorg project are the best to use with AMD GPU's.

    I also remembered that I used to monitor the Xorg Radeon Feature page with baited breath hoping for more functionality, so that's the first place I looked to see how mature Vega currently is on linux, but to my surprise the last GPU arch on that list is Arctic Islands. Vega is nowhere to be found.

    Does anyone have any experience with Vega in Linux? What gives? Does it work well? Are all features supported?

    Much Appreciated!
     
  2. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    I know nothing but I saw this earlier.

     
  3. Algrim

    Algrim [H]ard|Gawd

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    The question is what is she going to use a linux box for? If you are not needing 3D acceleration the basic generic drivers are going to work just fine with most of the cards out there. If you need 3D acceleration then you are at the mercy of RTG or whoever has put together the best driver set for Vega.

    My usual use case for linux is either as a VM or on really old hardware which pretty much guarantees that my hardware is supported.
     
  4. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    The open source drivers that come with the distribution are usually the best bet for AMD GPU's (but usually pretty bad for Nvidia GPU's, where the closed source ones from Nvidia are better)

    It can sometimes take a while for them to become mature though.

    Best I can tell they should at least have basic functionality with the 4.15 Kernel I'm trying to judge just how much more than basic I can expect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  5. Algrim

    Algrim [H]ard|Gawd

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    What distro are you using?
     
  6. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    4.17 kernel at least I read earlier.
     
  7. Algrim

    Algrim [H]ard|Gawd

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    That's the Linux kernel but not necessarily the distribution (i.e. Debian and its many derivatives (such as Ubuntu), Gentoo, Red Hat, Slackware, SuSE, etc.). All of them will likely install with a generic driver. Use case is really what would determine whether or not something other than the generic driver is needed.

    Further EDIT: Most Linux distributions (at least the ones that are built properly) will install and allow you to upgrade the kernel, amongst other things, so whilst a Linux distribution may not be shipping with a currently released kernel, you can usually upgrade to a new kernel; sometimes this can result in breakage of certain packages, especially if the newer Linux kernels have deprecated features that older packages relied on. It was these dependancies that made me really appreciate the FreeBSD model over Linux.

    For instance, my old P5 computer with an old AMD card in it had drivers for my particular video card but as it's sitting in a room as a Mumble/Murmur server and I managed it using ssh there was no need for 3D accelerated support; I could have even run it headless and it would have been fine.

    If she's going to be using GIMP or Blender or running games (maybe even running the new Steam wrapper for Windows games on Linux) 3D acceleration becomes a must due to draw times of complex layers on the screen.

    EDIT: I stopped using Linux as a desktop OS ages ago and stopped really caring about Linux desktop support and troubleshooting. However, using a quick Google search I came across this Phoronix article about Vega on a Linux desktop and I hope I am linking to Page 2 (I didn't read all the pages so further gems may be hidden here):

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=rx-vega-linux1&num=2

    Also, you might want to visit and ask this in the [H] Linux sub-forum, if you haven't already. I tend to stay away from there due to the flamewars usually generated by all things Linux.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  8. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Should be fine as long as you're running kernel 4.17 or .18.

    I don't have a dedicated Vega card but I'm using my RX 580 for gaming on Ubuntu 18.04.
     
  9. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Good article link. Thank you.

    I am generally familiar with how these things work on Linux, Mint is my daily desktop OS of choice. (though I dual boot to Windows for games) I just haven't used an AMD GPU in a while, and was trying to gauge how mature the open source drivers are, before I tackle this project.
     
    Algrim likes this.
  10. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    The more I think about it, it is odd to me that this would newer kernel.

    Traditionally the open source GPU driver modules shipped as part of Xorg, not as part of the kernel. Has this changed?
     
  11. Algrim

    Algrim [H]ard|Gawd

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    My primary home desktop is Windows 10 Insider Edition but at work I almost exclusively use OS X; since I'm working with a *nix all day I've stopped tinkering with Linux as much as I used to so I haven't picked a full-time Linux distro yet (I have the most experience with Debian and Slackware). I have a few spare hard drives at my disposal soon so I may be tinkering with another distro or two in a few months (Solus and SteamOS).

    I came across another article:

    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018...-vulkan-to-bring-more-windows-games-to-linux/

    and some of the comments bring up the RTG open source drivers (from what I've read they're pretty good) so I think you'll be just fine with your fiance's computer with a Vega running Linux.
     
  12. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, this has been the case for a long time now.

    In Linux, for Nvidia the binary closed source drivers are the best. The open source ones are pretty limited. For AMD the opposite is true. The open source drivers are the best. The closed source Pro drivers also work, but usually not as well.

    It's just that immediately after launch, the closed source drivers may be the only ones available.