How to get Vulkan support on older AMD GCN cards on Mint 19

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Dukenukemx
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How to get Vulkan support on older AMD GCN cards on Mint 19

Post by Dukenukemx » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:13 pm

This is a guide for those seeking Vulkan support on their Southern Islands or Volcanic Islands graphic cards. Another name is Radeon HD 7000 series and Rx 200 series. Basically the open source drivers by default use Radeon for these graphic cards, which has no RADV for vulkan support. The AMDGPU-PRO drivers have Vulkan, but you may find that applications like Kodi will segfault for a bug that AMD refuses to pay attention to. To fix this we need to switch over to the AMDGPU driver, which is not to be confused with the AMDGPU-PRO driver.

Before continuing this guide please install Oibaf PPA for the latest open source drivers. You may or may not need it, but just in case I would suggest you install it. Mint 19 comes with fairly new open source drivers but I'd install this anyway.
https://www.phoronix.com/forums/forum/l ... cs-drivers

Also, be aware at the time of writing this guide, Oibaf PPA needs this to get it to work.

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sudo apt-get install libwayland-egl1
Step#1 Edit Grub.

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sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
Look for a line that looks like this.

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GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=""
And change it to look like this, then save and exit.

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GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=" radeon.si_support=0 radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1 amdgpu.cik_support=1"
Now do this.

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sudo update-grub
Do not reboot at this point, otherwise you won't be able to log in.

Step#2 Create a 20-radeon.conf file.

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sudo gedit /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-radeon.conf
Copy and paste this.

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Section "Device"
        Identifier  "AMD"
        Driver "AMDGPU"
        Option "DRI3"                  "on" #enable DRI3 instead of the default DRI2-mode
EndSection
Save and exit.

Step #3 Install Vulkan

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sudo apt-get install mesa-vulkan-drivers
Reboot the system. At this point you can confirm you're using AMDGPU by using this command.

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sudo lshw -c video
You should see something like this. Notice the 'driver=amdgpu ' which would otherwise say 'driver=radeon'.

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  *-display
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Pitcairn PRO [Radeon HD 7850 / R7 265 / R9 270 1024SP]
       vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: 00
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm pciexpress msi vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=amdgpu latency=0
       resources: irq:31 memory:c0000000-cfffffff memory:fea00000-fea3ffff ioport:e000(size=256) memory:c0000-dffff
Last edited by Dukenukemx on Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Citizen229
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Re: How to get Vulkan support on older AMD GCN cards on Mint 19

Post by Citizen229 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:27 am

For sake of clarity, Please explain the difference between the driver sets, and why one would chose the non-pro driver. To be honest, I myself have no idea what the non pro driver is designed for.
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Dukenukemx
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Re: How to get Vulkan support on older AMD GCN cards on Mint 19

Post by Dukenukemx » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:47 am

Citizen229 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:27 am
For sake of clarity, Please explain the difference between the driver sets, and why one would chose the non-pro driver. To be honest, I myself have no idea what the non pro driver is designed for.
AMDGPU and Radeon are kinda like driver packages in that they contain many things. Both have RadeonSi which is the OpenGL driver for GCN cards, but AMDGPU has RADV which is the open source vulkan driver. AMDGPU-PRO is built on top of the open source drivers with AMD's proprietary code added to it, including their own Vulkan driver. AMD's proprietary Vulkan driver is now open source and called AMDVLK, which means AMDGPU users will have two choices for a Vulkan driver, the community built RADV and the AMD supported AMDVLK. Which one you choose to use is up to you. Also, as you can see AMD will eventually stop making the AMDGPU-PRO driver in favor of the open source drivers, eventually.

As for why to use AMDGPU over AMDGPU-PRO.
#1 The AMDGPU drivers get updated more often and tend to perform better than AMDGPU-PRO in OpenGL.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... 1810&num=2
#2 The RADV driver does get a lot more attention by developers.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... Good-Shape
#3 AMDGPU drivers don't have a bug that segfaults Kodi like with AMDGPU-PRO.
https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=333364
#4 AMDGPU comes with Gallium-Nine for better performance in Wine DX9 games.

Reasons why NOT to use AMDGPU over AMDGPU-PRO.
#1 AMDGPU-PRO has working OpenCL support. I'm not sure what the state of OpenCL is with open source drivers.
#2 AMDGPU-PRO tends to perform better in games using Vulkan.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... -pro&num=1
#3 It has better support for OpenGL Compat profiles, where at this moment AMDGPU with Oibaf PPA has support up to 4.4. Though that maybe changing soon.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... onSI-Start

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