AMDGPU

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AMDGPU is the open source graphics driver for AMD Radeon graphics cards from the Graphics Core Next family.

Selecting the right driver

Depending on the card you have, find the right driver in Xorg#AMD. This page has instructions for AMDGPU and AMDGPU PRO. At the moment there is Xorg radeon driver support for Southern Islands (SI) through Arctic Islands (AI) cards. AMD has no plans to support pre-GCN GPUs. Owners of unsupported GPUs may use the open source radeon or the AMD Catalyst driver .

Installation

Note: If coming from the proprietary Catalyst driver, see AMD Catalyst#Uninstallation first.

Install the mesa package, which provides the DRI driver for 3D acceleration.

Support for accelerated video decoding is provided by libva-mesa-driver and lib32-libva-mesa-driver for VA-API and mesa-vdpau and lib32-mesa-vdpau packages for VDPAU.

Experimental

It may be worthwhile for some users to use the upstream experimental build of mesa, to enable features such as AMD Navi improvements that have not landed in the standard mesa packages.

Install the mesa-gitAUR package, which provides the DRI driver for 3D acceleration.

  • For 32-bit application support, also install the lib32-mesa-gitAUR package from the mesa-git repository or the AUR.
  • For the DDX driver (which provides 2D acceleration in Xorg), install the xf86-video-amdgpu-gitAUR package.
  • For Vulkan support using the mesa-git repository below, install the vulkan-radeon-git package. Optionally install the lib32-vulkan-radeon-git package for 32-bit application support. This should not be required if building mesa-gitAUR from the AUR.
Note: It may be necessary to symlink LibLLVM for X to start. For example, ln -s /usr/lib/libLLVM-10git.so /usr/lib/libLLVM-10svn.so
Tip: Users who do not wish to go through the process of compiling the mesa-gitAUR package can use the mesa-git unofficial repository.

Enable Southern Islands (SI) and Sea Islands (CIK) support

The linux package enables AMDGPU support for cards of the Southern Islands (SI, ie. GCN 1) and Sea Islands (CIK, ie. GCN 2). When building or compiling a kernel, CONFIG_DRM_AMDGPU_SI=Y and/or CONFIG_DRM_AMDGPU_CIK=Y should be be set in the config.

Specify the correct module order

Even when AMDGPU support for SI/CIK has been enabled by the kernel, the radeon driver may be loaded before the amdgpu driver.

Make sure amdgpu has been set as first module in the Mkinitcpio#MODULES array, e.g. MODULES=(amdgpu radeon).

Set required module parameters

The module parameters of both amdgpu and radeon modules are cik_support= and si_support=.

They need to be set as kernel parameters or in a modprobe configuration file, and depend on the cards GCN version.

Tip: dmesg may indicate the correct kernel parameter to use: [..] amdgpu 0000:01:00.0: Use radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1 to override.
Set module parameters in kernel command line

Set one of the following kernel parameters:

  • Southern Islands (SI): radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1
  • Sea Islands (CIK): radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1
Set module parameters in modprobe.d

Create the configuration modprobe files in /etc/modprobe.d/, see modprobe.d(5) for syntax details.

For Southern Islands (SI) use option si_support=1, for Sea Islands (CIK) use option cik_support=1, e.g.:

/etc/modprobe.d/amdgpu.conf
options amdgpu si_support=1
options amdgpu cik_support=1
/etc/modprobe.d/radeon.conf
options radeon si_support=0
options radeon cik_support=0

Make sure modconf is in the the HOOKS array in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and regenerate the initramfs.

AMDGPU PRO

AMD provides a proprietary, binary userland driver called AMDGPU PRO, which works on top of the open-source AMDGPU kernel driver.

From Radeon Software 18.50 vs Mesa 19 benchmarks article: When it comes to OpenGL games, the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver simply dominates the proprietary AMD OpenGL driver.

Install the amdgpu-pro-libglAUR. Optionally install the lib32-amdgpu-pro-libglAUR package for 32-bit application support.

Note: Users of graphic cards other than Radeon Pro are advised to use the amdgpu graphics stack.

ACO compiler

The ACO compiler is an open source shader compiler created and developed by Valve Corporation to directly compete with the LLVM compiler, the AMDVLK drivers, as well as Windows 10. It offers lesser compilation time and also performs better while gaming than LLVM and AMDVLK.

Some benchmarks can be seen in It's FOSS and Phoronix (1) (2) (3).

Warning: ACO is a very early development and still is marked as testing, you may experience issues.

Since mesa version 19.3, the ACO compiler is available in the official package, but disabled by default. It can be enabled by exporting RADV_PERFTEST=aco before starting an application.

Loading

The amdgpu kernel module should load fine automatically on system boot.

If it does not happen, then:

Enable early KMS

See Kernel mode setting#Early KMS start.

Xorg configuration

Xorg will automatically load the driver and it will use your monitor's EDID to set the native resolution. Configuration is only required for tuning the driver.

If you want manual configuration, create /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-amdgpu.conf, and add the following:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-amdgpu.conf
Section "Device"
     Identifier "AMD"
     Driver "amdgpu"
EndSection

Using this section, you can enable features and tweak the driver settings, see amdgpu(4) first before setting driver options.

Tear free rendering

TearFree controls tearing prevention using the hardware page flipping mechanism. If this option is set, the default value of the property is 'on' or 'off' accordingly. If this option is not set, the default value of the property is auto, which means that TearFree is on for rotated outputs, outputs with RandR transforms applied and for RandR 1.4 slave outputs, otherwise off:

Option "TearFree" "true"

You can also enable TearFree temporarily with xrandr:

$ xrandr --output output --set TearFree on

Where output should look like DisplayPort-0 or HDMI-A-0 and can be acquired by running xrandr -q.

DRI level

DRI sets the maximum level of DRI to enable. Valid values are 2 for DRI2 or 3 for DRI3. The default is 3 for DRI3 if the Xorg version is >= 1.18.3, otherwise DRI2 is used:

Option "DRI" "3"

Variable refresh rate

See Variable refresh rate.

10-bit color

Newer AMD cards support 10bpc color, but the default is 24-bit color and 30-bit color must be explicitly enabled. Enabling it can reduce visible banding/artifacts in gradients, if the applications support this too. To check if your monitor supports it search for "EDID" in your Xorg log file (e.g. /var/log/Xorg.0.log or ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log):

[   336.695] (II) AMDGPU(0): EDID for output DisplayPort-0
[   336.695] (II) AMDGPU(0): EDID for output DisplayPort-1
[   336.695] (II) AMDGPU(0): Manufacturer: DEL  Model: a0ec  Serial#: 123456789
[   336.695] (II) AMDGPU(0): Year: 2018  Week: 23
[   336.695] (II) AMDGPU(0): EDID Version: 1.4
[   336.695] (II) AMDGPU(0): Digital Display Input
[   336.695] (II) AMDGPU(0): 10 bits per channel

To check whether it is currently enabled search for "Depth"):

[   336.618] (**) AMDGPU(0): Depth 30, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
[   336.618] (II) AMDGPU(0): Pixel depth = 30 bits stored in 4 bytes (32 bpp pixmaps)

With the default configuration it will instead say the depth is 24, with 24 bits stored in 4 bytes.

To check whether 10-bit works, exit Xorg if you have it running and run Xorg -retro which will display a black and white grid, then press Ctrl-Alt-F1 and Ctrl-C to exit X, and run Xorg -depth 30 -retro. If this works fine, then 10-bit is working.

To launch in 10-bit via startx, use startx -- -depth 30. To permanently enable it, create or add to:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-amdgpu.conf
Section "Screen"
	Identifier "asdf"
	DefaultDepth 30
EndSection

Various software may have graphical artifacts or crash with 10-bpc color.

Features

Video acceleration

See Hardware video acceleration.

Monitoring

Monitoring your GPU is often used to check the temperature and also the P-states of your GPU.

CLI (default)

To check your GPU's P-states, execute:

$ cat /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage

To monitor your GPU, execute:

$ watch -n 0.5  cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/amdgpu_pm_info

With radeontop utility you can view your GPU utilization, both for the total activity percent and individual blocks. Install it with radeontopAUR package.

GUI

  • WattmanGTK — A GTK GUI tool to monitor your GPU's temperatures P-states
https://github.com/BoukeHaarsma23/WattmanGTK || wattman-gtk-gitAUR.
  • TuxClocker — A Qt5 monitoring and overclocking tool.
https://github.com/Lurkki14/tuxclocker || tuxclockerAUR tuxclocker-gitAUR

Overclocking

Since Linux 4.17, it is possible to adjust clocks and voltages of the graphics card via /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage.

Boot parameter

It is required to unlock access to adjust clocks and voltages in sysfs by appending the Kernel parameter amdgpu.ppfeaturemask=0xffffffff.

Manual (default)

Note: In sysfs, paths like /sys/class/drm/... are just symlinks and may change between reboots. Persistent locations can be found in /sys/devices/, e.g. /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0/. Adjust the commands accordingly for a reliable result.

To set the GPU clock for the maximum P-state 7 on e.g. a Polaris GPU to 1209MHz and 900mV voltage, run:

# echo "s 7 1209 900" > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage

The same procedure can be applied to the VRAM, e.g. maximum P-state 2 on Polaris 5xx series cards:

# echo "m 2 1850 850" > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage
Warning: Double check the entered values, as mistakes might instantly cause fatal hardware damage!

To apply, run

# echo "c" > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage

To check if it worked out, read out clocks and voltage under 3D load:

# watch -n 0.5  cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/amdgpu_pm_info

You can reset to the default values using this:

# echo "r" > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage

It is also possible to forbid the driver so switch to certain P-states, e.g. to workaround problems with deep powersaving P-states like flickering artifacts or stutter. To force the highest VRAM P-state on a Polaris RX 5xx card, while still allowing the GPU itself to run with lower clocks, run:

# echo "manual" > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_dpm_force_performance_level
# echo "2" >  /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_dpm_mclk

Allow only the three highest GPU P-states:

# echo "5 6 7" >  /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_dpm_sclk

To set the allowed maximum power consumption of the GPU to e.g. 50 Watts, run

# echo 50000000 > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/hwmon/hwmon0/power1_cap

Until Linux kernel 4.20, it will only be possible to decrease the value, not increase.

Note: The above procedure was tested with a Polaris RX 560 card. There may be different behavior or bugs with different GPUs.

Assisted

If you are not inclined to fully manually overclock your GPU, there are some overclocking tools that are offered by the community to assist you to overclock and monitor your AMD GPU.

CLI tools
  • amdgpu-clocks — A script that can be used to monitor and set custom power states for AMD GPUs. It also offers a Systemd service to apply the settings automatically upon boot.
https://github.com/sibradzic/amdgpu-clocks || amdgpu-clocks-gitAUR
GUI tools
  • TuxClocker — A Qt5 monitoring and overclocking tool.
https://github.com/Lurkki14/tuxclocker || tuxclockerAUR tuxclocker-gitAUR
  • CoreCtrl — A GUI overclocking tool with a WattMan-like UI that supports per-application profiles.
https://gitlab.com/corectrl/corectrl || corectrlAUR corectrl-gitAUR

Startup on boot

If you want your settings to apply automatically upon boot, consider looking at this Reddit thread to configure and apply your settings on boot.

Enable GPU display scaling

Tango-go-next.pngThis article or section is a candidate for moving to xrandr.Tango-go-next.png

To avoid the usage of the scaler which is built in the display, and use the GPU own scaler instead, when not using the native resolution of the monitor, execute:

$ xrandr --output output --set "scaling mode" scaling_mode

Possible values for "scaling mode" are: None, Full, Center, Full aspect.

  • To show the available outputs and settings, execute:
$ xrandr --prop
  • To set scaling mode = Full aspect for just every available output, execute:
$ for output in $(xrandr --prop | grep -E -o -i "^[A-Z\-]+-[0-9]+"); do xrandr --output "$output" --set "scaling mode" "Full aspect"; done

Troubleshooting

Xorg or applications will not start

  • "(EE) AMDGPU(0): [DRI2] DRI2SwapBuffers: drawable has no back or front?" error after opening glxgears, can open Xorg server but OpenGL apps crash.
  • "(EE) AMDGPU(0): Given depth (32) is not supported by amdgpu driver" error, Xorg will not start.

Setting the screen's depth under Xorg to 16 or 32 will cause problems/crash. To avoid that, you should use a standard screen depth of 24 by adding this to your "screen" section:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-screen.conf
Section "Screen"
       Identifier     "Screen"
       DefaultDepth    24
       SubSection      "Display"
               Depth   24
       EndSubSection
EndSection

Screen artifacts and frequency problem

Dynamic power management may cause screen artifacts to appear when displaying to monitors at higher frequencies (anything above 60Hz) due to issues in the way GPU clock speeds are managed[1][2].

A workaround [3] is saving high or low in /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_dpm_force_performance_level.

There is also a GUI solution [4] where you can manage the "power_dpm" with radeon-profile-gitAUR and radeon-profile-daemon-gitAUR.

R9 390 series poor performance and/or instability

If you experience issues [5] with a AMD R9 390 series graphics card, set radeon.cik_support=0 radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1 amdgpu.si_support=1 amdgpu.dc=1 as kernel parameters to force the use of amdgpu driver instead of radeon.

If it still does not work, try disabling DPM, by setting the kernel parameters to: radeon.cik_support=0 radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1 amdgpu.si_support=1

Freezes with "[drm] IP block:gmc_v8_0 is hung!" kernel error

If you experience freezes and kernel crashes during a GPU intensive task with the kernel error " [drm] IP block:gmc_v8_0 is hung!" [6], a workaround is to set amdgpu.vm_update_mode=3 as kernel parameters to force the GPUVM page tables update to be done using the CPU. Downsides are listed here [7].

Cursor corruption

If you experience issues with the mouse cursor sometimes not rendering properly, set Option "SWCursor" "True" in the "Device" section of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-amdgpu.conf configuration file.

If you are using xrandr for scaling and the cursor is flickering or disappearing, you may be able to fix it by setting the TearFree property: xrandr --output HDMI-A-0 --set TearFree on.

System freeze or crash when gaming on Vega cards

Dynamic power management may cause a complete system freeze whilst gaming due to issues in the way GPU clock speeds are managed. [8] A workaround is to disable dynamic power management, see ATI#Dynamic power management for details.

Navi power consumption

Some users have reported higher than usual idle power consumption when using kernel 5.3. There is a patch set available for kernel 5.4 that appears to fix the issues.

WebRenderer (Firefox) corruption

Artifacts and other anomalies may present themselves (e.g. inability to select extension options) when WebRenderer is force enabled by the user. Workaround is to fall back to OpenGL compositing.