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GPGPU stands for General-purpose computing on graphics processing units.


OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is an open, royalty-free parallel programming specification developed by the Khronos Group, a non-profit consortium.

The OpenCL specification describes a programming language, a general environment that is required to be present, and a C API to enable programmers to call into this environment.

Tip: The clinfo utility can be used to list OpenCL platforms, devices present and ICD loader properties.


To execute programs that use OpenCL, a compatible hardware runtime needs to be installed.


  • opencl-mesa: OpenCL support with clover and rusticl for mesa drivers
  • rocm-opencl-runtime: Part of AMD's ROCm GPU compute stack, officially supporting GFX8 and later cards (Fiji, Polaris, Vega), with unofficial and partial support for Navi10 based cards. To support cards older than Vega, you need to set the runtime variable ROC_ENABLE_PRE_VEGA=1. This is similar, but not quite equivalent to specifying opencl=rocr in ubuntu's amdgpu-install, because this package's rocm version differs from ubuntu's installer version.
  • opencl-legacy-amdgpu-proAUR: Legacy Orca OpenCL repackaged from AMD's ubuntu releases. Equivalent to specifying opencl=legacy in ubuntu's amdgpu-install.
  • opencl-amdAUR, opencl-amd-devAUR: ROCr and Orca OpenCL repackaged from AMD's ubuntu releases. Equivalent to specifying opencl=rocr,legacy in ubuntu's amdgpu-install.
  • amdapp-sdkAUR: AMD CPU runtime



  • intel-compute-runtime: a.k.a. the Neo OpenCL runtime, the open-source implementation for Intel HD Graphics GPU on Gen8 (Broadwell) and beyond.
  • opencl-mesa: OpenCL support with clover and rusticl for mesa drivers
  • beignetAUR: the open-source implementation for Intel HD Graphics GPU on Gen7 (Ivy Bridge) and beyond, deprecated by Intel in favour of NEO OpenCL driver, remains recommended solution for legacy hardware platforms (e.g. Ivy Bridge, Haswell).
  • intel-openclAUR: the proprietary implementation for Intel HD Graphics GPU on Gen7 (Ivy Bridge) and beyond, deprecated by Intel in favour of NEO OpenCL driver, remains recommended solution for legacy hardware platforms (e.g. Ivy Bridge, Haswell).
  • intel-opencl-runtimeAUR: the implementation for Intel Core and Xeon processors. It also supports non-Intel CPUs.


  • pocl: LLVM-based OpenCL implementation (hardware independent)

There is compiler and translator enable OpenCL applications to be run over a Vulkan run-time.

  • clspv-gitAUR: Clspv is a prototype compiler for a subset of OpenCL C to Vulkan compute shaders.
  • clvk: clvk is a prototype implementation of OpenCL 3.0 on top of Vulkan using clspv as the compiler.
  • xrt-binAUR: Xilinx Run Time for FPGA xrt
  • fpga-runtime-for-opencl:FPGA Runtime

32-bit runtime

To execute 32-bit programs that use OpenCL, a compatible hardware 32-bit runtime needs to be installed.

Tip: The clinfo utility can only be used to list 64-bit OpenCL platforms, devices present and ICD loader properties. for 32-bit you need to compile clinfo for 32-bit or use the 32-bit clinfo from the archlinux32 project.


Note: Rusticl is not included in lib32-opencl-mesa. The package only provides the Clover implementation


ICD loader (

The OpenCL ICD loader is supposed to be a platform-agnostic library that provides the means to load device-specific drivers through the OpenCL API. Most OpenCL vendors provide their own implementation of an OpenCL ICD loader, and these should all work with the other vendors' OpenCL implementations. Unfortunately, most vendors do not provide completely up-to-date ICD loaders, and therefore Arch Linux has decided to provide this library from a separate project (ocl-icd) which currently provides a functioning implementation of the current OpenCL API.

The other ICD loader libraries are installed as part of each vendor's SDK. If you want to ensure the ICD loader from the ocl-icd package is used, you can create a file in /etc/ which adds /usr/lib to the dynamic program loader's search directories:


This is necessary because all the SDKs add their runtime's lib directories to the search path through files.

The available packages containing various OpenCL ICDs are:

Note: ICD Loader's vendor is mentioned only to identify each loader, it is otherwise completely irrelevant. ICD loaders are vendor-agnostic and may be used interchangeably (as long as they are implemented correctly).


For OpenCL development, the bare minimum additional packages required, are:

  • ocl-icd: OpenCL ICD loader implementation, up to date with the latest OpenCL specification.
  • opencl-headers: OpenCL C/C++ API headers.

The vendors' SDKs provide a multitude of tools and support libraries:

  • intel-opencl-sdkAUR: Intel OpenCL SDK (old version, new OpenCL SDKs are included in the INDE and Intel Media Server Studio)
  • amdapp-sdkAUR: This package is installed as /opt/AMDAPP and apart from SDK files it also contains a number of code samples (/opt/AMDAPP/SDK/samples/). It also provides the clinfo utility which lists OpenCL platforms and devices present in the system and displays detailed information about them. As the SDK itself contains a CPU OpenCL driver, no extra driver is needed to execute OpenCL on CPU devices (regardless of its vendor).
  • cuda: Nvidia's GPU SDK which includes support for OpenCL 3.0.


To see which OpenCL implementations are currently active on your system, use the following command:

$ ls /etc/OpenCL/vendors

To find out all possible (known) properties of the OpenCL platform and devices available on the system, install clinfo.

You can specify which implementations should your application see using ocl-icd-chooseAUR. For example:

$ ocl-icd-choose amdocl64.icd:mesa.icd davinci-resolve-checker


Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: It seems OCL_ICD_VENDORS cannot handle single icd files, despite the manual. See (Discuss in Talk:GPGPU)
Note: Currently only Intel GPUs are supported through the iris driver. Support for AMD GPUs through radeonsi should come soon, and for other GPUs and drivers at a later date.

Rusticl is a new OpenCL implementation written in Rust provided by opencl-mesa. It can be enabled by using the environment variable RUSTICL_ENABLE=driver, where driver is a Gallium driver, such as radeonsi or iris.

Optionally, if OpenCL applications still do not detect Rusticl, use the following environment variable:


Language bindings


SYCL is another open and royalty-free standard by the Khronos Group that defines a single-source heterogeneous programming model for C++ on top of OpenCL 1.2.

SYCL consists of a runtime part and a C++ device compiler. The device compiler may target any number and kind of accelerators. The runtime is required to fall back to a pure CPU code path in case no OpenCL implementation can be found.


  • computecppAUR Codeplay's proprietary implementation of SYCL 1.2.1. Can target SPIR, SPIR-V and experimentally PTX (NVIDIA) as device targets.
  • trisycl-gitAUR: Open source implementation mainly driven by Xilinx.
  • hipsycl-cuda-gitAUR and hipsycl-rocm-gitAUR: Free implementation built over AMD's HIP instead of OpenCL. Is able to run on AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.

Checking for SPIR support

Most SYCL implementations are able to compile the accelerator code to SPIR or SPIR-V. Both are intermediate languages designed by Khronos that can be consumed by an OpenCL driver. To check whether SPIR or SPIR-V are supported clinfo can be used:

$ clinfo | grep -i spir
Platform Extensions                             cl_khr_icd cl_khr_global_int32_base_atomics cl_khr_global_int32_extended_atomics cl_khr_local_int32_base_atomics cl_khr_local_int32_extended_atomics cl_khr_byte_addressable_store cl_khr_depth_images cl_khr_3d_image_writes cl_intel_exec_by_local_thread cl_khr_spir cl_khr_fp64 cl_khr_image2d_from_buffer cl_intel_vec_len_hint 
  IL version                                    SPIR-V_1.0
  SPIR versions                                 1.2

ComputeCpp additionally ships with a tool that summarizes the relevant system information:

$ computecpp_info
Device 0:

  Device is supported                     : UNTESTED - Untested OS
  CL_DEVICE_NAME                          : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz
  CL_DEVICE_VENDOR                        : Intel(R) Corporation
  CL_DRIVER_VERSION                       :
  CL_DEVICE_TYPE                          : CL_DEVICE_TYPE_CPU 

Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: Is the driver for AMD opencl-legacy-amdgpu-proAUR or opencl-amdAUR? (Discuss in Talk:GPGPU)

Drivers known to at least partially support SPIR or SPIR-V include intel-compute-runtime, intel-opencl-runtimeAUR, pocl and amdgpu-pro-openclAUR[broken link: package not found].


SYCL requires a working C++11 environment to be set up. There are a few open source libraries available:


CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) is NVIDIA's proprietary, closed-source parallel computing architecture and framework. It requires an NVIDIA GPU, and consists of several components:

  • Required:
    • Proprietary NVIDIA kernel module
    • CUDA "driver" and "runtime" libraries
  • Optional:
    • Additional libraries: CUBLAS, CUFFT, CUSPARSE, etc.
    • CUDA toolkit, including the nvcc compiler
    • CUDA SDK, which contains many code samples and examples of CUDA and OpenCL programs

The kernel module and CUDA "driver" library are shipped in nvidia and opencl-nvidia. The "runtime" library and the rest of the CUDA toolkit are available in cuda. cuda-gdb needs ncurses5-compat-libsAUR to be installed, see FS#46598.


The cuda package installs all components in the directory /opt/cuda. For compiling CUDA code, add /opt/cuda/include to your include path in the compiler instructions. For example, this can be accomplished by adding -I/opt/cuda/include to the compiler flags/options. To use nvcc, a gcc wrapper provided by NVIDIA, add /opt/cuda/bin to your path.

To find whether the installation was successful and whether CUDA is up and running, you can compile the CUDA samples. One way to check the installation is to run the deviceQuery sample.

Language bindings


ROCm (Radeon Open Compute) is AMD's open-source parallel computing architecture and framework. Although it requires an AMD GPU some ROCm tools are hardware agnostic. See the ROCm for Arch Linux repository for more information.

  • rocm-hip-sdk: Develop applications using HIP and libraries for AMD platforms.
  • rocm-opencl-sdk: Develop OpenCL-based applications for AMD platforms.


The Heterogeneous Interface for Portability (HIP)[dead link 2023-05-06 ⓘ] is AMD's dedicated GPU programming environment for designing high performance kernels on GPU hardware. HIP is a C++ runtime API and programming language that allows developers to create portable applications on different platforms.

Tip: More information about using HIP with Blender is available there.


The openmp-extrasAUR package provides AOMP - an open source Clang/LLVM based compiler with added support for the OpenMP API on AMD GPUs.


The rocm-opencl-runtime package is the part of the ROCm framework providing an OpenCL runtime.

OpenCL image support

The latest ROCm versions now includes OpenCL Image Support used by GPGPU accelerated software such as Darktable. ROCm with the AMDGPU open source graphics driver are all that is required. AMDGPU PRO is not required.

$ /opt/rocm/bin/clinfo | grep -i "image support"
Image support                                   Yes

List of GPGPU accelerated software

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: More application may support GPGPU. (Discuss in Talk:GPGPU)

See also