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From Wikipedia:

Vulkan is a low-overhead, cross-platform 3D graphics and compute API. First released in 2016, it is a successor to OpenGL.

Learn more at Khronos.


Note: On hybrid graphics (NVIDIA Optimus/AMD Dynamic Switchable Graphics):

To run a Vulkan application, you will need to install the vulkan-icd-loader package (and lib32-vulkan-icd-loader if you also want to run 32-bit applications), as well as Vulkan drivers for your graphics card(s). There are several packages providing a vulkan-driver:

Note: Enabling NVK also requires additional system configuration, see Nouveau#Using the Mesa NVK Vulkan Driver for details.

The following are software rasterizers, so that you can use it on devices that do not provide Vulkan support.

For Vulkan application development, install vulkan-headers, and optionally vulkan-validation-layers, vulkan-man-pagesAUR and vulkan-tools (you can find the vulkaninfo tool in here).


To see which Vulkan implementations are currently installed on your system, use the following command:

$ ls /usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/

To ensure that Vulkan is working with your hardware, install vulkan-tools and use the vulkaninfo command to pull up relevant information about your system. If you get info about your graphics card, you will know that Vulkan is working.

$ vulkaninfo


Switching between devices

On systems with multiple GPUs you may need to force the usage of a specific GPU. vulkan-mesa-layers is required for this to work. By setting MESA_VK_DEVICE_SELECT to vendorID:deviceID, you can choose the desired GPU.

To list the candidates, use:

$ MESA_VK_DEVICE_SELECT=list vulkaninfo

Appending a ! at the end of the specified value enforces this behavior. See Vulkan mesa device select layer environment variables for more information.

Switching between AMD drivers

On AMD systems, it is valid to have multiple Vulkan drivers installed at once, and it may be desirable to switch between them.

Selecting via environment variable

Note: This method does not support selecting the AMDVLK Closed drivers.

As of amdvlk 2021.Q3.4, a new switching logic was implemented which enforces AMDVLK as the default and mandates you either

  • set AMD_VULKAN_ICD=RADV to switch from the AMDVLK default,
  • or globally set DISABLE_LAYER_AMD_SWITCHABLE_GRAPHICS_1=1 to re-enable the ICD loader method below.

When DISABLE_LAYER_AMD_SWITCHABLE_GRAPHICS_1=1, you can choose your preferred driver by setting the environment variable VK_DRIVER_FILES. For example, running Steam with the RADV driver is done by

$ VK_DRIVER_FILES=/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/radeon_icd.i686.json:/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/radeon_icd.x86_64.json steam

To avoid crashes with 32-bit games, it is possible to assign the 32-bit variant and the 64-bit variant to the environment variable.

Selecting via AMD Vulkan Prefixes

AMD Vulkan Prefixes is a script for switching between all three Vulkan implementations. Install amd-vulkan-prefixesAUR, and prepend your application with the prefix you want. The executables provided are vk_radv, vk_amdvlk, and vk_pro. For example, to use the AMDVLK Closed drivers:

$ vk_pro command

Software rendering

You can install the software Vulkan rasterizer known as lavapipe, for example to debug hardware issues: vulkan-swrast (or lib32-vulkan-swrast for the 32-bit version).

The following example shows running vulkaninfo with the required environment variables to force a full software rendering for Vulkan and OpenGL (with __GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME=mesa ensuring the command also works for PRIME users):

$ LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 __GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME=mesa VK_DRIVER_FILES=/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/lvp_icd.i686.json:/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/lvp_icd.x86_64.json vulkaninfo

Vulkan hardware database

The Vulkan Hardware Database provides user reported GPU/driver combinations. Supplying own information is possible by using vulkan-caps-viewer-waylandAUR or vulkan-caps-viewer-x11AUR.


NVIDIA - vulkan is not working and can not initialize

Check if you have any other vulkan driver installed, it may prevent NVIDIA's vulkan driver from being detected.

Alternatively set the environment variable VK_DRIVER_FILES to /usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/nvidia_icd.json.

If you have a dual-graphics system, like NVIDIA Optimus, ensure that your system is using the graphics card that you installed Vulkan drivers for.

This article or section needs expansion.

Reason: optimus-manager is just one of several utilities for NVIDIA Optimus. (Discuss in Talk:Vulkan)

This article or section needs language, wiki syntax or style improvements. See Help:Style for reference.

Reason: Command in code block requires a prompt symbol. (Discuss in Talk:Vulkan)
optimus-manager --status
Optimus Manager (Client) version 1.4

Current GPU mode : nvidia
GPU mode requested for next login : no change
GPU at startup : integrated
Temporary config path: no

No device for the display GPU found. Are the intel-mesa drivers installed?

Try to list both the intel_icd and primus_vk_wrapper configurations in VK_DRIVER_FILES

export VK_DRIVER_FILES=/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/intel_icd.x86_64.json:/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/nv_vulkan_wrapper.json


If after running vulkaninfo on AMD card from GCN1 or GCN2 family you got error message like:

ERROR at /build/vulkan-tools/src/Vulkan-Tools-1.2.135/vulkaninfo/vulkaninfo.h:240:vkEnumerateInstanceExtensionProperties failed with ERROR_INITIALIZATION_FAILED

Then check if you have correctly enable support for this models of graphics cards (AMDGPU#Enable Southern Islands (SI) and Sea Islands (CIK) support).

One of possibility to check if gpu drivers are correctly loaded is lspci -k, after running this command check kernel driver of your gpu. It should be amdgpu.

$ lspci -k
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Curacao PRO [Radeon R7 370 / R9 270/370 OEM]
	Subsystem: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd Device 226c
	Kernel driver in use: amdgpu
	Kernel modules: radeon, amdgpu

Some forum threads about this problem: [3] [4]

AMDGPU - Hangs when playing DirectX Vulkan games

Radeon-Vulkan seems to cause driver and/or GPU hangs when playing some games with usage of DirectX Vulkan.

kernel: [drm:amdgpu_dm_atomic_commit_tail [amdgpu]] *ERROR* Waiting for fences timed out!
kernel: [drm:amdgpu_job_timedout [amdgpu]] *ERROR* ring gfx_0.0.0 timeout, signaled ..., emitted ...
kernel: [drm:amdgpu_job_timedout [amdgpu]] *ERROR* Process information: process ... pid ... thread dxvk-submit pid

Switching to or enabling AMDVLK seems to fix the problem as discovered in BBS#275991.

AMDGPU - Crashes with DirectX Vulkan games

AMDVLK has been reported as causing crashes by multiple users (see BBS#284118, BBS#283008, BBS#274737): switching to or enabling the Radeon-Vulkan driver fixes the issue.

AMDGPU - Vulkan applications launch slowly

If you install cuda, you might find Vulkan applications, for example, Chromium, launch slowly. It's because nvidia-utils provides an Vulkan driver and Vulkan would try nvidia drivers before radeon drivers. To solve it, set the environment variable VK_DRIVER_FILES to /usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/radeon_icd.i686.json:/usr/share/vulkan/icd.d/radeon_icd.x86_64.json.

AMDGPU - Found no drivers!

When encountering Found no drivers!:

$ vulkaninfo
WARNING: [Loader Message] Code 0 : terminator_CreateInstance: Failed to CreateInstance in ICD 0.  Skipping ICD.
ERROR: [Loader Message] Code 0 : terminator_CreateInstance: Found no drivers!
Cannot create Vulkan instance.
This problem is often caused by a faulty installation of the Vulkan driver or attempting to use a GPU that does not support Vulkan.
ERROR at /usr/src/debug/vulkan-tools/Vulkan-Tools-1.3.269/vulkaninfo/./vulkaninfo.h:688:vkCreateInstance failed with ERROR_INCOMPATIBLE_DRIVER

AMD has regularly dropped support for pre-Polaris and up to Vega. If your GPU support was removed from amdvlk, uninstall it and install vulkan-radeon.

32-bit applications fail to find drivers with Bcachefs root

Bcachefs has an incompatibility bug with 32-bit programs that prevents Vulkan ICD loader from being able to find drivers when this filesystem is used as root. (Bcachefs#32-bit programs cannot see directory contents).

This can be worked around by mounting a different filesystem at one of the paths that is searched, and copying the data there.

Warning: The mounted filesystem will overlay the directory it's on, preventing its original contents from being read or modified by you or Pacman. Don't mount over /usr/share/vulkan, as package changes or updates will only modify the files in the mounted filesystem, and hence may cause breakage when it is unmounted.
# mkdir -p /usr/local/share/vulkan
# mount -t tmpfs foo /usr/local/share/vulkan
# cp -r /usr/share/vulkan/* /usr/local/share/vulkan