Valve Is Funding More Research into Open-Source Radeon Linux GPU Drivers for the Steam Deck

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Image: Valve

A post on the FeeDesktop Mesa GitLab has indicated that Valve is providing increased funding for the development of open-source drivers for its Steam Deck. The post comes from Charlie Turner of Igalia, “An open-source consultancy specialized in the development of innovative projects and solutions.”

This series proposes to add more dEQP bare-metal runners, sponsored by Valve. For now the runners are conditioned on a selection of users (similar to how freedreno’s restricted traces work), since there are not enough machines to hit the runtime targets required for inclusion in the automatic pre-merge pipelines. There’s nothing secret about the test loads, the restriction is purely practical for now and any interested user may request access to the runner. A follow-up series will add trace testing runners to the CI, using a similar approach to the above.

It appears the developer is seeking assistance with code in order to meet the pre-merge pipeline requirements. Martin Roukala, a former Intel and Nouveau developer who previously served as an board member, has already helped Mr. Turner with some code following the request.

As with most projects and efforts, Mesa’s CI testing has been limited by the number of hardware systems they have devoted to being able to timely test new Mesa merge requests / patches right away without holding up the queue of patches to be tested before mainlining. Valve’s sponsorship will hopefully help out moving forward in catching more issues before they are otherwise spotted. -Michael Larabel (Phoronix)

Early on, Valve garnered praise from the gaming industry for basing the Steam Deck’s OS on open-source code. It appears the Linux community is rallying behind this decision with enthusiasm and, in turn, hasn’t hesitated to request more resources from Valve. Liam Dawe (Gaming on Linux) said, “There is only so much developers can test directly on owned hardware, and CI testing is essential towards reducing the burden of that (and it’s used across many computing fields).” He further clarified that “dEQP (drawElements Quality Program) contains tests for multiple graphics APIs and should hopefully pick up issues before they end up going out to the public driver releases.”

Source: Mesa (via TweakTown), Phoronix, Gaming on Linux

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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