Is video with Radeon RX 550 and RX 580 possible at all?

Is video with Radeon RX 550 and RX 580 possible at all?

Postby benkev » Feb 22nd, '19, 18:35

I have Mageia 6 on a system with motherboard MSI TA785G3, AMD Phenom II X4 B55 processor.
The video worked perfectly both on the onboard graphic and with the PCI-e card GTX 220. Now I am trying to experiment with AMD GPUs for scientific computing (use them as GPGPU). I already have Radeon RX 550 and waiting for RX 580 to arrive today.
After installing RX 550, Mageia stopped booting at all. I have read a lot on it and I have an impression that using AMD graphics with Mageia (let alone OpenCL) is impossible at all.
I read here your helping dialog with the user Egg. From there I learned that I should remove nokmsboot and vga=... from /etc/default/grub, and add there "modprobe.blacklist=amdgpu 3", and run the update-grub. I did so, edited xorg.conf to change to Driver="vesa". At least now I can have KDE Plasma on my screen. Moreover, I managed to install the kernel 4.14.100-desktop-1.mga6, which (as I learned from your dialog) provides support for amdgpu driver. But I am still very far from (1) normal accelerated graphics and (2) having OpenCL installed to program the GPU.
# modprobe amdgpu crashes everything.
Egg eventually wrote that he is happy now after having Mageia 6 where his RX 550 works fast at hi res. I cannot boast with a similar success.

Please, help me with this. My questions are:
(1) how to make RX 550 and 580 work with their native acceleration with Mageia and
(2) how to install OpenCL in Mageia 6 to work with RX 550 and 580 GPUs?

Thank you very much in advance!

My own answers, from the experience gained.

1. Radeon RX 550 will not work in Mageia 6 at all. By the way, in CentOS 7 Radeon RX 550 does not work either.
Radeon RX 580 works, but Mageia cannot use the "fast" driver amdgpu.
Yet, on the same machine under Windows 7 the videocard RX 550 works wonderfully!
All the drivers are provided on the CD (or can be downloaded from the AMD site).

2. Currently, in Mageia 6 it is impossible to use AMD video cards as General Purpose GPUs (GPGPU) for science/engineering computations. This is because the OpenCL packages provided in Mageia 6 lack some info, for example, /etc/OpenCL/vendors. Also, in Mageia 6 it is impossible to install the simple utility clinfo. I already forgot, maybe something else.
AMD only provides their software for Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS and SLED: ... stallation
In Mageia it does not work - "incompatible system".

3. How to install OpenCL? Unfortunately, getting this information is almost impossible for a dummy like myself... No one says. There is a great confusion about it. For example, a couple of years or more ago they wrote posts that one needs to install some "AMD SDK" and gave a link. The link is dead. In the AMD website you cannot find any information about their dead SDK.

Eventually it turned out that you do not need any "SDK" to have OpenCL on your system.
OpenCL installation consists (literally!) of 3 things:
- the API headers, /usr/include/CL/cl.h
(or OpenCL/opencl.h for Apple);
- the library /usr/lib64/;
- the directory /etc/OpenCL/vendors/.
I recommend to read

All the three components are usually provided for installing from the system repository. The file CL/cl.h contains the API headers, which are so standard and platform-independent that cl.h can be downloaded from the site of OpenCL developers,

4. OpenCL does not require a special compiler (like nvcc for Nvidia CUDA). To build an OpenCL program to run it on a GPU, I use the command
$ gcc prog-name.c -o prog-name -l OpenCL

5. My impressions: What a horrible mess is the AMD official website! Lots of obsolete stuff. Nothing can be found there - only through googling forums and trying the suggested links (most of which do not work :)). Here is another good (and funny) example: from ... stallation
Installation Instructions
Vega10 and newer cards (when using the 18.Q1.1 Enterprise driver)
What?!! Is MY card "newer" or "older" than this Vega 10? What is 18.Q1.1?? What means --opencl=pal and which one is better, "pal" or "rocm"?
Of course, I see, this sounds very sensible:
"--opencl=legacy,pal Install both legacy and PAL OpenCL support",
but... how do I know which option to use for my concrete "Radeon RX 580" GPU? Is it "legacy" (was issued in 2017)?

And this is despite the fact: AMD creates excellent hardware products, much cheaper than those by Nvidia and often superior to Nvidia. More GB of memory. Much faster the double-precision float math (64-bit).

To share my experience: for Radeon RX 580 use
# ./amdgpu-pro-install -y --opencl=legacy,pal
This simply copies libraries and headers to /opt/amdgpu-pro/, but I am not sure it is needed at all. Because simply "yum install opencl" installs everything needed in more standard locations...

6. Finally: I am very sorry to admit that I had to totally abandon Mageia. Now all my machines - at work and at home - work under CentOS. Mageya used to be a great linux, by the way, it is more convenient and user-friendly than CentOS. But, alas, as I think, the Mageia's talented developers are sort of "short of breath" last years... I wish them all the best, and sorry for not supporting them anymore.
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