Status Update and XDC 2019, October 2019
It has been a while since my last post, but there is a simple reason for that: on August 5th, I had to move from Brazil to Canada. Why did I move? Thanks to Harry Wentland recommendation, I got an interview for a software engineering position at AMD (Markham), and I got hired to work on the display team. From now on, I suppose that I’ll be around the DRM subsystem for a long time :). Even though I’m now employed by AMD this post reflect my personal thoughts only and should not be construed to represent AMD in any way.
I have a few updates about my work with the community since I have been busy with my relocation and adaptation. However, my main updates came from XDC 2019  and I want to share it here.
XDC 2019 - Montréal (Concordia University Conference)
This year I had the great luck joining XDC again. However, at this time, I was with Harry Wentland, Nicholas Kazlauskas, and Leo Li (we worked together at AMD). We put effort into learning from other people’s experiences, and we tried to know what the compositor developers wanted to see in our driver. We also used this opportunity to try to explain a little bit more about our hardware features. In particular, we had conversations about Freesync, MST, DKMS, and so forth. Thinking of that, I’ll share my view of the most exciting moments that we had.
As usual, I tried my best to understand what people want to see in VKMS soon or later. For example, from the XDC 2018, I focused on fixing some bugs but mainly in add writeback support cause it could provide a visual output (this work is almost done, see ). This year I collected feedback from multiple people (special thanks to Marten, Lyude, Hiler, and Harry), and from these conversations I tend to work in the following tasks:
- Finish the writeback feature and enable visual output;
- Add support for adaptive refresh rate;
- Add support for “dynamic connectors”, which can enable the MST test.
Additionally, Martin Peres gave a talk that he shared his views for the CI and test. In his presentation, he suggested using VKMS to validate the API, and I have to admit that I’m really excited about this idea. I hope that I can help with this.
amdgpu drivers support a technology named
Freesync . In a few words, this feature
allows the dynamic change of the refreshes rate, which can bring benefits for
games and for power saving. Harry Wayland talked about that feature and you can
see it here:
After Harry’s presentation, many people asked interesting questions related to this subject, this situation caught my attention, and for this reason, I added the VRR to my roadmap in the VKMS. Roman Gilg, from KDE, was one of the developers that asked for a protocol extension in Wayland for support Freesync; additionally, compositor developers asked for mechanisms that enable them to know in advance if the experience of a specific panel will be good or not. Finally, there were some discussions about the use of Freesync for power saving and in an application that requires time-sensitive.
IGT and CI
This year I kept my tradition of asking thousands of questions to Hiler with
the goal of learning more about IGT, and as usual, he was extremely kind and
gentle with my questions (thanks Hiler). One of the concepts that Hiler
explained to me, it is the use of
podman (https://podman.io/) for prepare IGT
image, for example, after a few minutes of code pair with him I could run IGT
on my machine after executing the following commands:
sudo su podman run --privileged registry.freedesktop.org/drm/igt-gpu-tools/igt:master podman run --privileged registry.freedesktop.org/drm/igt-gpu-tools/igt:master \ igt_runner -t core_auth podman run --privileged registry.freedesktop.org/drm/igt-gpu-tools/igt:master \ igt_runner -t core_auth /tmp podman run --privileged -v /tmp/results:/results \ registry.freedesktop.org/drm/igt-gpu-tools/igt:master igt_runner -t core_auth /results
We also had a chance to discuss CI with Martin Peres, and he explained his work
for improving the way that the CI keep track of bugs. In particular, he
introduced a fantastic tool named
cibuglog, which is responsible for keep
tracking of test failures and using this data for building a database. Cibuglog
has many helpful filters that enable us to see test problems associated with a
specific machine and bugs in the Bugzilla. The huge insights from cibuglog it
is the idea of using data for helping with bug tracking. Thanks Martin, for
showing us this amazing tool.
I just want to finish this post with brief updates from my work with free
software, starting with
kw and finish with VKMS.
Kernel Workflow (
When I started to work with VKMS, I wrote a tool named
kworkflow, or simply
kw, for helping me with basic tasks related to Kernel development. These days
kw reborn to me since I was looking for a way to automate my work with
amdgpu; as a result, I implemented the following features:
- Kernel deploy in a target machine (any machine reachable via IP);
- Module deploy;
.configfile from a target machine;
Unfortunately, the code is not ready for merging in the main branch, I’m
working on it; I think that in a couple of weeks, I can release a new version
with these features. If you want to know a little bit more about
kw take a
look at https://siqueira.tech/doc/kw/
I was not working in VKMS due to my change of country; however, now I am
reworking part of the IGT test related to writeback, and as soon as I finish
it, I will try to upstream it again. I hope that I can also have the VKMS
writeback merged into the
drm-misc-next by the end of this month. Finally, I
merged the prime supported implemented by Oleg Vasilev (huge thanks!).