FreeBSD, GPGPU and OpenCL/CUDA
ohartman at mail.zedat.fu-berlin.de
Sat Aug 14 09:53:12 UTC 2010
The problem behind the subject is a little bit frustrating, so I do not
know were to start.
I use FreeBSD at my lab and private for scientific stuff. In most cases,
FreeBSD performed sufficiently for tasks we/I had to do. But this
picture has changed.
Modelling atsrodynamical problems I need to order and setup new
multicore computer boxes and the preferred OS in mind was still FreeBSD
(even 9.0-CURRENT). We use a highly parallelized and CUDA supported
modellig software solving symplectic integrational problems (moving
stars and planets and even lost of particles in ring systems like saturn).
Getting involved with CUDA, I was looking for solutions and tools for
usage with FreeBSD (priority is: we need 64 Bit and due to several
issues I had with the main infrastructure, like OpenLDAP, Linuxulator
isn't a way to go).
Since most of my colleagues overseas now use CUDA-supported GPGPU
software with Linux, I was looking for some solutions using this
software (written in C++ and Fortran 95) with FreeBSD. First, and this
hasn't changed since the last 15 years, FreeBSD lack in support of
professional Compiler vendors. Pprtland Group offers only Linux
compilers, as far as I know Intel does not offer a native FreeBSD 64 Bit
compiler. So we are stuck with gcc and gfortran, but this isn't an
matter, if OpenCL/CUDA stuff could be used. But there is then the next
problem. It seems that there is no real chance getting support for
executing high performance code portions of our software in any way on a
graphics card (gpu). Most FreeBSD driver doesn't support any 3D
acceleration and as far as I know, the driver's support of 3D is
essential for GPGPU usage. I looked for nVidia's native 64 Bit driver
for FreeBSD, I found it, was happy having it, but then I realised that
obviously CUDA isn't usable with this driver, since the CUDA SDK is not
to be ported to FreeBSD and not even to 64 Bit FreeBSDs.
Well, FreeBSD doesn't support 64 Bit Linuxulator as far as I know, so
there is no chance getting software run in 64 bit environments using
OpenCL/CUDA with nVidia GPUs, neither natively under FreeBSD nor with a
64Bit Linuxulator, is this right?
I havn't looked deeper into AMDs offerings, but I guess since it's
silent around OpenCL and AMD-based GPGPU, even with Linux there isn't much.
I'm not very close to the GPGPU scene, we even start thinking about
porting and developing some mathematical stuff into libraries and
thought about OpenCL.
Unluckily, in my team I'm the only one utilizing FreeBSD.
Maybe someone out here has solved some problems and could email me. Even
AMD seems to be a white spot in the subject of GPGPU and FreeBSD for me,
maybe someone could shed some light on this.
Thanks in advance,
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