"C. Bergström" cbergstrom at
Wed Aug 18 16:46:56 UTC 2010

Hi Oliver,

> The problem behind the subject is a little bit frustrating, so I do not 
> know were to start.
Yeah it's a pretty big problem, but I can say others are looking at it and taking small steps in the right direction.
> 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
PathScale quietly is doing alpha testing on our very recent port.  Some of it is work in progress, but we are *very* competitive in performance for most HPC codes.
> 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?
PathScale and CAPS recently announced HMPP as a new manycore GPGPU open standard and there's a chance you'll see it ported to FBSD.  In addition to this you could see other open standards working well on FBSD, but that depends on market demand and feedback.
> 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.
What's blocking this from being available now
	a) someone porting the kernel driver over or
	b) us getting funding to do it.

When we started working on the driver months ago one of the main goals was to allow greater portability.  Details for any interested developers is available any time.  In general I'd like to see more open source OS diversity in the HPC industry and happy to help where I can.

For those curious why NVIDIA doesn't port CUDA to FBSD...  My guess is that to do a high quality job it would take 1-2 man years of effort.  In the non-FOSS world that's expensive.

If anyone uses irc feel free to say hi..

#pathscale -



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