The support for AMD graphics and how freebsd hardware support

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Wed Sep 25 14:28:51 UTC 2019

On 2019-09-25 01:04, Kevin Oberman wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 8:56 PM <CSO at> wrote:
>> developed
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>> Hello,
>> 1. Does freebsd current and freebsd stable 12 fully support all features
>> of AMD Radeon RX 5700, Vega and RX 500 series including the hardware video
>> decoding features?
> AMD Radeon support is probably the weakest of the three main GPU providers,
> but someone else may be able to confirm the status of those particular
> units. You would be far more likely to get information on X related issues
> by sending to the x11 at mailing list.
>> 2. From website,, it says
>> "Update drm-stable to Linux 4.16 for FreeBSD 12.0". Does it mean freebsd
>> hardware support or drivers are copied or translated from linux kernel
>> codes?
> They are derived with minimal changes from the Linux code. FreeBSD has
> kernel modules that provide kernel support. These modules are not part of
> FreeBSD. They are GPL licensed, so are built as a port, drm-kmod and a
> group of slave ports that are for specific kernel versions.
>> 3. How are freebsd hardware support really developed? In linux kernel
>> mailing list, there are over 2,000 emails per day from hardware vendors
>> such as Intel, AMD, Huawei, Samsung, Sony submitting patches or hardware
>> drivers. What about BSD? I did not find any such equivalence in freebsd
>> after googling.
> Only Nvidia provides any significant support for its products on FreeBSD
> and, as a result, almost all other X code is identical or very nearly
> identical to the Linux code.

My impression, however, has always been that NVIDIA never provides 
substantial specifications of internals of their hardware (thus there is 
no way to write decent open source driver), and they provide only binary 
drivers which are accompanied by source code (to a degree kernel 
specific) of interface between binary driver and kernel (the last is 
what you compile against your kernel).

Am I wrong or awfully outdated with my understanding?


> --
> Kevin Oberman, Part time kid herder and retired Network Engineer
> E-mail: rkoberman at
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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