The support for AMD graphics and how freebsd hardware support

Johannes Lundberg johalun at
Wed Sep 25 16:08:36 UTC 2019

On 9/25/19 8:00 AM, CSO at wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 09:28:49AM -0500, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>> 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 Am I wrong or awfully outdated with my understanding?
> I think you are right. At least in Linux, the linux kernel 5.3 fully
> support all the above AMO GPU with built in open source driver. But
> NVIDIA GPU will not work or display properly without its closed source,
> proprietary drivers installed. 
> But what is the current stage of freebsd stable and freebsd current' copy of
> linux drivers and when will linux kernel 5.3 drivers arrive in freebsd?

We still have some minor issues with 5.0 that needs to be fixed and
since it's all volunteer work, it's hard to say. I would expect that 5.0
is the latest we'll support until at least early next year.

/Johannes (maintainer of kernel drm drivers)

> The freebsd website should have had some real time update of such info
> in order for people to easily build computer system for freebsd.
>> Thanks.
>> Valeri
>>> --
>>> Kevin Oberman, Part time kid herder and retired Network Engineer
>>> E-mail: rkoberman at
>>> PGP Fingerprint: D03FB98AFA78E3B78C1694B318AB39EF1B055683
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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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