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Devgurus Discussion

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

How to properly configure Linux Systems (Linux Mint 17.03 and Ubuntu 14.04) for using OpenCL 2.0 Drivers

I'm currently working on upgrading some of the OpenCL implementations within our lab, and I was running into some issues with the new OpenCL Driver. I primarily use Linux Mint (Linux Mint 17.3) as my main operating system for all of my OpenCL implementations, and I have worked with AMD APP SDK for about a year and a half now. I soon discovered that the AMD APP SDK no longer supports GPU OpenCL implementations, as the GPU implementation has been switched over the the individual proprietary drivers. After downloading the AMD APP SDK 3.0 for 64-bit linux, I was able to successfully query all the available platforms (AMD OpenCL platform), and the CPU (as expected). However, the drivers failed to detect the graphics card (R9 270) (again, as expected as I did not have the propriety drivers installed). After searching around, I discovered that there were some heavy compatibility issues when working with the proprietary drivers and linux mint. Regardless, I decided to proceed anyways and install OpenCL 2.0 Drivers. Unfortunately, this did not work and caused my desktops XServer to no longer load. While working through terminal, I was still unable to find the GPU as an available OpenCL device - in fact, after FGLRX libraries were installed, the platform failed to detect at all. I removed the driver and reverted to the free ati driver to restore desktop GUI functionality.

Next, I decided that since the OpenCL 2.0 driver had direct support for Ubuntu 14.04, I would use that OS. I installed a fresh copy of 14.04.03 onto a new partition on a separate SSD and started from there. Again, I installed AMD APP SDK 3.0 and was able to enumerate CPU and platform. I then installed the Ubuntu distribution driver for OpenCL 2.0 and rebooted. This time I had marginally more success. Now, the Unity desktop manager fails to load (as documented within the FAQ on installing the catalyst drivers - however, I cannot restart the XServer in a way that allows me to restart unity. Once the XServer is started, the TTY terminals become completely unusable, and Ctrl+Alt+T does not bring up the terminal. I can interact with the empty GUI display - which is only a background - but this is not good enough toe fix the Unity plugin. I was able to get the configuration for the desktop manage open, and I re-enabled the unity plugin, but the computer crashed after selecting the option)

I then decided to forgo the user interface and used a TTY terminal after I rebooted. This time, I was successfully able to enumerate the OpenCL GPU! However, for the time being, if I would like to conduct experiments on the GPU, I will need to do it from the terminal (totally okay, but still a giant pain) (and the computer is quite obviously barely functioning as it's intended to...).

Is there any documentation on how to properly download the OpenCL drivers to enable GPU OpenCL implementations within a linux (debian) system? Has anyone successfully gotten catalyst drivers to run on Linux Mint or Ubuntu, and if so, how have they done it?

Should I instead take the hit on efficiency and install a copy of Windows onto the computer? Will this result in success, or is it just as difficult on Windows systems?

Thank you.