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Had been stuck on Debian 8 with 17.10 as well, until I found this thread : [Linux] Trick to use AMDGPU-Pro OpenCL capabilities without installing the whole propertary driver stack.
This idea is just great! Use the built in amdgpu driver provided with your kernel and add the OpenCL lib to library path.
Running on kernel 4.8.17 with PowerPlay enabled, and this configuration is very fast with minimum power. Running better than the PRO version.
For the record, the default 4.9 Debian 8 was causing a GPU ring fault (Radeon Fury & Kavery).
I like this idea of adding libraries to a default kernel. This is easier to upgrade than installing modules through dkms.