AMDGPU is the open source graphics driver for AMD Radeon graphics cards from the Graphics Core Next family.
Selecting the right driver
Depending on the card you have, find the right driver in Xorg#AMD. This page has instructions for AMDGPU and AMDGPU PRO. At the moment there is Xorg radeon driver support for Southern Islands (SI) through Arctic Islands (AI) cards. AMD has no plans to support pre-GCN GPUs. Owners of unsupported GPUs may use the open source radeon or the AMD Catalyst driver .
Install the mesa package, which provides the DRI driver for 3D acceleration.
- For 32-bit application support, also install the lib32-mesa package from the multilib repostory.
- For the DDX driver (which provides 2D acceleration in Xorg), install the xf86-video-amdgpu package.
- For Vulkan support, install the vulkan-radeon package. Optionally install the lib32-vulkan-radeon package for 32-bit application support.
It may be worthwhile for some users to use the upstream experimental build of mesa, to enable features such as AMD Navi improvements that have not landed in the standard mesa packages.
Install the mesa-git AUR package, which provides the DRI driver for 3D acceleration.
- For 32-bit application support, also install the lib32-mesa-gitAUR package from the mesa-git repository or the AUR.
- For the DDX driver (which provides 2D acceleration in Xorg), install the xf86-video-amdgpu-gitAUR package.
- For Vulkan support using the mesa-git repository below, install the vulkan-radeon-git package. Optionally install the lib32-vulkan-radeon-git package for 32-bit application support. This should not be required if building mesa-gitAUR from the AUR.
Enable Southern Islands (SI) and Sea Islands (CIK) support
The linux package enables AMDGPU support for cards of the Southern Islands (SI, ie. GCN 1) and Sea Islands (CIK, ie. GCN 2). When building or compiling a kernel, CONFIG_DRM_AMDGPU_SI=Y and/or CONFIG_DRM_AMDGPU_CIK=Y should be be set in the config.
Specify the correct module order
Even when AMDGPU support for SI/CIK has been enabled by the kernel, the radeon driver may be loaded before the amdgpu driver.
Make sure amdgpu has been set as first module in the Mkinitcpio#MODULES array, e.g. MODULES=(amdgpu radeon) .
Set required module parameters
The module parameters of both amdgpu and radeon modules are cik_support= and si_support= .
They need to be set as kernel parameters or in a modprobe configuration file, and depend on the cards GCN version.
Set module parameters in kernel command line
Set one of the following kernel parameters:
- Southern Islands (SI): radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1
- Sea Islands (CIK): radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1
Set module parameters in modprobe.d
Create the configuration modprobe files in /etc/modprobe.d/ , see modprobe.d(5) for syntax details.
For Southern Islands (SI) use option si_support=1 , for Sea Islands (CIK) use option cik_support=1 , e.g.:
Make sure modconf is in the the HOOKS array in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and regenerate the initramfs.
AMD provides a proprietary, binary userland driver called AMDGPU PRO, which works on top of the open-source AMDGPU kernel driver.
From Radeon Software 18.50 vs Mesa 19 benchmarks article: When it comes to OpenGL games, the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver simply dominates the proprietary AMD OpenGL driver.
Install the amdgpu-pro-libgl AUR . Optionally install the lib32-amdgpu-pro-libgl AUR package for 32-bit application support.
The ACO compiler is an open source shader compiler created and developed by Valve Corporation to directly compete with the LLVM compiler, the AMDVLK drivers, as well as Windows 10. It offers lesser compilation time and also performs better while gaming than LLVM and AMDVLK.
Some benchmarks can be seen in It’s FOSS and Phoronix (1) (2) (3).
Since mesa version 19.3, the ACO compiler is available in the official package, but disabled by default. It can be enabled by exporting RADV_PERFTEST=aco before starting an application.
The amdgpu kernel module should load fine automatically on system boot.
If it does not happen, then:
- Make sure to #Enable Southern Islands (SI) and Sea Islands (CIK) support when needed.
- Make sure you have the latest linux-firmware package installed. This driver requires the latest firmware for each model to successfully boot.
- Make sure you do not have nomodeset or vga= as a kernel parameter, since amdgpu requires KMS.
- Check that you have not disabled amdgpu by using any kernel module blacklisting.
Enable early KMS
Xorg will automatically load the driver and it will use your monitor’s EDID to set the native resolution. Configuration is only required for tuning the driver.
If you want manual configuration, create /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-amdgpu.conf , and add the following:
Using this section, you can enable features and tweak the driver settings, see amdgpu(4) first before setting driver options.
Tear free rendering
TearFree controls tearing prevention using the hardware page flipping mechanism. If this option is set, the default value of the property is ‘on’ or ‘off’ accordingly. If this option is not set, the default value of the property is auto, which means that TearFree is on for rotated outputs, outputs with RandR transforms applied and for RandR 1.4 slave outputs, otherwise off:
You can also enable TearFree temporarily with xrandr:
Where output should look like DisplayPort-0 or HDMI-A-0 and can be acquired by running xrandr -q .
DRI sets the maximum level of DRI to enable. Valid values are 2 for DRI2 or 3 for DRI3. The default is 3 for DRI3 if the Xorg version is >= 1.18.3, otherwise DRI2 is used:
Variable refresh rate
Newer AMD cards support 10bpc color, but the default is 24-bit color and 30-bit color must be explicitly enabled. Enabling it can reduce visible banding/artifacts in gradients, if the applications support this too. To check if your monitor supports it search for “EDID” in your Xorg log file (e.g. /var/log/Xorg.0.log or
To check whether it is currently enabled search for “Depth”):
With the default configuration it will instead say the depth is 24, with 24 bits stored in 4 bytes.
To check whether 10-bit works, exit Xorg if you have it running and run Xorg -retro which will display a black and white grid, then press Ctrl-Alt-F1 and Ctrl-C to exit X, and run Xorg -depth 30 -retro . If this works fine, then 10-bit is working.
To launch in 10-bit via startx , use startx — -depth 30 . To permanently enable it, create or add to:
Various software may have graphical artifacts or crash with 10-bpc color.
Monitoring your GPU is often used to check the temperature and also the P-states of your GPU.
To check your GPU’s P-states, execute:
To monitor your GPU, execute:
To check your GPU utilization, execute:
To check your GPU frequency, execute:
To check your GPU temperature, execute:
To check your VRAM frequency, execute:
To check your VRAM usage, execute:
To check your VRAM size, execute:
With radeontop utility you can view your GPU utilization, both for the total activity percent and individual blocks. Install it with radeontop AUR package.
- WattmanGTK — A GTK GUI tool to monitor your GPU’s temperatures P-states
https://github.com/BoukeHaarsma23/WattmanGTK || wattman-gtk-gitAUR .
- TuxClocker — A Qt5 monitoring and overclocking tool.
https://github.com/Lurkki14/tuxclocker || tuxclockerAUR
Since Linux 4.17, it is possible to adjust clocks and voltages of the graphics card via /sys/class/drm/card0/device/pp_od_clk_voltage .
It is required to unlock access to adjust clocks and voltages in sysfs by appending the Kernel parameter amdgpu.ppfeaturemask=0xffffffff .
To set the GPU clock for the maximum P-state 7 on e.g. a Polaris GPU to 1209MHz and 900mV voltage, run:
The same procedure can be applied to the VRAM, e.g. maximum P-state 2 on Polaris 5xx series cards:
To check if it worked out, read out clocks and voltage under 3D load:
You can reset to the default values using this:
It is also possible to forbid the driver so switch to certain P-states, e.g. to workaround problems with deep powersaving P-states like flickering artifacts or stutter. To force the highest VRAM P-state on a Polaris RX 5xx card, while still allowing the GPU itself to run with lower clocks, run:
Allow only the three highest GPU P-states:
To set the allowed maximum power consumption of the GPU to e.g. 50 Watts, run
Until Linux kernel 4.20, it will only be possible to decrease the value, not increase.
If you are not inclined to fully manually overclock your GPU, there are some overclocking tools that are offered by the community to assist you to overclock and monitor your AMD GPU.
- amdgpu-clocks — A script that can be used to monitor and set custom power states for AMD GPUs. It also offers a Systemd service to apply the settings automatically upon boot.
https://github.com/sibradzic/amdgpu-clocks || amdgpu-clocks-gitAUR
- TuxClocker — A Qt5 monitoring and overclocking tool.
https://github.com/Lurkki14/tuxclocker || tuxclockerAUR
- CoreCtrl — A GUI overclocking tool with a WattMan-like UI that supports per-application profiles.
https://gitlab.com/corectrl/corectrl || corectrlAUR
Startup on boot
If you want your settings to apply automatically upon boot, consider looking at this Reddit thread to configure and apply your settings on boot.
Enable GPU display scaling
This article or section is a candidate for moving to xrandr.
To avoid the usage of the scaler which is built in the display, and use the GPU own scaler instead, when not using the native resolution of the monitor, execute:
Possible values for “scaling mode” are: None , Full , Center , Full aspect .
- To show the available outputs and settings, execute:
- To set scaling mode = Full aspect for just every available output, execute:
Xorg or applications will not start
- “(EE) AMDGPU(0): [DRI2] DRI2SwapBuffers: drawable has no back or front?” error after opening glxgears, can open Xorg server but OpenGL apps crash.
- “(EE) AMDGPU(0): Given depth (32) is not supported by amdgpu driver” error, Xorg will not start.
Setting the screen’s depth under Xorg to 16 or 32 will cause problems/crash. To avoid that, you should use a standard screen depth of 24 by adding this to your “screen” section:
Screen artifacts and frequency problem
Dynamic power management may cause screen artifacts to appear when displaying to monitors at higher frequencies (anything above 60Hz) due to issues in the way GPU clock speeds are managed.
A workaround  is saving high or low in /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_dpm_force_performance_level .
There is also a GUI solution  where you can manage the “power_dpm” with radeon-profile-git AUR and radeon-profile-daemon-git AUR .
R9 390 series poor performance and/or instability
If you experience issues  with a AMD R9 390 series graphics card, set radeon.cik_support=0 radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1 amdgpu.si_support=1 amdgpu.dc=1 as kernel parameters to force the use of amdgpu driver instead of radeon.
If it still does not work, try disabling DPM, by setting the kernel parameters to: radeon.cik_support=0 radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1 amdgpu.si_support=1
Freezes with “[drm] IP block:gmc_v8_0 is hung!” kernel error
If you experience freezes and kernel crashes during a GPU intensive task with the kernel error ” [drm] IP block:gmc_v8_0 is hung!” , a workaround is to set amdgpu.vm_update_mode=3 as kernel parameters to force the GPUVM page tables update to be done using the CPU. Downsides are listed here .
If you experience issues with the mouse cursor sometimes not rendering properly, set Option “SWCursor” “True” in the “Device” section of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-amdgpu.conf configuration file.
If you are using xrandr for scaling and the cursor is flickering or disappearing, you may be able to fix it by setting the TearFree property: xrandr –output HDMI-A-0 –set TearFree on .
System freeze or crash when gaming on Vega cards
Dynamic power management may cause a complete system freeze whilst gaming due to issues in the way GPU clock speeds are managed.  A workaround is to disable dynamic power management, see ATI#Dynamic power management for details.
Navi power consumption
Some users have reported higher than usual idle power consumption when using kernel 5.3. There is a patch set available for kernel 5.4 that appears to fix the issues.