Am Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:05:36 +0200
Jan Kokemüller <> schrieb:

> On 28.09.2014 11:41, O. Hartmann wrote:
> > Without nouveau driver, FreeBSD people do not have the slightes chance to 
> > play with
> > OpenCL/libclc on nVidia's hardware.
> Some time in the past it was possible to run CUDA/OpenCL Linux binaries 
> with the Nvidia driver in Linux emulation mode on FreeBSD:
> Not sure if that still works though.

Well, I went through this stuff that time and from the date, you can see its 
four years in
the past! There was also thast promising thing from Pathscale, HMPC ast 
promising thing
from Pathscale, HMPC or similar, now OpenACC. But at the end it was a 

And as far as I know: even the Linuxulator is ways behind the recent 
development and
still 32Bit (ancient, so to speak). I do not want myself having lots of 
outdated hard-
and software running and developing on outdated platforms.

And it is even worse: some new technology utilizing LLVM, libCLC, most recent 
MESA libs
and the most recent opensource graphics driver provide rudimentary OpenCL 
support for the
GPU - but as I stated in the thread concerning the missing WiFi Intel 7260 
support -
FreeBSD hasn't even the xf86-video-nouveau driver anymore which is supposed to 
work best
in that scenario.

I had very longish discussions in 2010 about this subject - from a naiv 
point of view. I was always told, FreeBSD is an OS for servers and we all know, 
servers do not rely on graphics hardware that much as it is important for 
workstations and not at least desktop machines.
But what we faced five years ago in science regarding the rapid development of 
OpenCL and
GPGPU showed me very ckearly that GPU hardware is becoming dramatically 
important. With
AMD providing powerful iGPUs and now Intel doing the same, number crunching 
isn't the
domain of physicists and numerical geeks anymore, GEGL starts to incorporate 
OpenCL and
GIMP is about to utilize the GPU as well. BLENDER is utilizing CUDA in Linux 
and I guess
OpenCL is also on the way. And if this isn't convincing: I read about cloud 
with massively parallelized TESLA backends, a typical domain of dump and 
hardware and their operating systems. And guess what? The key is obviously the 
support of
the graphical functionality, not necessarily the X11 desktop it self.

The project that time in 2010, where we were supposed and inclined to use 
FreeBSD as the
development platform for a highly parallelized application for planetary 
science imaging
was then based on OpenSUSE and Ubuntu Linux and OpenCL. From a simple naive 
point of
view, I can not express deeply enough how excited I was when I saw, how fast the
combination of CPUs and GPUs using OpenCL coding could be. What was done in an 
and professional manner on expensive hardware was developed and tested on 
cheaper "gaming
riggs" and even on those platforms the boost was tremendous. But not with 
FreeBSD! All

I think FreeBSD will find its niche in the embedded networking hardware market 
as long as
it still has the faster network stack. But since the Linux folks started to 
attack this
domain in a disgusting PR-ish way, I doubt that even this will last long. Or 
FreeBSD will
show its power with colourless databases.

One of the reasons why FreeBSD is still on top of the list of the OSes is the 
fact of its
deep ZFS incorporation - as Matthew Dillon once said: it saved FreeBSD's ass. 
Dillon developed then HAMMER and showed once again, that the effords in the BSD 
field are
spread all over the area and thinning out as times passes. For FreeBSD, the day 
when Linux
will have its ZFS in-kernel will be devastating - I guess.

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