Possible to develop Vulkan program on VIM3 using GPU

Hi there,

I ordered a vim3 pro, and was hoping to develop some Vulkan program on it, but after a few hours googling, it seems GPU support on linux is not there yet?

So was wondering is it even possible for me to develop any Vulkan program on it? The online article mentioned that there won’t be any X11 GPU support at all for linux, but does that mean we cannot program with Vulkan APIs at all? What I want is using using Vulkan compute shader to do image process for RTSP stream from my security camera (Also it seems we can’t even compile FFMPEG with GPU support?)

It will be frustrating to know that we have a decent GPU there but cannot use it in Linux environment.

Any comments? Thanks


GPU drivers are not provided by Arm for G-5x but open source driver are work in progress at the moment.
We don’t know it will be available and when it will be a stable for production use.
You can still use the mali nonfree blob provided by arm but Idk which distro is making use of it.

Even I am waiting for the gpu driver for vim3
You should follow mesa panfrost project to know the current status of gpu driver for G-5x series. Maybe you can contribute something to the project.

Afaik You can make use of ffmpeg with software acc for security camera and vim3 is very powerful to handle that much load.

All the best.


Thanks Spikerguy. I think vim3 probably could handle 2K video stream with FFMPEG without GPU acc, but if you have two 4K 30fps incoming stream and want to some basic filtering, then the board may get angry about that… (while with GPU support, it’s probably will be OK)

Since I am new to linux world, I don’t think I could handle super geeky stuff like installing open source GPU driver on customized distro (or maybe you could point the right direction for me?), I will just wait for Khadas team to release a version of ubuntu which have GPU support. Any guess on how long does it take? Or you think it’s totally out of Khadas team’s control?


1 Like

The driver thing is out of Khadas control.

I don’t know about the devs timeline on the Amlogic GPU driver, but in some months Rockchip should have released their new SoC RK3588 (their plans were for early 2020 before the pandemic) which will be a massive jump in CPU and GPU performance, and Rockchip has a much better track delivering GPU drivers than Amlogic. On that sense, I don’t know how many time Khadas team would need to design and release the board with that SoC (IIRC they said that would be the Edge V2 board) but I think they are good at doing it as they have already made multiple boards with same form factor and different SoCs. So worst case scenario for you would be waiting until late 2020-early 2021 if the the GPU driver for the VIM3’s SoC isn’t finished yet by then.

Sorry, I am a little bit confused. Does RK3588 has the same GPU (Mali G52)? Otherwise how could it help my situation when RK3588 GPU driver comes out?


No, I was saying that since Amlogic sucks at giving GPU drivers you either wait for the people developing the driver to finish it as Spikerguy said, or as a last resort in some months you will have another more powerful (Khadas) board to do what you intend to do and which will have those drivers already since Rockchip indeed provides that

GPU is not built by Amlogic. It is ARM ISA and arm do not open source their drivers, hence we have Panfrost and Lima.

No this is not true. Rockchip never provided open source GPU driver. It was the mesa team who worked on Panfrost and Lima.


GPU Code Open Source Driver Devices
Mali - 400/450 Utgard Lima Driver (Working, still not finished) Vim1
Mali -T8xx Midgard Panfrost Driver (Working, still not finished) Vim2, Edge, Edge-V
Mali - G3x Bifrost Panfrost Driver ( Not Ready Yet) Vim3L
Mali - G5x Bifrost Panfrost Driver ( Not Ready Yet) Vim3

Either Amlogic or Rockchip or Allwinner might take any of the above GPU core to use it in their SOC.
You can say that Amlogic devices get the driver support late as compared to Rockchip.
On the other hand, if you’re a corporate and want to use arm gpu’s for your commercial project then you can get the gpu drivers from arm by paying for the driver’s license. Example use case: Car Infotainment systems run on ARM soc with ARM gpu, so car manufacturer’s take gpu drivers from arm.

I hope this makes things clear for normal users to understand Arm GPU (Open Source) drivers.

1 Like

Sorry, I am not familiar with open source drivers. But how about “close” source driver? All I need is being able to use a graphic APIs to utilize the GPU, I am running ubuntu server, so doesn’t need the driver to support any windows managers. My understanding is that Amlogic made this soc, it must provide some driver to make sure devs at least could be able to use the HW at release time, not several months later… am I missing something?

1 Like

This is the normal situation for linux on ARM, pengliu.

You will not find performant Linux + Xorg OpenGL accelerated graphics on most ARM sbcs. It is likely that development costs are too high for the estimated size of the market.

Since the vast majority of arm devices are sold in phones using android and opengl-es as the graphics API, this is where the development effort went.

It is fairly common for newbies in the linux+arm space to purchase hardware while assuming it it supports everything they are used-to from the x86 space. I understand the disappointment, but it is the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.

1 Like

method for enabling VIM3 vulkan support on android