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Old 17th October 2021
smh1 smh1 is offline
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Default GPU Programming

Hello everyone,

I would like to learn GPU programming and am looking for a suitable opportunity in *BSD. Currently I would use Metal on a M1, but since I want to get away from Apple in the medium term, I am looking for good alternatives.

Ideal would be something on OpenBSD, but if it shouldn't work there at all, of course Free- or NetBSD would be fine too.

I would be very happy about helpful hints!
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Old 24th October 2021
Prevet Prevet is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 198

I presume this video motivated your question?

I'd highly recommend OpenBSD for beginners to learn C/C++,
because it detects memory errors in normal operation. Its
like having a lesser Valgrind running all the time. It makes your life so much easier.

I am not sure how to answer your question, as I can't tell
what your level is.

You can make games on OpenBSD, as there are lots of game
libraries in ports, and a GUI driven 2D/3D engine called Godot.

Or it could be, you want to make your own 3D engine?
If so, keep in mind NVIDA cards are not supported on OpenBSD,
because they are closed source. AMD cards are supported up to
a certain extent. If you want to learn engine programming,
you can learn it from the Handmade Hero folks, though they
are Windows focused, but what they teach can be applied to other platforms.

I can't really help further as I don't use 3D, as it gives me
motion sickness. I'm more into the kind of games they were making fun of at the start of that video. :P
However the SlimEngine has me curious, I might try to get it to work on OpenBSD one day.

FreeBSD does support NVIDA cards so I hear, but I haven't used it.

Last edited by Prevet; 24th October 2021 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 29th October 2021
smh1 smh1 is offline
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Thank you very much for your reply Prevet!

I was thinking about GPGPU programming, but forgot to mention that, I am very sorry for that.

Maybe I could try an AMD-Card with Vulkan or OpenGL on OpenBSD?
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Old 31st October 2021
Prevet Prevet is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 198

From looking at this two year old post it*appears so:

· edited 2y
OpenBSD Developer

OpenBSD has modern graphics drivers from Linux (-current 4.19.y/Mesa 19.2.8) for Intel/AMD hardware, as a development platform we have many of the libraries that a game developer would expect in ports, like SDL2/OpenAL. We even have support for, at least on more recent hardware, the Vulkan graphics API."

Have a search here to see if OpenBSD has what you need in the packages:

Though I don't know what card series you should get.
When I first came to OpenBSD I couldn't find a clear answer on what card to get besides the Radeon 6000s series. I assume they support more recent than that, because OpenBSD devs have the latest laptops.
The hardest part when I was new to OpenBSD was finding a card, after that it was all good.
You might ask on the OpenBSD mailing lists, or ask at OpenBSD gaming on reddit

There's a user at OpenBSD gaming reddit who seems to get almost any game working if it can be done,
so he would be a good person to ask.
He calls himself thfrw on reddit and Thomas Frohwein when he is maintaining packages. Perhaps you can find him
on the OpenBSD mailing lists.
He is also the one who made the Youtube video above so he might answer there as well.

Last edited by Prevet; 31st October 2021 at 12:55 PM.
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