3D games working on Apple GPU on Linux at 4K!

Colstan

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Hector’s philosophy, at least at the start, was that upstreaming ensures that the work his own done properly with an eye towards maintaining the code long term. A lot of Linux developers actually followed your logic but then never did the upstreaming and as the code bases grew more disparate basically made it so you had an incompatibility problem and just general mess leading to user frustrations. That’s why Hector is still trying to upstream as much as possible and work with various other developers to get their stuff on board. It’s actually a crucial of “Just Works” when it comes to Linux. It’s just costing him more of his sanity than I think he had anticipated.
That makes total sense, I hadn't considered that. I have always had an amateur interest in Linux, so it's definitely outside my wheelhouse. As I said, the chaos was always a bit much for me. I've used it on desktop, from time to time, but was never able to commit, for various reasons. I appreciate Linux for what it is, but for desktop purposes, it seemed like an attempt to replicate Windows with "democracy" but not the compatibility aspect.

It's great for many uses, but I don't think the traditional desktop is one of them. My main interest in Asahi Linux is as a supplementary operating system, to dual-boot with macOS, mainly for Proton support. (Although, it's still fun to play around with the latest in Linux land.) That being said, you'd think that everyone in the Linux community would want Apple Silicon Macs supporting Linux, rather than deriding it for tribal or ideological reasons.
 

Nycturne

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That makes total sense, I hadn't considered that. I have always had an amateur interest in Linux, so it's definitely outside my wheelhouse. As I said, the chaos was always a bit much for me. I've used it on desktop, from time to time, but was never able to commit, for various reasons. I appreciate Linux for what it is, but for desktop purposes, it seemed like an attempt to replicate Windows with "democracy" but not the compatibility aspect.

Part of the issue is that Linux started fractured. Torvalds built a kernel, but it was the GNU project that brought in the userland that helped make a complete system. And GNU could probably be described as the original “militant” OSS organization. How they’ve maintained the GPL and GCC in particular is an example of how they see their ideology around OSS as central to keeping OSS thriving, and using the tools available to them to try to steer the community in the direction they want. But it also led to Apple building clang after using gcc for years. So it’s clearly not a cohesive works-for-everybody strategy.

It's great for many uses, but I don't think the traditional desktop is one of them. My main interest in Asahi Linux is as a supplementary operating system, to dual-boot with macOS, mainly for Proton support. (Although, it's still fun to play around with the latest in Linux land.) That being said, you'd think that everyone in the Linux community would want Apple Silicon Macs supporting Linux, rather than deriding it for tribal or ideological reasons.

Once I understood that a good chunk of the original GNU/Linux community was heavily tribal/ideological at the very beginning, what you see today makes much more sense. Richard Stallman’s influence can still be felt heavily in the community despite backing off from being a prominent figure directly.

Linus in particular wants to see more ARM outside of the server room so that developers can use Linux on ARM to develop for Linux ARM servers. He’s a little less fussy if it comes from Apple and so he has an interest in seeing something like Asahi succeed. However, there are many cut from the GNU cloth in the mindset that if it’s not completely open, then it has no place in the community.
 

Colstan

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Once I understood that a good chunk of the original GNU/Linux community was heavily tribal/ideological at the very beginning, what you see today makes much more sense. Richard Stallman’s influence can still be felt heavily in the community despite backing off from being a prominent figure directly.
Yeah, I remember the history of Linux, and it's rather unique beginnings, as technology movements are concerned. I'd say that most Linux users are far more ideologically libertarian than the average tech nerd. That ideological draw is part of the appeal of Linux and open source, which, at least on the surface, appears to be the democratization and liberation of software. For someone with an orderly mind bordering on OCD, it's a bit too chaotic for my taste.

While I may prefer Apple's complete control over the entire widget, I appreciate Linux for what it is, and I think it would be a drearier world if Microsoft were the only alternative for traditional desktops. I would personally rather use Asahi Linux as an alternative operating system, rather than Arm Windows through Boot Camp. Not that I think Boot Camp will ever make a return, making the comparison rather pointless.

I posted about the Asahi Linux project over at MacRumors, and offhandedly mentioned how developer Asahi Lina livestreams her endeavors on Youtube, with a cutesy anime character avatar. Instead of commentary on the project, I got a full explainer about the "VTuber" phenomenon from someone who is clearly younger than me. I thanked him for the explanation, but left it at that, because I really don't understand the appeal. Although, I've never been particularly social online, even in my younger days, so it may something that I would never see much use for.

My favorite part is that he ended his post with: "So I'm guessing you're new to Linux huh?"

I responded: "My first distro was Slackware."
 

Nycturne

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Yeah, I remember the history of Linux, and it's rather unique beginnings, as technology movements are concerned. I'd say that most Linux users are far more ideologically libertarian than the average tech nerd. That ideological draw is part of the appeal of Linux and open source, which, at least on the surface, appears to be the democratization and liberation of software. For someone with an orderly mind bordering on OCD, it's a bit too chaotic for my taste.

Yeah, I was being a bit verbose with my "the more things change, the more they stay the same" response.

While I may prefer Apple's complete control over the entire widget, I appreciate Linux for what it is, and I think it would be a drearier world if Microsoft were the only alternative for traditional desktops. I would personally rather use Asahi Linux as an alternative operating system, rather than Arm Windows through Boot Camp. Not that I think Boot Camp will ever make a return, making the comparison rather pointless.

Same. It was ultimately Linux that got me into software development. Being able to learn on the CLI helped keep early projects simpler than you could on MacOS prior to OS X. OS X is what kept me in the ecosystem as I went to college though, as it meant being able to use GCC toolchains/etc with all the embedded systems we worked with. I kinda miss the old Pismo that got me through college, to be honest.

I responded: "My first distro was Slackware."

Never used Slackware. I spent a good chunk of time in Yellowdog though.
 

Hrafn

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Yeah, I was being a bit verbose with my "the more things change, the more they stay the same" response.



Same. It was ultimately Linux that got me into software development. Being able to learn on the CLI helped keep early projects simpler than you could on MacOS prior to OS X. OS X is what kept me in the ecosystem as I went to college though, as it meant being able to use GCC toolchains/etc with all the embedded systems we worked with. I kinda miss the old Pismo that got me through college, to be honest.



Never used Slackware. I spent a good chunk of time in Yellowdog though.
I had a couple of run-ins with Slackware, back when it wasn't enough to use it, you had to roll your own kernel, which I never bothered with.
 

Colstan

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While only tangentially related to the topic, I noticed that Epic has added native Apple Silicon support to Unreal Engine 5.2. Despite the strained relationship between Apple and Epic, they must see value in continuing to support the latest Macs with their flagship 3D creation tools.

 

dada_dave

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While only tangentially related to the topic, I noticed that Epic has added native Apple Silicon support to Unreal Engine 5.2. Despite the strained relationship between Apple and Epic, they must see value in continuing to support the latest Macs with their flagship 3D creation tools.

Very good.
 

quarkysg

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While only tangentially related to the topic, I noticed that Epic has added native Apple Silicon support to Unreal Engine 5.2. Despite the strained relationship between Apple and Epic, they must see value in continuing to support the latest Macs with their flagship 3D creation tools.

I guess demands from developers using Unreal for their AS macOS projects is growing? Would be stupid of Epic to ignore that.
 

Colstan

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I guess demands from developers using Unreal for their AS macOS projects is growing? Would be stupid of Epic to ignore that.
I had originally written "games creation tool", then revised it to "3D creation tool". While Unreal Engine is mainly known for developing many of the latest games, it's used by many industries. I recall watching the making of "House of the Dragon", and they mentioned that the animations were done in Unreal, rather than specialized software. I don't work in the industry, so I can't say with any certainty, but I wonder how many animation studios are using Unreal on macOS for those purposes.

There are probably still games in the works for the Mac utilizing Unreal Engine, despite the facile "Mac gaming is dead" narrative that's been peddled on MacRumors, but I would think there are many factors involved in Epic's continued support for Mac with Unreal.
 

quarkysg

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I had originally written "games creation tool", then revised it to "3D creation tool". While Unreal Engine is mainly known for developing many of the latest games, it's used by many industries. I recall watching the making of "House of the Dragon", and they mentioned that the animations were done in Unreal, rather than specialized software. I don't work in the industry, so I can't say with any certainty, but I wonder how many animation studios are using Unreal on macOS for those purposes.

There are probably still games in the works for the Mac utilizing Unreal Engine, despite the facile "Mac gaming is dead" narrative that's been peddled on MacRumors, but I would think there are many factors involved in Epic's continued support for Mac with Unreal.
I would think the main demand would be from the 3D workflow tools are for Unreal Engine rather than games. Mac Studio appears to be a very good and cost effective platform for 3D workflows with it's large memory that its GPUs can address.

Games probably will not be common for AS Macs until a few more years (and I think this will be optimistic) to come.
 

throAU

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Games probably will not be common for AS Macs until a few more years (and I think this will be optimistic) to come.

I think you'll be surprised. The Apple GPU is solid and it is now in everything from the iPhone to the mac. Metal 3 is in everything from the iphone to the mac. The addressable market is HUGE. Make no mistake, the commonality between ALL of apple's devices now is a huge benefit. Its not quite write once run anywhere, but its write once and run on several hundred million current devices. Never mind when developers start with the headset which will also run on the same GPU architecture.

It looks like we won't be waiting years. The first Unreal Engine 5 game for the Mac has been announced, which I posted over in the Gaming forum.

I really don't think we'll be waiting years either. I think critical mass is pretty damn close. All the pieces are in place. Given the choice between writing games for a new console or the Apple platform (both similar effort, except apple's developer documentation is probably more mature at this point), if you were starting out today the Apple ecosystem offers a less saturated market with a whole heap of very capable hardware owned by people crying out for more content.

edit:
oblig: my first linux was slackware 3.1 too :D
 

quarkysg

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I think you'll be surprised. The Apple GPU is solid and it is now in everything from the iPhone to the mac. Metal 3 is in everything from the iphone to the mac. The addressable market is HUGE. Make no mistake, the commonality between ALL of apple's devices now is a huge benefit. Its not quite write once run anywhere, but its write once and run on several hundred million current devices. Never mind when developers start with the headset which will also run on the same GPU architecture.
I generally agree with you on the technical part of your reply, but not the addressable market.

iOS have a lot of free to play games with micro-transactions. I don't think this will fly on macOS. iOS has a different input mechanism compared to macOS as well, so not all games are interchangeable between iOS and macOS.

I am still of the opinion that macOS will not get any sizeable number of games developed for it until AS Mac install base is larger, maybe north of 50 millions used for homes? At the moment it's probably still a small install base as far as developers are concerned.
 

throAU

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iOS have a lot of free to play games with micro-transactions. I don't think this will fly on macOS. iOS has a different input mechanism compared to macOS as well, so not all games are interchangeable between iOS and macOS.
Both support controllers and there's a growing library on iOS that support this.

However my point isn't to port games directly between the platforms, more than learning the libraries etc. enables you to target ALL of those platforms with a single API, rather than learning multiple APIs and GPU quirks for the different console and PC devices.
 

dada_dave

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In interest of balance on my earlier, negative posts about the unexpected costs of Linux development, here are a couple of posts from Hector about how Linux can be an improvement over macOS on the same hardware:



In short: with many more people working on kernel improvements and no requirement for a stable kernel API, Linux can optimize faster and remove legacy cruft sooner. Thus Linux can be faster for the same tasks on the same hardware even though macOS is optimized for that hardware. Hector does caveat this that of course macOS still has more features enabled than they do currently, but they are catching up and, again, for certain tasks Linux will likely be faster/smoother.
 

Colstan

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In interest of balance on my earlier, negative posts about the unexpected costs of Linux development, here are a couple of posts from Hector about how Linux can be an improvement over macOS on the same hardware:
You weren't negative at all, Dave, just telling it how you see it. I went dumpster diving over at MacRumors this morning; that's real negativity on display.

In short: with many more people working on kernel improvements and no requirement for a stable kernel API, Linux can optimize faster and remove legacy cruft sooner. Thus Linux can be faster for the same tasks on the same hardware even though macOS is optimized for that hardware. Hector does caveat this that of course macOS still has more features enabled than they do currently, but they are catching up and, again, for certain tasks Linux will likely be faster/smoother.
It's interesting how Hector views it in a competitive sense, rather than a complementary way, which is what I expect this to be. Most folks using Asahi Linux are probably going to be using macOS alongside it. That's been my primary interest. There will be folks who want access to a quality Arm desktop to only run Linux, but I would think they are a niche. I haven't followed Hector's journey as closely as you have, so I could be misjudging his meaning, but I think my overall point is sound.

Alyssa has a new job (still working on Asahi Linux GPU, unsure if directly related or not):
Whatever she needs to do to pay the bills. The tax man cometh!

My guess, from this interaction, is that it has something to do with Proton:

AlysValve.jpg


How this impacts Asahi Linux, I obviously have no idea, but I hope it doesn't negatively impact the team's progress. Regardless, I wish her well in her future endeavors.
 

dada_dave

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You weren't negative at all, Dave, just telling it how you see it. I went dumpster diving over at MacRumors this morning; that's real negativity on display.
🙃 - strictly speaking relaying how Hector views it with a little extra worrywart of my own on the side. :)

It's interesting how Hector views it in a competitive sense, rather than a complementary way, which is what I expect this to be. Most folks using Asahi Linux are probably going to be using macOS alongside it. That's been my primary interest. There will be folks who want access to a quality Arm desktop to only run Linux, but I would think they are a niche. I haven't followed Hector's journey as closely as you have, so I could be misjudging his meaning, but I think my overall point is sound.

I think it’s more a reaction to people expecting Asahi Linux to be terrible or that the only reason is Apple Silicon is good is because macOS is magically optimized for it. He still encounters that a lot and the fact that Linux can be faster than macOS for the same task is a good way to counter both. Hector is also complementary about the things he feels macOS does well.
 
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dada_dave

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Whatever she needs to do to pay the bills. The tax man cometh!

My guess, from this interaction, is that it has something to do with Proton:

View attachment 23754

How this impacts Asahi Linux, I obviously have no idea, but I hope it doesn't negatively impact the team's progress. Regardless, I wish her well in her future endeavors.

Indeed, if anything it seems (so far) to be just as conducive to her work on Asahi Linux.

If you force me to guess I’d say she’s working at codeweavers or something. But I could be wildly off.
 
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