LWDW 346: Kernel 6.0 and Open-Source Vulkan Drivers For NVIDIA

Linux Kernel 6.0 is here! Debian votes on non-free firmware, open-source Vulkan drivers for NVIDIA GPUs, and configuring USB MIDI devices on Linux.


00:00 Intro
02:06 Intel ARC launch
07:42 Kernel 6.0
13:13 Can kernel 6.0 run CRYSIS
15:18 Debian votes for non-free firmware
19:28 Open-source Nvidia Vulkan driver NVK
25:46 USB MIDI on Linux
34:06 HDD Clicker for SSDs

Linux Kernel 6.0


    • Two big things I was looking forward to are zero-copy network transmission & buffered writes to XFS.
    • It’s running on Jackbox right now using the latest RT patch set. 
    • Not all of the RT stuff made it in for 6.0.
    • I have it running on the main box in the studio now. 
    • The latest Nvidia binary drivers compile and install. 
    • On top of that the latest Blackmagic drivers compile and install as well. 
    • On Sunday, Linus Torvalds officially announced the release of Linux Kernel 6.0 and stated:
  • “As is hopefully clear to everybody, the major version number change is more about me running out of fingers and toes than it is about any big fundamental changes. But of course there’s a lot of various changes in 6.0 – we’ve got over 15k non-merge commits in there in total, after all, and as such 6.0 is one of the bigger releases at least in numbers of commits in a while.”
  • Performance improvements for Intel Xeon ‘Ice Lake’, AMD Ryzen ‘Threadripper’, and AMD EPYC processors thanks to scheduler changes and other kernel energy tweaks.
  • Lots of new hardware support:
    • Support for Intel’s fourth generation Xeon server chips “Sapphire Rapids”, and their 13th generation “Raptor Lake” core chips.
    • AMD provides a kernel graphics driver for their RDNA 3 GPU.
    • Both the OpenRISC and LoongArch architectures gain support for PCI buses, and RISC-V also ships with a new default configuration capable of running Docker.
    • The ARM based Lenovo ThinkPad X13s laptop, which runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3, is now supported.
  • Support for the EXT4 file system to fetch and set UUIDs stored in a file system superblock.

Debian firmware & bits



  • Couple of things are going on in Debian land this week.
  • After a vote the Debian project went with option 5 for the firmware.
  • “Change SC for non-free firmware in installer, one installer”
  • The upcoming installers will have an option to install non-free firmware.
  • This will get your GPUs and network cards working.
  • No more spooky “unofficial” ISO downloads. 
  • Another thing is the inclusion of Pipewire in Debian 12.
  • That’s going to be interesting. 
  • This is great news and the option I wanted for Debian 12 Bookworm.
  • Including non-free in the installer is easy peasy for beginners and advanced users alike.
  • As well as the option that many other distros use in their installers, like Ubuntu.

New Vulcan <3 for Nvidia



  • This is wonderful news, and something us Linux users have been waiting for for a long time, better open source support for our NVIDIA GPUs!
  • There is a new Vulkan graphics driver for NVIDIA hardware called NVK, which will be implemented in the Mesa open-source graphics stack.
  • Thanks to some of the great devs at Collabora and Red Hat for scratch building this new reference Vulkan driver for NVIDIA.
  • Currently it supports NVIDIA Turing and later architectures, but support for Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal NVIDIA GPU architectures is coming soon.
  • Wow, it will be so nice to have Nvidia open source graphics drivers finally as good as AMD and Intel’s.
  • Traditionally the nouveau drivers were something you hoped worked just enough to install the binary blob. 
  • They are reverse engineered and it’s amazing they could manage even that.
  • The landscape has changed over the last few years.
  • The introduction of GSP firmware, open-source kernel drivers, and headers for 3D compute have made new things possible. 
  • Yeah, it’s an ideal time to reboot the nouveau driver stack.
  • And it’s early days, real early. 
  • Like, don’t bother reporting bugs yet early. 
  • While progress has been good we are about 20% of the way there. 
  • You can play with it at home by pulling the branch nvk/main branch from the nouveau/mesa project, building it, and giving it a try.
  • Dealing with OpenGL in the future means rewriting gallium or using Zink for OpenGL. 

USB MIDI on Linux 


  • I decided to make a handy guide for configuring Mackie and MIDI CC control surfaces on Linux using Jack.
  • A control surface allows you to interact with your DAW.
  • Think of it as a mouse on methamphetamine. 
  • You can control volumes, mutes, fades, drop markers, and activate plugins all while zooming around the timeline. 
  • Two types of control surfaces exist and I do my best to explain each one.
  • Then I show you how to configure them in Ardour AND Reaper. 
  • Reaper is a tricky one since it requires installing a plugin for a plugin. 

Slice of Pi

Vintage clicks 


  • This is awesome as long as you don’t hear the “click of death”! LOL.
  • This little guy is using the ATTiny microcontroller to bring back the bad old days of PCs making noise when you touched them. 
  • If your HDD LED lights up it starts screaming, well, clicking. 
  • The one in the video sounded a little meh but it might sound a bit better when it’s in the case. 
  • At $25 it’s not a bad gag gift to hide in someone’s desktop. 
  • We need one that simulates the reeeeeeeeeeeeeee of a 15K SCSI drive. 
  • And another that brings back the woosh of a 30X CD ROM drive. 
  • I haven’t had a modern HDD in over a decade. 
  • Curious what the acoustics are these days, I’m guessing near silent. 

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