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DR 16.2.7 on Ubuntu 20.04.1 with AMDGPU-PRO 20.40

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:30 pm
by didier.villevalois
Hi everyone,

All the previous threads on installing DaVinci Resolve on Ubuntu are quite old. So, as I did myself search on the forum without success, I decided to create a new topic to tell how the installation of DR 16.2.7 on Ubuntu 20.04.1 went.

My hardware consists of an AMD Threadripper 3960X, an AMD Radeon RX 5700 and 64GB of RAM.
The installation of both the AMDGPU-PRO drivers version 20.40 and DR 16.2.7 went like a breeze.

Detailed installation steps:
  1. Download and install Ubuntu 20.04.1
  2. Installation of the AMDGPU-PRO 20.40 drivers
  3. Installation of DaVinci Resolve 16.2.7
    • Download and extract the DR 16.3.7 archive
    • Run the installer inside the archive as root
    • If you use HiDPI screens, then, as root, modify the file `/usr/share/applications/com.blackmagicdesign.resolve.desktop` so that the `Exec` line looks as follows:
      Code: Select all
      Exec=env QT_DEVICE_PIXEL_RATIO=2 QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR=true /opt/resolve/bin/resolve %U


DR 16.2.7 on Ubuntu 20.04.1 with AMDGPU-PRO 20.40 is adequately stable. I had no real crash. Here are the glitches that I observed:
  1. The first start of DR shows a blank window (which I suppose is a configuration dialog) that pops up a modal telling that the application is not responsive. Just click "Kill now" and the launch will continue with the application splash screen without any other problems. This blank window and non-responsiveness dialog won't show again on subsequent launch.
  2. There seems to be a problem with some sub-menus both in the main application menu bar and the contextual menus. (For instance, the "Change Track Color" sub-menu in the tracks contextual menu, or the "Playback > Proxy Mode" sub-menu.) As soon as you select an option in one of those sub-menus, the sub-menu won't draw itself again and you have to click on the items blindly (because the sub-menu is indeed open, just not drawn). I can't say whether it is a problem of DR on Linux (because I observed that in Fedora 33 and CentOS 8.2 too) or if it is a problem of QT over AMDGPU. But it is very annoying.
  3. It seems DR has not enough processing time when you add a demanding Fusion transition between two clips while playing over this transition. Playback will be choppy. And you have to give it a breath before playing the transition again which then go smoothly. There is no visual indication that the transition is not yet computed or whatever.
  4. As soon as you add media to the timeline, the Fairlight page displays a black hole in place of the timeline surface and doesn't draw the media clips on the timeline. (Observed also on Fedora 33 and CentOS 8.2.)

Apart from these problems, I find it to be quite usable. But I am a newbie with DR, so your mileage may vary.

Important notes:
  • The recently released AMDGPU-PRO 20.45 drivers strangely do not activate OpenCL for my card. Looking into it a little bit, it seems that AMD replaced the OpenCL components to use the new ROCm framework. It seems that it does not see the RX 5700. I could not say for any other card. I recommend to stick with the 20.40 version until they untangle this.
  • I quickly tried to run the 17.0b2 version of DR without success. I was not really surprised as I wasn't able to make it run on Fedora 33 nor even CentOS 8.2. It crashed as soon as you try to playback some media, if it can even start and show the splash screen in some instances. Please tell me if you have more success than me and how!

Overall impressions:

My overall impressions of the combo are good. I think Ubuntu 20.04.1 is a good compromise: I have support for my most recent hardware, can use my btrfs-formatted SSDs and have decent performance with DR 16.2.7.

I hope BMD will enhance DR 17 so that it has the same level of stability or even better. I think BMD should not target a distro like CentOS, that has nothing a mainstream workstation user needs, and that they should target a distro like Fedora or Ubuntu (that has the advantage of having a Long Term Support release). The workstation distribution having the most users is Ubuntu. This would be a commercial advantage for BMD, as I'm quite sure many Linux users like me are willing to pay for DR Studio.