A modest plea to add Vulkan to the FreeBSD graphics driver


over the past few years I’ve been porting the Unreal Engine 4 to FreeBSD (releases starting from 4.19). Recently Epic has deprecated OpenGL support in favour of Vulkan.
Are there any plans of adding Vulkan to the FreeBSD graphics driver? It’d definitely be greatly appreciated to have more recent features in our drivers.
I know FreeBSD may not be the biggest market at least compared to Windows and Linux, but we’re a persistent bunch and we’d really like to use Vulkan natively.
On top of UE4, Vulkan is also used under Wine for the newer DirectX emulations (DXVK comes to mind) so there’s just one more reason to add it.

I’ve always loved Nvidia for supporting my favourite OS, despite its smaller userbase. It’d be great if we could all keep using our GPUs in the future as well.

If any devs could chime in it’d be very much appreciated.


I’m just a FreeBSD user; but this sounds like a good thing. Since I’m not a developer I can’t help out with that part, but if this happens I will test releases, betas and what not, to the best of my ability.


Is there a mod who could move this over to the FreeBSD/Solaris driver forum? It’s probably more suited for that subforum.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

we’d really like to use Vulkan natively

Seconded. Although I’ve got very good practical results with individual Linux driver components and creative application of digital duct tape, the Unix driver is kind of famous for being excellent (and feature complete) out-of-the-box. It would be nice to see some commitment to that notion.

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I’am a FreeBSD desktop user, NVidia’s driver support for FreeBSD was the reason I bought a GeForce graphics card yeas ago.

Vulkan API is being widely adopted on many platforms. I hope NVidia doesn’t leave FreeBSD behind in this respect

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FreeBSD needs Vulkan, I hope it will come with Nvidia drivers soon :(

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Vulkan seems to be the future of Graphics API. We really need Vulkan support in the FreeBSD driver.

Moved thread to the FreeBSD/Solaris forum.

Anyone with any knowledge about the driver who could chime in? It’s ok if it’s anonymous…
For me it’s mostly about knowing what’s the current line of thought. I’m sure a large part of the community would agree with that.

If the reply is …
… FreeBSD won’t get Vulkan, so be it. At least we know it and we can plan for it. And we can still try to persuade people to the opposite ;)
… we’re working on it, but it’s very low prio compared to the Linux driver. Perfectly fine. In the end FreeBSD has a Linux-compatible KPI for KMS drivers, so it might not be that hard to migrate.
… no plans at the moment, we’re checking out options. Also fine, I (we?) really understand that.
… it was supposed to be a surprise, but there’s Vulkan and CUDA+OpenCL support coming soon…perfect! :D

Thanks to all the FreeBSD multimedia forum members who replied to this post, despite the hardship of creating accounts.

Vulkan is now clearly accepted and widely used by graphic applications developers communities, support is now not an option nor experimental. Please enable it, NVidia.

I think we now should also enabled the support of Vulkan ICD on FreeBSD. More applications and utilities are now requiring or may require Vulkan API in future (such as VirtualGL). Based on the discussion in https://github.com/aritger/eglstreams-kms-example/issues/7 , it seems that it is not required to have Linux DRM API functioning in order to gain Vulkan support.

Seems? Known with 100% certainty, although I’m not sure why would you bring that here. There was never any reason to suspect nvidia-drm.ko in the first place.

Well, it is just what I have gathered so far when reading the issue pages, and I am not that familiar with Vulkan API. Although it seems there is no further info regarding Vulkan support on FreeBSD, we still want nVIDIA compiling Vulkan support into the FreeBSD version of ICD so to allow Vulkan applications running.

Proper CUDA and Vulkan support on FreeBSD would be amazing, but if I had to pick only one it would be Vulkan for sure. Vulkan has cemented itself as a diverse and feature complete graphics API, and with the now well developed compatibility layers for DirectX makes it even more appealing for the average user.

I’m using GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 960 on FreeBSD Desktop.
Please support complete-function as same as other OS.

So, no Christmas present from NVIDIA yet? (I just learnt it’s supposed to be all caps now :)
But no no neither, so let’s keep hoping there.

Using 1060gtx on FreeBSD here.
I used to buy NVIDIA cards because you support os other than Windows.
Please add building of vulkan libs on FreeBSD.

PS. using linux vulkan libs on FreeBSD I can get at least vkcube to work, so it shouldn’t be that hard NVIDIA ?

Definitely not just vkcube.

Sigh, my 770GTX died on me yesterday. Now I’m forced to look for a replacement card.
I was hoping to get the 2070 Super, love that card, but without Vulkan support under FreeBSD it’ll be useless to me.

Some official response would be even nicer now.

I have already switched my systems to AMD graphics cards, because of NVidia’s poor support for FreeBSD, but I still have one system running NVidia so would certainly also welcome Vulkan support!

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