Beignet is an open source implementation of the OpenCL specification - a generic compute oriented API. This code base contains the code to run OpenCL programs on Intel GPUs which basically defines and implements the OpenCL host functions required to initialize the device, create the command queues, the kernels and the programs and run them on the GPU. The code base also contains the compiler part of the stack which is included in backend/. For more specific information about the compiler, please refer to backend/


Beignet project news


The project depends on the following external libraries:

  • libdrm libraries (libdrm and libdrm_intel)
  • Various LLVM components
  • If run with X server, beignet needs XLib, Xfixes and Xext installed. Otherwise, no X11 dependency.

And if you want to work with the standard ICD, then you need two more packages (the following package name is for Ubuntu):

  • ocl-icd-dev
  • ocl-icd-libopencl1

If you don't want to enable ICD, or your system doesn't have ICD OpenCL support, you must explicitly disable ICD support by running cmake with option -DOCLICD_COMPAT=0 then you can still link to the beignet OpenCL library. You can find the beignet/ in your system's library installation directories.

Note that the compiler depends on LLVM (Low-Level Virtual Machine project), and the project normally supports the 3 latest LLVM released versions. Right now, the code has been compiled with LLVM 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8. With older version LLVM from 3.3, build still support, but no full tests cover.

A simple command to install all the above dependencies for ubuntu or debian is:

sudo apt-get install cmake pkg-config python ocl-icd-dev libegl1-mesa-dev ocl-icd-opencl-dev libdrm-dev libxfixes-dev libxext-dev llvm-3.6-dev clang-3.6 libclang-3.6-dev libtinfo-dev libedit-dev zlib1g-dev

The recommended LLVM/CLANG version is 3.6 and/or 3.7

Based on our test result, LLVM 3.6 and 3.7 has the best pass rate on all the test suites. Compared to LLVM 3.6 and 3.7, if you used LLVM 3.8, you should pay attention to float immediate. For example, if you use 1.0 in the kernel, LLVM 3.6 will treat it as 1.0f, a single float, because the project doesn't support double float. but LLVM 3.8 will treat it as 1.0, a double float, at the last it may cause error. So we recommend using 1.0f instead of 1.0 if you don't need double float.

For LLVM 3.4 and 3.5, Beignet still support them, but it may be limited to support the build and major functions.

How to build and install

The project uses CMake with three profiles:

  1. Debug (-g)
  2. RelWithDebInfo (-g with optimizations)
  3. Release (only optimizations)

Basically, from the root directory of the project

> mkdir build

> cd build

> cmake ../ # to configure

Please be noted that the code was compiled on GCC 4.6, GCC 4.7 and GCC 4.8 and CLANG 3.5 and ICC 14.0.3. Since the code uses really recent C++11 features, you may expect problems with older compilers. The default compiler should be GCC, and if you want to choose compiler manually, you need to configure it as below:


CMake will check the dependencies and will complain if it does not find them.

> make

The cmake will build the backend firstly. Please refer to: OpenCL Gen Backend to get more dependencies.

Once built, the run-time produces a shared object which basically directly implements the OpenCL API.

> make utest

A set of tests are also produced. They may be found in utests/.

Simply invoke:

> make install

It installs the following six files to the beignet/ directory relatively to your library installation directory. - - - - ocl_stdlib.h, ocl_stdlib.h.pch - beignet.bc

It installs the OCL icd vendor files to /etc/OpenCL/vendors, if the system support ICD. - intel-beignet.icd

> make package

It packages the driver binaries, you may copy&install the package to another machine with similar system.

How to run

After building and installing Beignet, you may need to check whether it works on your platform. Beignet also produces various tests to ensure the compiler and the run-time consistency. This small test framework uses a simple c++ registration system to register all the unit tests.

You need to call in the utests/ directory to set some environment variables firstly as below:

> .

Then in utests/:

> ./utest_run

will run all the unit tests one after the others

> ./utest_run some_unit_test

will only run some_unit_test test.

On all supported target platform, the pass rate should be 100%. If it is not, you may need to refer the "Known Issues" section. Please be noted, the . is only required to run unit test cases. For all other OpenCL applications, don't execute that command.

Normally, beignet needs to run under X server environment as normal user. If there isn't X server, beignet provides two alternative to run: * Run as root without X. * Enable the drm render nodes by passing drm.rnodes=1 to the kernel boot args, then you can run beignet with non-root and without X.

Supported Targets

  • 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors "Ivybridge".
  • 3rd Generation Intel Atom Processors "BayTrail".
  • 4th Generation Intel Core Processors "Haswell", need kernel patch if your linux kernel older than 4.2, see the "Known Issues" section.
  • 5th Generation Intel Core Processors "Broadwell".
  • 5th Generation Intel Atom Processors "Braswell".
  • 6th Generation Intel Core Processors "Skylake" and "Kabylake".
  • 5th Generation Intel Atom Processors "Broxten" or "Apollolake".

OpenCL 2.0

From release v1.3.0, beignet support OpenCL 2.0. By default, OpenCL 2.0 support is disabled, you can enable it when cmake with option -DENABLE_OPENCL_20=1. Please remember that to enable OpenCL 2.0, there are some dependencies. First, OpenCL 2.0 only support the targets from Skylake, include Skylake, Kabylake and Apollolake. Then, clang supports all OpenCL 2.0 feature from 3.9. So to enable OpenCL 2.0, you must update LLVM/clang to 3.9 or later. And also requeires libdrm at least 2.4.66. After enable OpenCL 2.0, beignet complies with OpenCL 2.0 spec, but some OpenCL 2.0 features are simulated by software, there is no performance gain, such as pipe and device queues, especially device queues. If you build beignet with OpenCL 2.0 enabled and your kernel don't use the OpenCL 2.0 features, please pass a build option -cl-std=CL1.2 for performance, the OpenCL 2.0 uses more registers and has lots of int64 operations, which may hurt performance, and beignet will continue to improve OpenCL 2.0 performance.

Known Issues

  • GPU hang issues. To check whether GPU hang, you could execute dmesg and check whether it has the following message:

    [17909.175965] [drm:i915_hangcheck_hung] *ERROR* Hangcheck timer elapsed...

    If it does, there was a GPU hang. Usually, this means something wrong in the kernel, as it indicates the OCL kernel hasn't finished for about 6 seconds or even more. If you think the OCL kernel does need to run that long and have confidence with the kernel, you could disable the linux kernel driver's hang check feature to fix this hang issue. Just invoke the following command on Ubuntu system:

    # echo -n 0 > /sys/module/i915/parameters/enable_hangcheck

    But this command is a little bit dangerous, as if your kernel really hangs, then the GPU will lock up forever until a reboot.

  • "Beignet: self-test failed" and almost all unit tests fail. Linux 3.15 and 3.16 (commits f0a346b to c9224fa) enable the register whitelist by default but miss some registers needed for Beignet.

    This can be fixed by upgrading Linux, or by disabling the whitelist:

    # echo 0 > /sys/module/i915/parameters/enable_cmd_parser

  • "Beignet: self-test failed" and 15-30 unit tests fail on 4th Generation (Haswell) hardware. On Haswell, shared local memory (__local) does not work at all on Linux <= 4.0, and requires the i915.enable_ppgtt=2 boot parameter on Linux 4.1.

    This is fixed in Linux 4.2; older versions can be fixed with this patch.

    If you do not need __local, you can override the self-test with


    but using __local after this may silently give wrong results.

  • Precision issue. Currently Gen does not provide native support of high precision math functions required by OpenCL. We provide a software version to achieve high precision, which you can turn off through


    This loses some precision but gains performance.

  • cl_khr_gl_sharing. This extension highly depends on mesa support. It seems that mesa would not provide such type of extensions, we may have to hack with mesa source code to support this extension. This feature used to work with a previous mesa git version. But now, it's simply broken.

Project repository

Right now, we host our project on fdo at: And the Intel

The team

Beignet project was created by Ben Segovia. Since 2013, Now Intel China OTC graphics team continue to work on this project. The official contact for this project is: Zou Nanhai (

Maintainers from Intel:

  • Gong, Zhigang
  • Yang, Rong

Developers from Intel:

  • Song, Ruiling
  • He, Junyan
  • Luo, Xionghu
  • Wen, Chuanbo
  • Guo, Yejun
  • Pan, Xiuli

Debian Maintainer:

  • Rebecca Palmer

Fedora Maintainer:

  • Igor Gnatenko

If I missed any other package maintainers, please feel free to contact the mail list.

How to contribute

You are always welcome to contribute to this project, just need to subscribe to the beignet mail list and send patches to it for review. The official mail list is as below: The official bugzilla is at: You are welcome to submit beignet bug. Please be noted, please specify the exact platform information, such as BYT/IVB/HSW/BDW, and GT1/GT2/GT3. You can easily get this information by running the beignet's unit test.

Documents for OpenCL application developers

The wiki URL is as below: