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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 08 May 2014

I think a Mesa update broke my AMD Catalyst driver's 3D hardware acceleration -- here's how I fixed it

I'm only speculating as to what caused 3D acceleration to stop working on my Fedora 20 system using the upstream-installed AMD Catalyst driver.

But I'm pretty sure it is the new Mesa packages that rolled into Fedora a day or so ago.

Even if Mesa isn't the culprit, apps that require 3D hardware acceleration are either throwing warnings about the lack of this particular feature, or just crashing immediately.

Running glxinfo in a terminal gave me the following message:

direct rendering: No (If you want to find out why, try setting LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose)

I suspected that the AMD Catalyst video driver, which I'm installing with AMD own .run installer because there is no Fedora 20 package for it in RPM Fusion, was somehow broken.

When I have problems with the proprietary video driver, I usually uninstall Catalyst, check whatever's broken while running the open Radeon driver and then reinstall Catalyst and check again.

Except this time Catalyst wouldn't uninstall. The error message I received said something about the configuration being changed.

Catalyst wouldn't reinstall, either.

The script output suggested that using --force would overcome the errors in either case -- uninstalling or reinstalling.

So I decided to reinstall AMD Catalyst over the current installation.

Since I was already running the latest Catalyst driver from AMD, I had previously downloaded, unzipped it and installed it, and the .run file was already on my system for the reinstall.

I did this as root:

# ./amd-driver-installer-14.10-x86.x86_64.run --force

Catalyst reinstalled with no trouble, I rebooted, and 3D hardware acceleration was back.