Title photo
frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Wed, 07 Aug 2013

The AMD Catalyst 13.8 beta video driver for Linux is out, and it breaks my system

So I finally get working 3D acceleration and suspend/resume and get rid of artifacts in Fedora 19 on my HP Pavilion g6 laptop (AMD A4-4300M APU with AMD Radeon HD 7420G graphics) with the 13.6 beta version of the AMD Catalyst driver for Linux.

Except that the 13.8 beta driver was released about a week ago, and it finally came into my system via RPM Fusion.

And it broke X. Login is fine, but most applications -- including Firefox -- cause X to quit and send me back to the login prompt.

Not good at all.

I had to rip out kmod-catalyst and all associated packages and return to the open-source Radeon driver, which works great -- except for the aforementioned artifacts, lack of working 3D acceleration and refusal to resume after suspend.

No dependency hell here. RPM and the Yum package manager (which I'm using via the Yumex graphical front end) have performed admirably. But it's pretty hard to revert to 13.6 due to all the other related packages that have been upgraded to 13.8.

I haven't filed a bug on the driver just yet, and the consensus seems to be that AMD developers generally ignore such efforts. There is an "unofficial" Bugzilla instance, and Phoronix readers are discussing 13.8 as well.

So now I wait for the next build of the Catalyst driver to see if my system will like it.