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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 29 Aug 2013

Watching for new AMD Linux video drivers -- open and closed

I'm watching for new AMD video drivers for Linux, both the open-source driver that ships with most Linux distributions and the closed-source Catalyst driver from AMD that you can install with between a little and a lot of difficulty (and potential heartache).

Since I'm running Fedora, mainly because its developers are very pro-active in pushing new code, here's where I'm looking in the Koji Build System for the latest xorg-x11-drv-ati:

http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/packageinfo?packageID=95

Right now there's a version 7.1.0-5 in Fedora 19, and a 7.2.0-0 built for the in-the-future Fedora 21.

It might be better to follow the driver upstream:

http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/driver/xf86-video-ati
and
http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/driver/xf86-video-ati/log/

As far as the closed Catalyst driver, keep an eye on this AMD page:

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/linux/Pages/radeon_linux.aspx

The stable driver remains version 13.4, released on May 29, 2013. The current 13.8 beta, released on Aug. 19, 2013, works well enough on my system but doesn't support successful suspend/resume, though the previous beta version 13.6 did. I'm hoping for better suspend/resume results in the next release.

What I'm really hoping for is a open-source driver that supports both 3D acceleration and suspend/resume. Maybe it'll happen at some point in the future. That it hasn't happened yet is what is making me rethink AMD in favor of Intel graphics.

(My AMD APU's GPU is part of the Trinity series and is categorized as such in Wikipedia.)