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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 19 Sep 2013

AMD releases Catalyst 13.9 video driver for Linux -- or does it?

Warning: The AMD Catalyst 13.9 Linux video driver was on the site this morning but has disappeared since then. As of 4 p.m. Pacific time on Sept. 19, 2013, it has not yet reappeared. AMD, it's your move.

Before the driver disappeared, here is what I wrote:

Now that the 3.11 version of the Linux kernel is available on my Fedora 19 system, AMD has released a new version of its closed-source, stable driver, version 13.9, that brings support to ... the 3.10 kernel.

Not that I haven't been running the 13.6 (suspend/resume worked) and 13.8 betas (suspend/resume didn't work in 13.8 beta 1, not sure about beta 2), because I have.

You can download the new driver here, though I recommend NEVER installing from what AMD provides and always, ALWAYS using a version packaged for your distribution, which for Fedora means the packages provided by RPM Fusion.

Running Fedora and needing AMD Catalyst for working 3D graphics means willfully ignoring new kernels that aren't yet supported and accompanied by a new kmod-catalyst package. That's what I'm doing with the new 3.11.1 kernel that moved into Fedora 19 today. I won't install a 3.11 kernel until there's a corresponding kmod-catalyst package from RPM Fusion to go with it. And given that this new 13.9 release of AMD Catalyst only supports the 3.10 kernel and isn't yet in the RPM Fusion repository (which, given the fact that it was just released, I totally understand), I'll wait for the next kmod-catalyst to roll onto my machine and once again test suspend-resume. If it works (like it did during the brief 13.6 beta window), I'll be of a mind to stick with the 3.10 kernel for a good long while.

But if suspend-resume doesn't work with the combination of Linux kernel 3.10.x and Catalyst 13.9, it'll be back on the beta train until AMD decides to better-support the GPUs it makes, including my AMD Radeon HD 7420g.

Potential problem: I just checked the AMD page, and the new driver is (hopefully temporarily) gone.