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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.

Fri, 02 Aug 2013

No new stable AMD Catalyst driver for Linux, but there is a new 13.8 beta that runs with the 3.10 kernel

Given that releases seem to happen about every two months, I pegged July 28-31, 2013, as the time when AMD would release a new Catalyst video driver for Linux.

On Aug. 1, 2013, AMD did release a new driver, version 13.8.

The most notable changes, from my perspective anyway, are support for the 3.10 Linux kernel.

So that's why there have been no kmod-catalyst updates from RPM Fusion for Fedora. Hopefully we will see one soon (and if it happens in the next few days, my faith in humanity, Fedora and RPM Fusion will be restored).

Keep an eye on this RPM Fusion page for a new kmod-catalyst driver.

Other than fixes of bugs I don't understand, and besides support for the 3.10 kernel, the most notable change is the removal of the "Testing use only" watermark from the lower right corner of the screen. Annoying, that watermark is.

Here's looking forward to a stable release of the AMD Catalyst driver that supports my newish AMD A4-4300M APU with AMD Radeon HD 7420G graphics.

Is my problem with Catalyst or other? I am having one issue with suspend-resume, which only works at all, by the way, with the Catalyst driver: Everything seems fine when I resume, except that the system doesn't think I have an optical drive any more. The output of cd-drive in the terminal shows no drives available. When I reboot, the drive returns to the ranks of living peripherals.

Mon, 08 Jul 2013

The AMD Catalyst 13.6 proprietary video driver will support the latest AMD APUs -- and I really need it

Given that my still-shiny, still-new HP Pavilion G6-2210-us laptop with an AMD A4-4300M APU that features AMD Radeon HD 7420G graphics is not well-supported in Linux's current open-source Radeon driver, I've been looking to AMD's proprietary Catalyst video driver for help.

I've tried the current version -- 13.4. X won't even start.

That's because my APU is so new, even the Catalyst driver doesn't support it.

But help is on the way. Version 13.6 of Catalyst does support the Radeon HD 7420G, according to the release notes.

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