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AMD's Legacy Driver Will Not Support X Server 1.6

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  • #16
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    I seem to remember you asking, on this very site, for someone to kill the fglrx driver as a favour to humanity
    It bothers me a bit to see articles that could be described as 'whiny', because often, being a linux user, I'm marginalized as a 'vocal minority' and someone who 'just wants everything, and for free'.. don't be afraid to save some emotion for the first post in the comment form.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by SyXbiT View Post
      great argument.

      If Linus decided to kill Linux, think of all the free testers BSD and open solaris would get!!!!

      STUPID argument
      A. They would get more testers. I am not moving to Windows anytime soon, so are most people using Linux. FreeBSD and OpenSolaris are more and more similar to Linux every day, just that neither use the Linux kernel.

      B. Linus can't kill Linux. It's open source and it's not owned by him. Which is the whole point behind "Free" software.


      Linux open source ATI drivers still support hardware going back to R200. Why? Because people are still using machines that old and put the effort into it. Once people stop using those old cards then driver support will eventually whither away.

      And sure it's going to be irritating for a lot of people. But that's the problem with closed source stuff: Once you stop making money for the owners of the software, why should they care about you? I don't see any reason why they should care about me just because I have a old R400 card laying around.

      For long-term Linux operating systems like CentOS or Debian (among others) you can continue using your closed source ATI drivers with supported pre-1.6.0 versions of Xserver for another 5 years or so. No problem. I think Redhat supports their stuff for 7 years; so that is how long CentOS is going to support it. Just because people release newer versions of Linux or X doesn't mean you have to upgrade to them any time soon.

      It's kinda funny since one of the perceived benefits of running Windows was their 'stable driver ABI' and whatnot. But it was only 'stable' and compatible with older drivers because Microsoft didn't release a new desktop OS since 2000. (XP being to 2000 what Windows 7 will be to Vista). You can take the same approach with Linux and just not upgrade. Certain distros have good policies for supporting older versions for a number of years.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        I seem to remember you asking, on this very site, for someone to kill the fglrx driver as a favour to humanity

        Other than 3D support (which a bunch of devs are working on now) where do you see the open source driver being deficient ?
        I wonder if you are not seriouslly pissed ... First the community cries for docs and open drivers and for dropping fglrx ... Now we have quite good open drivers for r300 r400 and r500 ... and everyone cries for the hated and bashed fglrx dropping suppport for those chips. I think I would be pissed at community reaction if I were in your shoes.

        Now seriously. three AMD emplyers are still working on open drivers so why the cry for something that you people hated before (fglrx) ? Be constructive and at least cry for new features in the open drives.
        Last edited by val-gaav; 03-06-2009, 02:28 AM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by val-gaav View Post
          I wonder if you are not seriouslly pissed ... First the community cries for docs and open drivers and for dropping fglrx ... Now we have quite good open drivers for r300 r400 and r500 ... and everyone cries for the hated and bashed fglrx dropping suppport for those chips. I think I would be pissed at community reaction if I were in your shoes.
          there is always a lot of social intertia around such changes.

          everyone cries for the hated and bashed fglrx dropping suppport for those chips
          i don't. and i bet i'm not the only one. so don't say "everyone"

          it's a hard decision, but i think it is good. same thing happens with windows drivers - but you can stick with older drivers for that particular windows version (if there is such).

          similar thing happened when gentoo dropped xmms from their repository - a massive backlash from many people, who were too attached to obsoleted software that caused a lot of security issues, and headaches for distro maintainers.

          but later, people got over it.

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          • #20
            [QUOTE=Hephasteus;65404]Worked on a radeon 2000 GPU tonight. It's a complete waste of silicon and using it for even web browsing is not a good thing. I'm thinking with the proliferation of HD 4350 cards for 40 bucks and HD 4550 cards for 50 bucks this is a real NON ISSUE.{/QUOTE]

            I've gotta wonder where you're surfing, because for me that hasn't been a problem for years. Anyway, yes you can drop 40$ into your latest desktop rig. But your laptop? On any other old computer you got standing around?

            Basicly there's two things you want, security patches and application updates. No xserver support => no newer distributions => old software. Sure you can try to do a mix-and-match like downgrading your xserver or upgrading your applications while pinning the xserver but you're likely to run into trouble.

            I haven't got the impression all your worries will be over if you switch to a HD 4xxx card either. How long until you need your next 40$ fix?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
              (which a bunch of devs are working on now)
              So we exchange some devs from fglrx support to the open source radeon driver(s), correct?

              That sounds like a good exchange.

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              • #22
                The thing that bothers me most is that the guys who are complaining here have missed the entire point of having open source drivers.

                Let me sum things up for you:
                1. Linux isn't good at the 3D graphics department right now. Quite honestly, Linux is the worst kid at school in de 3D graphics deparment (that's why the work on the new infrastructure it so goddamn much appreciated). If you use Linux purely out of practical reasons, then your hereby advised to start using Windows/Mac.

                2. If you do care about the OSS philosophy, if you do see why it is important that OSS is created, maintained and used over CSS then you should use Linux. And when that is the case, you also understand that getting the specs from ATI is one of the best things they could have done for Linux/OSS. Losing their CSS driver is peanuts compared to it.

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                • #23
                  I think this is great progress! The fglrx is so shaky, that this results in better reputation of Linux overall - no more "Linux crashes so often" when the fglrx is actually the culprit.

                  For most ordinary 3D usage, r300-r500 OSS driver is good enough and stable already, and fast enough. It's just the lack of shaders which is preventing things like Doom 3 being fully usable. They will probably all come this year with a lot of radeon-rework Mesa work being already done, so people can stay in previous Linux versions with the crashing fglrx driver and wait for the Autumn releases, or upgrade now in the spring and be satisfied with the lower (1/2 or 1/3 or so) 3D performance for now.

                  _Hopefully_ this would also mean they can get rid of junk code in fglrx, so that the r600-r700 support would actually be what the users want.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Hephasteus View Post
                    Worked on a radeon 2000 GPU tonight. It's a complete waste of silicon and using it for even web browsing is not a good thing.
                    Dude, you're full of fud. I own an HD 2600 XT silent and I'm playing a lot of games (admittedly not GTA 4, but GTR Evolution, Test Drive Unlimited, Fallout 3 etc.) in at least 1024 x 768 and sometimes with antialias. And always with full details.

                    So you've got something broken in there, maybe you've got a fall back to software rendering or a fall back to fud spreading on the webs, gotta have it checked!

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                    • #25
                      I don't think AMD made this choice lightly - I'm quite sure they're aware of a backlash over older cards not being supported for the newer x server release. I also wonder if the "cutoff line" so to speak has anything to do with opengl3 support. So we can only wait and see what effect this will have with new drivers. I personally haven't had any problems with fglrx for quite some time now, though I would like to see the OSS drivers improve more than I want fglrx to get better.

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                      • #26
                        Too bad, fglrx worked well with my x1600 mobility. I had hope in the 9-3 release, but now it's over Good bye PowerPlay, bye bye CCC...
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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by poofyyoda View Post
                          when did you buy your old card? You've had the support you paid for so get over it.
                          When? When did I have my support? When was there ever a version of fglrx that was not broken in some way?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Stormking View Post
                            When? When did I have my support? When was there ever a version of fglrx that was not broken in some way?
                            And what problems have you had? What makes fglrx so terrible for you? Most people have been whining to get rid of the fglrx driver an concentrate on the open source ones - guess what, that just happened for r300/400/500 series cards.
                            And everybody has had support by AMD opening up documentation to allow for fully open source drivers to be properly developed, which they've been helping to develop in addition to their own closed source binaries. That's pretty supportive I think.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by mirv View Post
                              And what problems have you had? What makes fglrx so terrible for you?
                              Well, right now it doesn't work at all. Before that, OpenGL didn't work with WINE. And before that, there was no support for Compositing or AIXGL. And before that, it crashed on a regular basis. And before that, XVideo-on-TV-Out was broken for 18 months. Not to mention that the *whole time*, logging out or trying to switch to the console froze the whole system.

                              Originally posted by mirv View Post
                              Most people have been whining to get rid of the fglrx driver an concentrate on the open source ones
                              You seem to live in a parallel universe. In my world, people just want a working driver and don't really care if it's open source or not.

                              Originally posted by mirv View Post
                              AMD opening up documentation to allow for fully open source drivers to be properly developed, which they've been helping to develop in addition to their own closed source binaries. That's pretty supportive I think.
                              So I have to be thankful that after not being able to deliver a working driver for about five years, ATI now finally decided to do the absolute minimum to help the OSS comunity to write their own driver?


                              Next time when you buy a brand new car and something is broken, try to imagine the manufacturer promises you to fix it "next month". Five years later - your car still doesn't work - they give you some papers and tell you to fix it yourself.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                                Other than 3D support (which a bunch of devs are working on now) where do you see the open source driver being deficient ?
                                In order of importance:
                                1. Power management
                                2. Redirected direct rendering (DRI2 & GEM/TTM)

                                Shaders (OpenGL2 / GLSL) would be nice too

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