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The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 1 June 2007
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 9 of 9 - Comment On This Article

So What Else? Random Remarks.

The ATI/AMD Linux community also has several assets, which include an unofficial BugZilla, an unofficial Wiki, a section on the Rage3D forums, and the Phoronix Forums. While the BugZilla and Wiki are unofficial, they are linked to from the AMD website and developers are known to browse the bug list from time to time.

On the NVIDIA side, there is an official section setup on the NvNews forums and an unofficial support and discussion area on the Phoronix Forums. At this time there is no public BugZilla for NVIDIA users.

While R200 product support still does exist in a driver branch after being discontinued in the fglrx 8.28 release, AMD has no plans to release an updated R200 class driver. AMD's belief behind this is the open-source community was given the needed specifications a number of years ago and the X.Org Radeon driver is reasonably well supported (except for TV-Out due to Macrovision).

If you're curious as to what Linux distributions the AMD developers use when working on these drivers, there is no single distribution other than matching the common choices of the Linux community. Matthew Tippett happens to be an obsessive-compulsive daily Ubuntu dist-upgrader tracking Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon.

While the AMD beta program is closed for the public, deserving individuals are allowed to join the program. AMD is always looking for new distribution vendors to join this program with vendors being more than welcome to provide packaging scripts for their respective distribution. If you can provide a particular value to the beta testing cycle, let us know in the Phoronix Forums and we would be glad to pass along prospective names to AMD.

While AMD's Catalyst development cycle for both the Windows and Linux drivers is a bit more complicated than what we were allowed to share with you today, each AMD Linux "fglrx" driver release takes usually about eleven to twelve weeks from start to finish. With the development, validation, beta, and bake phases, there are always at least two releases being prepared. This rigid development cycle allows AMD to release updated drivers on a monthly basis while ensuring that each driver has been tested and contains more changes than just a simple version bump. It is also due to this structured development cycle why AMD generally cannot deliver same-month support for new kernels and X.Org releases.

If you have any additional questions on the AMD development cycle or would like to share your ATI/AMD experiences, check out the Phoronix Forums. Discuss this article in this thread.

Stay tuned to Phoronix as AMD should have some interesting things in the pipeline for later this year...

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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