1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

AMD Catalyst 7.12 Linux Driver

Michael Larabel

Published on 20 December 2007
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 1 - 339 Comments

It's that time of the month again where we get to share with you all of the details on the latest ATI/AMD Linux driver release. This month, the ATI Catalyst 7.12 Linux driver (formally, what is known as fglrx 8.44) brings a host of new changes, mostly in the form of bug fixes. In total, there are just under a dozen noteworthy bug fixes in this release -- including addressing 3D acceleration issues on AGP graphics cards and the well-known OpenGL memory leak that was introduced with the new driver code-base. In addition, the FireGL graphics cards are now supported on this new driver code-base.

One of the largest problems that have continued with fglrx 8.41, 8.42, and 8.43 drivers has been a memory leak. This issue has affected a variety of ATI Linux users and was summarized by Hakan Bayindir in ATI's New Drivers: Did The Paradise Come? This OpenGL memory leak has also been brought up in the Phoronix Forums with the driver leaking globs of memory and being hoped for as a fix for Catalyst 7.12. Fortunately, the AMD software engineers have addressed the OpenGL memory leak in Catalyst 7.12, so be sure to upgrade.

There have been some fixes in past driver releases for those using an AGP graphics card with a Rialto bridge chip and the proprietary Linux driver, while this release is also reported to fix an issue with 3D not working on some AGP cards. In addition, a CMMQS initialization issue on the Lenovo ThinkPad T43p has been addressed as well as a corruption problem with the RS690 IGP. Some of the other bugs that were fixed in this release include the wrong libGL soname, OpenGL overlay fixes, and fixing a server crash in X -configure.

For the packaging scripts that are included with the ATI Catalyst installer, there is now Red Flag DT 6.0 support and script updates for some of the other distributions. One of the noteworthy updates is to for Ubuntu as there is now listed support for Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" and Dell's DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) is used for automatically rebuilding the kernel module with kernel upgrades, which comes to replace module-assistant for the fglrx driver. This is also the first ATI/AMD Linux driver release where the packaging scripts are being pulled from the Phorogit repository at Phorogit.com. If you are interested in checking out the scripts at Phoroit, there is a "7.12" branch for this driver. As you can see from viewing the repository, work on the ATI/AMD Catalyst 8.1 Linux packaging scripts is already underway with the Ubuntu scripts beginning to use LSB (Linux Standards Base) detection for the distribution/version.

Since AMD had rolled out their new Linux driver code-base in September, the ATI FireGL series hasn't been supported. Finally, however, with Catalyst 7.12 this workstation support has reappeared. If you are a FireGL owner, you can finally experience this new driver code-base finally, with its AIGLX support and heightened performance. On the topic of card support, the Catalyst 7.12 Linux driver properly identifies the Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870, and benchmarks using this new driver can be found in our ASUS EAH3850 TOP / EAH3870 TOP review.

It has been a while since talking about the AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition (AMDCCCLE) and the 7.12 driver does bump the version to 1.7, but there are no apparent end-user changes in this release.

Overall, the Catalyst 7.12 Linux driver is just a big bug-fix release. There isn't too much exciting news coming out of this driver release aside from fixes for the OpenGL memory leak, AGP 3D, and the re-appended FireGL workstation support. You can check out this new driver from the ATI website and be sure to share your thoughts on it in the Phoronix Forums. Next week we will be publishing our annual ATI AYiR (A Year in Review) article.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  2. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
  4. 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison
Latest Linux News
  1. FSF's High Priority Project List Now Has A Committee
  2. Details On Using OpenACC & GPUs With GCC
  3. Ubuntu 15.04 Alpha 1 For Its Various Flavors
  4. Git 2.2.1 Released To Fix Critical Security Issue
  5. WTFTW: A Tiling Window Manager Written In Rust
  6. Jolla's Sailfish OS Update 10 Is Now Available
  7. HP To Launch Linux++ Operating System Next Year
  8. Civilization: Beyond Earth Launches For Linux
  9. NIR Has Been Revised As A New IR For Mesa
  10. New 64-bit Linux Kernel Vulnerabilities Disclosed This Week
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  2. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  3. Are there an app using HSA ?
  4. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format
  5. Bench specific mount point
  6. Tool for measuring FPS in games
  7. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  8. Ubuntu Developers Still Thinking What To Do About Adobe Flash Support