AMD Releases Display Library For Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 18 March 2009. Page 1 of 1. 22 Comments

This afternoon AMD has released the Catalyst 9.3 driver for Windows along with ADL, or the AMD Display Library. The AMD Display Library is a cross-platform library that provides a single SDK to access graphics hardware information. In the past AMD has provided a few SDKs for obtaining this information on Windows, but this is the first time we are seeing such support on Linux.

The Catalyst 9.3 driver for Linux will be released later this month, but the existing Catalyst Linux drivers going back a few months already support the AMD Display Library interface. On Linux, ADL is accessible through, which is a file that has actually been present in the Linux driver going back to the middle of last year. Only today, however, did AMD release the documentation concerning the ADL API and the header files that can be used in C/C++ and C# applications.

The AMD Display Library SDK is available through the AMD Developer Central web-site. Not only is this SDK compatible with Windows and Linux on all supported architectures, but the API and capabilities are also uniform across all Radeon, FireGL, and FirePro products. The documentation included with the ADL SDK package includes an 11 page how-to document, HTML files that cover the public APIs, and there are two sample applications.

Some of the features accessible through the AMD Display Library are calls to find out GPU clock information, memory information, display sizes, OverDrive information, I2C information, component video settings. Included with AMD's ADL is also a small set of Linux-specific APIs for providing a few other options.

Not only can you access information through ADL, but you can also set some parameters. For example, the display size can be configured along with overriding the mode timings. Additionally, there are a few interesting possibilities for Linux users. The fan speed for ATI graphics cards on Linux can be read and controlled through the AMD Display Library even though no fan speed information is shown in the AMD Catalyst Control Center for Linux or the aticonfig utility. Any interested developers can now write a fan speed controller for ATI graphics cards on Linux.

For more information on the AMD Display Library, visit the AMD ADL developer page.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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