AMD Catalyst 11.12 Will Be Even Better
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 1 November 2011 at 09:20 AM EDT. 13 Comments
Catalyst 11.10 was released yesterday for Linux and Windows platforms. Many Linux users are pleased by this driver update as can be seen from the forums, but Catalyst 11.12 is set to improve the Radeon binary blob situation even more.

Most users in the Phoronix Forums are reporting success with this new Catalyst Linux driver release, with the GNOME Shell now playing well and other desktop functionality, but it doesn't seem to work well with the Linux 3.1 kernel or X.Org Server 1.11 quite yet.

Word of Catalyst 11.12 shaping up to be a nice Linux binary driver release comes this time via Google. Some Google Chromium engineers have got their hands on a Linux beta driver for the fglrx 8.92 Linux driver release stream, which will likely end up being what's publicly known as Catalyst 11.12. The Chromium developer writes in a bug report, "it is looking very good from a robustness and compatibility standpoint. We should stop blacklisting AMD drivers on Linux starting at this version."

The fglrx 8.92 Linux driver is reporting an OpenGL version of 4.2.11303 with GLSL 4.20 for an AMD Radeon HD 6800 series graphics card. Beginning with fglrx 8.92 and newer, Google will now be white-listing the Catalyst Linux driver for hardware accelerated support within the web-browser. This change has already been committed to the Chrome/Chromium browser trunk code-base.

Besides Catalyst, other blacklisted drivers in the Linux build of Chrome/Chromium is NVIDIA binary drivers older than version 195.36.24 (and other select GPUs / driver versions, Mesa drivers older than Mesa 7.11, there's no accelerated 2D canvas support for any Linux driver, and all open-source ATI/AMD Linux drivers are black-listed too.

To see the other Linux driver limitations for other web-browsers, see this other article after looking at the situation upon the release of the Opera 12 development release that brought GPU hardware acceleration to Linux alongside Chrome/Chromium and Mozilla Firefox.

What else will Catalyst 11.12 hold in store for Linux users? Well, I'll talk about it in December. In this morning's review of the AMD FirePro V4900 that was released today, a Catalyst 11.11 beta press driver was used, which will come to the public within a few weeks and before this fglrx 8.92 fun.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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