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AMD Catalyst 11.11 Brings Critical Linux Changes

AMD

Published on 15 November 2011 02:50 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
68 Comments

After a belated Catalyst 11.10 release, this month's proprietary Catalyst Linux driver for ATI/AMD Radeon and FirePro graphics cards is now available. The Catalyst 11.11 driver does bring some critical changes.

What's good about Catalyst 11.11 over previous releases? Well, AMD has still discontinued their tradition of publishing release notes for the public for their Catalyst Linux driver build, but Phoronix has you covered. Some of what's noteworthy about the Catalyst 11.11 binary blob for Linux is:

- X.Org Server 1.11 support! This means the recently-released Fedora 17 should now work. AMD was slow in supporting xorg-server 1.11 this time around since Ubuntu 11.10 stuck to X.Org Server 1.10, which means AMD didn't need to get any Catalyst driver support for this latest upstream release in the September/October time-frame. Going forward with X.Org Server 1.12 and future versions, however, I hear they will be aiming for a quicker turnaround time. Other new distributions will also be shipping with X.Org Server 1.11+, so this is good news but it's too bad those early adopters had to wait until November for binary support. X.Org Server 1.11 was originally released as stable in August after being in development for several months.

- There's "early look" support for openSUSE 12.1, which is set to be released on Wednesday.

- The big one affecting all users of the Catalyst Linux driver is that there's finally OpenCL run-time integration! The 32-bit and 64-bit AMD Linux OpenCL binaries for the SDK are finally included with the Catalyst driver itself, instead of having to install the AMD Stream SDK for the Open Computing Language support. This should have come much sooner, but regardless there's finally some common sense in the packaging that will allow OpenCL support to be more widespread.

- Assorted bug-fixes and various packaging script updates, but nothing that's incredibly exciting.

The Catalyst 11.11 release is part of the fglrx 8.91 release stream. But that rounds up the changes, with the two big items being the OpenCL run-time integration and X.Org Server 1.11 support. We already know that Catalyst 11.12 will be even better in time for the holidays.

Download the Catalyst 11.11 release for Linux x86/x86_64 at AMD.com. Stop by our forums for the latest discussions on technical issues and feedback for this monthly binary blob update.

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