AMD Catalyst 11.12 For Linux Is A Mixed Bag
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 13 December 2011 at 07:00 PM EST. 37 Comments
A new version of AMD's Catalyst Linux graphics driver is now available.

For those that haven't already noticed from the Phoronix Forums, the monthly update to AMD's Catalyst Linux (and Windows) binary graphics driver is now available to end out the year.

Initial feedback from Phoronix enthusiasts though hasn't been too positive with there still being some GNOME Shell rendering problems and the video playback experience not being too ideal. "Same shit for me on Fedora 16/64 on my notebook with ATI HD56750. With Gnome 3 I get same 'artifacts' on screen. It's unbelievable, I they are unable to make an affordable driverpack for Linux." And "Another fglrx version which is failing...Why did I buy AMD this time!"

However, there are some improvements in the Catalyst 11.12 Linux stack. If you will recall, Google had access to Catalyst 11.12 and white-listed it for Chromium. With this release series is the first Catalyst/fglrx Linux driver that's good enough to handle their OpenGL needs from the popular web-browser with hardware acceleration.

There are no official release notes published these days for the Catalyst Linux driver, but among the Catalyst 11.12 changes I know about include early support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2, integration of OpenCL MCW SlotMax libraries, RandR improvements, some corruption fixes, and various other bug-fixes.

For those not keeping up with the monthly Catalyst Linux driver updates, last month with Catalyst 11.11 is when the X.Org Server 1.11 support finally landed and they finally merged their OpenCL run-time libraries with the driver itself. So when installing any current Catalyst Linux driver now, you finally have OpenCL support without worrying about a separate package.

Catalyst 11.12 for Linux x86 and x86_64 is available from this download link.

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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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