AMD Catalyst 12.9 For Linux Brings Few Good Changes
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 14 September 2012 at 08:22 AM EDT. 43 Comments
The AMD Catalyst 12.9 graphics driver for Linux was released on Thursday.

While it hasn't been widely advertised yet, if you head on over to the embedded AMD.com web-page there is a link to the Catalyst 12.9 Linux x86/x86_64 driver weighing in at 107MB.

This Catalyst 12.9 release is marked as fglrx 9.00. As usual, AMD hasn't published any Linux release notes for this Catalyst driver update. Fortunately, you're not entirely in the dark. I can tell you that this driver update incorporates some 2D performance improvements, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 production support, GPU detection at install-time, Ubuntu 12.10 early-look support, Linux kernel 3.5 support, and many fixes.

The fixes you're likely to see out of this driver update are:

- Fix startx failure on PowerXpress A+A platforms
- Fix performance downgrade with 3DMarkVantage
- Fix startx failure on some specific ASICs
- Fix PowerPlay settings not persistent after reboot
- Fix problem that the hardware information is shown twice in AMD CCC:LE for Power Saving mode of PowerXpress A+A
- Fix severe corruption when switch between multiple X servers
- Fix cursor disappear when open AMD CCC:LE with specific steps
- Fix suspend/resume hang on PowerXpress A+A in Power-Saving mode
- Fix system hang after panning
- Fix system font change after enable Xinerama
- Fix X crash when run 32bit AMD CCC:LE on 64bit system
- Fix the issue that monitor goes into sleep for some ASICs after kill X

The release is mainly nice if you have been wanting to use this binary blob on a more recent software stack with an updated kernel. Early-look support for Ubuntu 12.10 would also mean X.Org Server 1.13 support, but AMD hasn't officially acknowledged this support nor have I yet to try out this public release build. The other fixes and minor improvements are also nice to see.

While AMD has moved away from their rigid monthly release cycle, this Catalyst 12.9 Linux driver comes nearly one month to the day after Catalyst 12.8 for Linux.
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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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