AMD Has No Plans To Suspend Catalyst For Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 19 June 2012 at 07:27 PM EDT. 37 Comments
Since AMD's decision to discontinue HD 2000/3000/4000 series support from the Catalyst driver plus other changes that upset some hardware owners, there's been some rumors that AMD may be discontinuing development of the Catalyst Linux driver and focus solely upon the open-source AMD Linux driver.

This rumor of AMD discontinuing the Catalyst Linux driver is inaccurate. AMD says they're committed to this binary blob for Linux.

The support for ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) through Radeon HD 4000 series (R700) now lives in an AMD Catalyst legacy branch that may see updates once in a while.

To clear up the rumors, Jammy Zhou of AMD said, "We will definitely continue the fglrx development, which is becoming more and more important for AMD."

The open-source AMD Linux driver has made a lot of progress in the last half-decade, but it's still trying to make OpenGL parity, doesn't yet support some features like CrossFire or advanced anti-aliasing modes, heck it doesn't even utilize PCI Express 2.0 by default and the performance is generally years behind Catalyst. The open-source support for the half-year-old AMD Radeon HD 7000 "Southern Islands" graphics cards is also basically non-functional for Linux desktop users at this point.

This AMD Linux driver news comes less than one month after AMD admitted it has Linux problems, which it's now working to address, particularly when it comes to OpenCL support on Linux for Radeon, Fusion, and FirePro hardware.
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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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