AMD Releases New Catalyst Linux Legacy Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 5 July 2012 at 08:39 PM EDT. 20 Comments
While owners of ATI/AMD Radeon HD 5000/6000/7000 series graphics cards have already had a Catalyst 12.6 Linux driver -- which many Linux users found to be disappointing -- today AMD has released a Catalyst 12.6 "Legacy" Linux driver for those using the older generations of Radeon hardware.

As Phoronix was the first to exclusively break, AMD dropped the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series support from their mainline Catalyst driver code-base on both Windows and Linux. This change happened following the Catalyst 12.4 driver release and following that AMD also changed their Catalyst driver release schedule.

To succeed the Catalyst 12.4 driver for those with the dropped Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series hardware I also exclusively shared there would be an updated Catalyst Linux legacy driver to support X.Org Server 1.12. The X.Org Server 1.12 support is needed so the R600 through R700 series graphics processors can operate on distributions like Fedora 17.

I also shared in another article, "Don't be surprised if you see this [updated legacy driver] in July." Well, today is 5 July and the driver has surfaced.

Those wanting the Catalyst 12.6 Legacy driver for Linux x86/x86_64 can find the download link from AMD also released a legacy Catalyst 12.6 driver for Windows 7/Vista and XP.

AMD hasn't released any change-log (as usual) for this legacy Linux driver update, but as far as any other notable changes for today's update, there isn't really much.

Going forward, however, don't expect future Catalyst Linux legacy driver updates to provide support for new Linux kernels and/or X.Org Server releases.

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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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