Radeon HDMI Linux Audio Might Be Restored Soon
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 13 April 2013 at 09:58 PM EDT. 25 Comments
Support for HDMI audio output with the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver might finally be in a state where it could be re-enabled by default.

While HDMI audio is important to many users, especially when it comes to HTPCs, the support within the open-source Radeon DRM driver has had the feature disabled by default. It's been disabled by default for a long time now since for some Linux users having the support enabled has led to screen issues.

Enabling the Radeon HDMI audio support has required setting a kernel parameter of radeon.audio=1 to enable the feature. The good news is that the open-source driver's HDMI support might be fixed up where soon it could be flipped back on by default.

Rafał Miłecki posted a set of six new patches to the dri-devel mailing list on Saturday that clean things up a bit for the HDMI handling. Namely, these HDMI improvements make the open-source driver mimic the handling of HDMI to that of the proprietary Catalyst driver, where the HDMI audio support generally works favorably. Rafał Miłecki now things -- according to his tests on a Radeon HD 6970M and Radeon HD 6320 -- that the HDMI setup is mostly matched to that of the Catalyst / fglrx driver.

Miłecki ended his patch announcement with, "I hope that with such improvements we will finally able to enable audio by default."

For those curious about his reverse-engineering process of the Catalyst driver for analyzing the HDMI setup routines, Miłecki has written about his AMD Catalyst driver reverse-engineering on his blog.

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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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