AMD Catalyst Beats NVIDIA To Linux 3.12 Support
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 16 October 2013 at 12:10 PM EDT. 49 Comments
The AMD Catalyst (fglrx) graphics driver is generally notorious in having belated support for new Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases while NVIDIA is usually very quick in supporting development kernels / xorg-servers. This time around for the Linux 3.12 kernel, the mainline Catalyst beta already supports the yet-to-be-out kernel while NVIDIA does not have this compatibility.

In testing the AMD and NVIDIA binary drivers with the Linux 3.12 kernel CPU changes, I was surprised to see the AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta worked fine with the Linux 3.12 Git kernel as of Monday. The driver built straightaway and worked without needing any patches!

Meanwhile, the NVIDIA 331 Linux Beta doesn't yet work "out of the box" on Linux 3.12. However, through some manual wrangling there is a patch to the NVIDIA driver shim to the Linux kernel and a thread about NVIDIA's support for the latest kernel. Hopefully the next NVIDIA binary driver update due out soon will be here with proper Linux 3.12 kernel compatibility.


This is rare to see the Catalyst Linux kernel compatibility early as usually it doesn't even come for weeks (or months) after the debut, but it's worth pointing out in case anyone wants to try out the Linux 3.12 kernel with their AMD Radeon hardware not using the Gallium3D drivers.
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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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