Open-Source AMD Hawaii Support Should Now Be Working!
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 25 July 2014 at 12:20 AM EDT. 14 Comments
After renewed pressure on open-source AMD 3D support not working, it seems they've finally managed to get the Radeon R9 290 series graphics cards working on the open-source Linux driver between some updated GPU microcode and kernel driver changes.

While the Radeon R9 290 series is now mature in the marketplace, the open-source Linux driver support has lagged. The Hawaii support had been broken for months (no working 3D on the open-source driver, but will work under the Catalyst Linux driver) and the few open-source AMD developers weren't tasked with fixing it over not being sure why it wasn't working and having no immediate business cases for fixing the support. Fortunately, with a bug comment made tonight, it seems things might be in order.

AMD's Alex Deucher says "it's now working more or less." Besides running recent versions of other key software packages, the "magic" to making the AMD Hawaii support work includes grabbing the latest Radeon microcode files "radeon_ucode", the latest DRM-next code queued for the Linux 3.17 kernel, and one extra patch to enable Hawaii acceleration support conditionally (the condition being based upon the new firmware file being present). If those conditions are met, the Radeon R9 290/290X open-source driver support will supposedly work.

I'll try this out shortly with my R9 290 and report back with the findings and ideally some open vs. closed source driver OpenGL benchmark results. More details on the specific changes needed for getting working Hawaii support is detailed via this bug comment.
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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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