AMD's Catalyst Linux Driver Preparing For A World Without An X Server?
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 20 August 2014 at 01:05 PM EDT. 22 Comments
AMD's proprietary Catalyst Linux driver installer is interestingly being prepared for an environment without an X.Org Server.

While there's no announcement out of AMD indicating any future support directions for their Catalyst Linux driver, it seems their Catalyst driver will soon be equipped with an option for building the driver packages without X.Org Server support, a.k.a. no building of the fglrx DDX driver.

The distribution-specific packaging scripts for the Catalyst Linux driver continue to be hosted on Phorogit and recent activity indicate they're being prepped for a --NoXServer option. The --NoXServer option was added today to the Ubuntu packaging script (separately today, also support for the Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" release).

Earlier this month the SUSE packaging script was also updated for the --NoXServer flag. The SUSE packaging is no longer a monolithic RPM but was split into fglrx-core, fglrx-graphics, fglrx-amdcccle, and fglrx-opencl packages with the "No X Server" flag leading to fglrx-core just being built. The other distribution packaging scripts bundled within the Catalyst Linux driver and hosted on Phorogit have yet to be updated.


Whether AMD is just trying to better modularize their driver for headless compute/GPGPU systems, is working towards a more open driver strategy with Catalyst mostly being bound to user-space (though I haven't been told of any updates on this matter since the original information), is pursuing Wayland or Mir support where there would be no need for the X Server DDX, or is working towards other changes remain to be known. We'll hopefully see in the months ahead at least when these updated packaging scripts are incorporated into a public Catalyst Linux driver release.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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