Arch Linux Revolts Against ATI Catalyst Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 1 March 2009 at 08:27 AM EST. 85 Comments
While AMD continues to improve the ATI Catalyst Linux driver from where they were at years ago by introducing new features like CrossFire and OpenGL 3.0 support while addressing outstanding bugs, no Linux graphics driver is yet in a perfect state. As a result from our post yesterday we have read many driver complaints for both ATI and NVIDIA on Linux. However, the Arch Linux developers in particularly have become fed up with AMD/ATI and their proprietary driver.

Eduardo Romero and Andreas Radke of the Arch Linux project feel the Catalyst Linux driver is "in a pitiful state and AMD is doing close to nothing to improve the situation, they just take Linux as a joke." As a result of them not liking this ATI driver, it's going to be moved out of Arch's extra repository and into AUR or Community, which puts it in a lesser state.

While they do not like the Catalyst driver, they do like the RadeonHD driver even though its capabilities are currently limited on the newer R600/700 generations and it doesn't yet implement all of the GPU-supported features like reliable power management. Eduardo had said, "In the other hand the radeonhd driver, which is in extra shows some promise, and so far have been good, they have been able to make a good driver with only some documentation released by AMD, when AMD can't make one while being the makers, go figure out."

Eduardo's mailing list message about their revolt against the ATI Catalyst Linux driver can be read here along with their on going mailing list discussion.

Additional information on this situation (including a more detailed response from Arch Linux) can be found in our forums.
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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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