Ubuntu Has Another Special ATI Catalyst Driver?
The past three releases of Ubuntu Linux have included unreleased ATI Catalyst drivers. It started with Ubuntu 8.10, which got an early-access driver as the official Catalyst Linux driver that was available to the public at the time had not supported X Server 1.5. With Ubuntu 9.04, AMD was running behind at supporting X Server 1.6 as found in the Jaunty Jackalope, so it too received an early ATI driver. Ubuntu 9.10 also received an early Catalyst for Linux driver more than a month in advance to provide compatibility with the Linux 2.6.31 kernel. It looks like this will happen a fourth time with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" running with the X.Org Server 1.7.x series, which isn't yet supported by the Catalyst driver even though it was released back in October.
Ara Pulido of Ubuntu has called for testing of the ATI and NVIDIA graphics card drivers under Ubuntu 10.04.
Do you have a *nVIDIA* or *ATI* graphics card? Do you want to help ensure users have a smooth experience if they choose to use the proprietary drivers?
The proprietary NVIDIA driver already supports X Server 1.7.x and the Linux 2.6.32 kernel as found in Ubuntu 10.04. Catalyst 10.1 does support the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, but it's still missing on the X.Org 7.5 compatibility. However, with Ubuntu now looking for people to test out the proprietary ATI driver and emailing Pulido for instructions, it looks like they're getting ready to roll out an unreleased Catalyst driver for Linux. At this point, however, there is no updated fglrx packages found in the Ubuntu Lucid repository.
Ubuntu 10.04 will be officially released in April, but for the time being (or permanently, if you wish) the open-source ATI graphics driver stack has kernel mode-setting and 2D/3D support up through the R700 (Radeon HD 4000 series) graphics cards to provide a pleasant "out of the box" experience.
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