AMD Puts Out A Beta Catalyst Linux Driver For The Public
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 24 January 2011 at 09:21 PM EST. 23 Comments
While NVIDIA puts out beta Linux graphics drivers quite often as a means of soliciting testing prior to declaring a new stable GPU driver update, AMD does not but rather they rely upon their NDA-covered select beta testers to put each Catalyst release through its paces before declaring a stable update in their timed monthly manner. Today though it seems AMD has put out a Catalyst Beta driver that's targeting their workstation customers (those with the FirePro / FireGL / FireMV hardware) but as in their usual unified manner, it will work with any supported Radeon (R600+ GPU) as well.

With this driver, which is tagged as version 8.801 Beta and has a release date of today, there are no release notes attached. The only description is that this 117MB package includes the display driver, OpenCL run-time, DisplayPort and HDMI audio driver, and the ATI Catalyst Control Center. It works with x86 and x86_64 Linux.

This is interesting since usually AMD doesn't put out public beta drivers for the Linux Catalyst / fglrx package, but this time they have. However, the NDA-protected testers have already tested out the 8.80, 8.81, and 8.82 drivers and are beginning on putting an 8.83 beta through its Linux tests.

For those Radeon HD consumer customers, this week AMD is also expected to release their monthly Catalyst 11.1 driver update. Its features will be talked about at that time on Phoronix. That driver will carry at least one neat -- but currently experimental -- feature. For those interested in grabbing this beta driver until then, see this forum thread for details.
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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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