1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

A Major Open-Source ATI Linux Driver Update

AMD

Published on 03 February 2011 08:10 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
35 Comments

If you use the open-source ATI Linux graphics driver, there's a major stable update available. At long last, xf86-video-ati 6.14.0 has been released. This open-source X.Org driver brings official support for the Radeon HD 5000 series, Radeon HD 6000 series, and AMD Fusion Ontario hardware. This release also has a plethora of bug-fixes and flips on the KMS page-flipping support.

Up to this point if you are an owner of ATI Radeon HD 5000, AMD Radeon HD 6000, or AMD Fusion hardware and prefer to use the open-source driver to the closed-source Catalyst Linux driver, you have had to rely upon source-code only found in Git. With today's xf86-video-ati 6.14.0 release, the Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen", Radeon HD 6000 "Northern Islands", and Fusion "Ontario" support is stable. In the xf86-video-ati driver it means the kernel mode-setting support, 2D EXA acceleration, and video playback acceleration via X-Video. The Fusion support provided in this driver update also offers user-space mode-setting for anyone faced by issues with KMS.

For the Radeon HD 5000/6000 and Fusion hardware there's also open-source 3D support available that lives within the Mesa stack. Ideally you should be using the Gallium3D "R600g" driver for the best and fastest open-source ATI driver.

If you're looking to utilize a Radeon HD 5000 series GPU with the xf86-video-ati 6.14.0 driver you will need the Linux 2.6.36 kernel or later. To use the Radeon HD 6000 or Fusion hardware you will need to be using the Linux 2.6.38 kernel, which won't be released as stable for a number of weeks so until then you're left using Git or one of the weekly release candidates.

Taking advantage of ATI KMS page-flipping also requires using the unreleased Linux 2.6.38 kernel. Best about KMS page-flipping is that it dramatically speeds up the performance in OpenGL applications and games.

Also to enjoy in xf86-video-ati 6.14.0 are lots of bug-fixes and a major manual page clean-up. The list of bugs fixed can be found in the release announcement for the xf86-video-ati 6.14.0 driver.

About The Author
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 and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. CPUFreq Scaling Tests With AMD's Kaveri On Linux 3.16
  2. Enabling HyperZ Is Still An Easy Way For Faster RadeonSI Performance
  3. AMD Kaveri: Catalyst vs. RadeonSI Gallium3D On Linux
  4. Linux OpenCL Performance With The Newest AMD & NVIDIA Drivers
Latest Linux News
  1. Proposed: A Tainted Performance State For The Linux Kernel
  2. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  3. Mesa 10.2.6 Has Plenty Of OpenGL Driver Bug Fixes
  4. Wasteland 2 Gets An Official Release Date
  5. Dead Island For Linux Appears Imminent
  6. LXQt 0.8 Is Being Released Soon
  7. Linux 3.17 Lands Memfd, A KDBUS Prerequisite
  8. Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Shafts Linux Gamers
  9. Ubuntu 14.10's Feature Freeze Is This Wednesday
  10. New VM Software Claims To Be 4.5x Faster Than QEMU
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Remote gui not accessible in Phoronix Test Suite 5.2
  2. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  3. Dead Island for Linux (?)
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. AMD Offers Mantle For OpenGL-Next, Pushes Mantle To Workstations
  6. Next-Gen OpenGL To Be Announced Next Month
  7. OpenGL 4.5 Released With New Features
  8. Updated graphics drivers for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS