While the Catalyst Linux graphics driver was overhauled five years ago, not everyone is satisfied with the closed-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver. Here's some interesting comments by a prominent Linux developer and his less than stellar Catalyst experience.
It was five years ago today that AMD's open-source strategy for Linux graphics driver support was publicly unveiled.
Today marks five years since the revolutionary AMD Catalyst Linux graphics driver was announced to the world by Phoronix. While the driver still had a lot of work ahead, it was September 2007 that brought the brand new Catalyst Linux driver that shared more code with the Catalyst Windows driver and ushered in a new era for AMD with providing same-day Linux driver support, performance improvements, and new functionality to match the Windows driver.
For those that enjoyed seeing the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver TODO list but aren't able to contribute due to not owning any Radeon HD 7000 series hardware, there also exists an R600 Gallium3D driver TODO list that is in need of some attention.
Marek Olšák has continued with his "R600g" driver hacking. The latest patch-set coming from this prolific independent contributor to Mesa allows for anti-aliasing and transform feedback for Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" GPUs.
KWin, KDE's compositing window manager, will better play with the AMD Catalyst binary blob in the KDE 4.10 release by enabling direct rendering and the OpenGL 2.x back-end for those using the latest Catalyst driver.
Last week we heard news that NVIDIA is at least evaluating support for their binary graphics driver with Wayland, but on the AMD Catalyst binary driver side it doesn't look like they will be supporting the next-generation Linux display architecture "anytime soon", according to a reliable source.
A Catalyst 12.8 proprietary driver release is now available for Linux, but it doesn't pack much in the way of changes.
AMD has published their instruction set architecture (ISA) documentation for the "Southern Islands" graphics processors that are used by their Radeon HD 7000 series products.
AMD quietly released an update to their preferred compiler, Open64, last week. The AMD Open64 4.5.2 compiler supports their next-generation "Piledriver" Fusion APUs.
We're now going into eight months since the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series "Southern Islands" graphics cards first launched. In that time the Catalyst Linux support has been stable and fine, but the open-source driver support is still unusable.
For those that didn't notice, this week AMD released a new header that defines the AMD ACPI interface used for laptops, PowerXpress, and chipset-specific functionality.
While the AMD Linux graphics team is busy proposing an LLVM back-end staging area, the AMD CPU folks have begun work on the GCC compiler and preparing support for the next-generation Bobcat processors.
Tom Stellard of AMD has proposed a staging area for LLVM back-ends, similar to the staging area of the Linux kernel.
Following yesterday's article about Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ support defeating open-source developers, Jerome Glisse has clarified the situation after trying to make this code work properly for more than a half-year.
Jerome Glisse has published a new patch to enable HyperZ support for the AMD Radeon (R600g) Gallium3D driver. While this patch could be pushed to Mesa, it's not being enabled by default as it's still causing some GPU lock-ups and developers can't seem to figure out the cause. Jerome is now moving onto other work.
There's now open-source GPU-based 2D hardware acceleration support for the AMD Radeon HD 7000 "Southern Islands" graphics cards using the xf86-video-ati driver.
It has been fourteen years since the ATI Rage 128 graphics cards were released, but some within the open-source community are still using this vintage graphics hardware and even advancing the ATI driver.
While owners of ATI/AMD Radeon HD 5000/6000/7000 series graphics cards have already had a Catalyst 12.6 Linux driver -- which many Linux users found to be disappointing -- today AMD has released a Catalyst 12.6 "Legacy" Linux driver for those using the older generations of Radeon hardware.
Following the changing of the Catalyst release schedule and dropping old hardware support, Catalyst 12.6 for Linux has been officially released. However, it's already disappointing some Linux binary driver users.
Last week there were XBMC developers that wrote a public message on Phoronix about AMD's problems with video playback acceleration using their Catalyst Linux driver. The developers called AMD out on their shortcomings and now today there's a response out of AMD.
For those intrigued by the article written by XBMC developers after being frustrated by AMD's Catalyst Linux driver, here's a look at some of the other options for GPU-based video acceleration under Linux.
In the discussion last night about AMD not having any plans to suspend their proprietary Linux driver, John Bridgman of AMD shared some interesting information about AMD planning to provide a full execution stack in open-source form.
Since AMD's decision to discontinue HD 2000/3000/4000 series support from the Catalyst driver plus other changes that upset some hardware owners, there's been some rumors that AMD may be discontinuing development of the Catalyst Linux driver and focus solely upon the open-source AMD Linux driver.
The R600 Gallium3D driver is beginning to enable Stream-Out support by default for a greater selection of the Radeon graphics processors.
AMD will be placing an ARM Cortex-A5 on future-generation Fusion APUs as what initially they are saying is for hardware-based security measures via ARM TrustZone Technology.
The R600g LLVM shader compiler back-end that's primarily intended for the Radeon Gallium3D compute support is now working a bit better for graphics support compared to when it was first committed.
Compute (OpenCL) support for the AMD Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" graphics cards has now landed in Mesa Git master.
While patches have been around for more than one year to support Hierarchical Z on the ATI/AMD R600 open-source driver, the Gallium3D support still hasn't been merged.
Fear not for all of those who have been very angry over AMD dropping the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 support in the same release as providing X.Org Server 1.12 support, word on the streets of Toronto is that their legacy driver branch does have support for this latest xorg-server release.
798 AMD news articles published on Phoronix.