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Special Catalyst only for Ubuntu?!

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  • Special Catalyst only for Ubuntu?!

    Okay, I'm just catching on to something: AMD is releasing new drivers to Ubuntu, but not publicly? What the hell!? Why is this happening? I can only assume this slowing down the development of the public Linux drivers. Do you agree?

    What's with these 'secret' drivers? Why is AMD doing this? Can I pull the Ubuntu package and get them to work on another distro? What is Ubuntu-specific about them?

  • #2
    AMD is releasing new drivers to Ubuntu, but not publicly?

    -> Yes, and they have for years.

    Why is this happening?

    -> Ubuntu is the #1 desktop distribution, and they ship pre-release drivers when a new Ubuntu release uses a new Xorg/Kernel version not yet supported by the stable Catalyst driver.

    I can only assume this slowing down the development of the public Linux drivers. Do you agree?

    -> This is not the case. They are literally just sending them over a snapshot of the current development, nothing special about it.

    Can I pull the Ubuntu package and get them to work on another distro?

    -> Yes. Many distributions like Arch already packaged it. You would be better off using the original tarball, though: http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/poo...00.orig.tar.gz

    What is Ubuntu-specific about them?

    -> Nothing.

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    • #3
      There is no original tarball, basically only the Nvidia drivers (if you look at Debian) have got the run installers included. What AMD does is pure crap. They can not even follow a naming scheme, they store the installer often in randomly named ZIP files with randomly named run installers inside. Or you get randomly named run installers without a ZIP envelope. Everything is random at AMD. Btw. fglrx.orig.tar.gz is just a Debian packing term, it is NOT what Ubuntu most likely got from the unoffical beta server.

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      • #4
        Those drivers are usually pre-release drivers which you don't get from AMD directly unless you're special friends with them.

        I understand that Ubuntu does part of the QA to ensure that it works properly with their distribution, and due to the lack of QA regarding the other two distributions that Catalyst supports, AMD won't publish the beta drivers themselves.

        But they usually work fine on other distros too. Our maintainer for the proprietary driver ocassionally repackages them in order to get support for newer X servers etc.

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        • #5
          It is clear that those drivers work anywhere within the supported Xserver range, for newer kernels you have to apply usually patches. But AMD distributes BETA drivers in a way you only can cry. Drivers are needed to operate the hardware, they OFFICIALLY release drivers that do not even support current upstream (not even what Ubuntu uses). Btw. AMD removed the control check that the driver would basically work (in theory, not in practice) with any hardware that has a PCI ID mentioned in the fglrx kernel driver source. But this check is still active for aticonfig - everything is half baked at AMD. If they remove the watermark, then the control file should match all PCI IDs mentioned in the kernel module...

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