Nearly Two Decades Later, ATI Radeon R300 Linux Driver Sees Occasional Improvement

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 1 October 2021 at 07:30 PM EDT. 20 Comments
While earlier this year AMD shifted their Radeon Software driver focus to only supporting Polaris / GCN 1.4 and newer, when it comes to the open-source driver support on Linux there still is occasional activity going back to the ATI Radeon R300 days from nearly two decades ago.

The ATI R300 GPUs were first introduced in 2002 and ended up spanning the legendary Radeon 9000 series through the X300/X500/X600 series. (As well, the R300 Gallium3D driver also supports through the ATI Radeon X1000 series.) While AMD's open-source Linux developers no longer focus on this R300g driver in a long time or even the R600g driver for that matter in the rest of the pre-GCN GPUs, the community is able to make the occasional improvement to this legacy hardware support thanks to the nature of open-source.

The R300g driver has aged much better than the box designs from back in the day.

Merged this Friday night were implementing some missing cases for different textures with TGSI, the intermediate representation used by R300g and other older Gallium3D drivers. This in turn fixes some Piglit OpenGL regression tests now in 2021.

This isn't the first R300 Gallium3D commit of 2021 either but now the 14th of the year. Granted, most of the commits pertaining to this nearly twenty year old GPU driver support are around simple typos and other mostly mundane fixes. Here is a look at the R300 Gallium3D driver activity in recent times. The R600g driver continues seeing occasional improvements too for supporting the Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series as well on open-source under Linux.

In any case, fun to see this vintage open-source ATI/AMD Radeon graphics support continue to improve for those interested in these aging graphics cards. R300g wasn't the official ATI/AMD Linux driver for the hardware but it was through that reverse engineering and hobbyist work that led to several of those open-source developers going on to join AMD and continue to be employed working for the company on their more modern drivers.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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