An Update On The Radeon RX 590 For Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 20 November 2018 at 02:37 PM EST. 74 Comments
Last week AMD released the Radeon RX 590 Polaris refresh graphics card, but after buying this ~$279 USD graphics card, sadly it's not yet out-of-the-box on Linux for driver support. I am still working on getting it working with the open-source driver stack but have a brief update to share.

As shared last week, when trying various stable/development combinations when receiving the Sapphire Radeon RX 590, the display output doesn't work upon loading of the AMDGPU Direct Rendering Manager driver.

I heard from AMD that the drm-next-4.21-wip branch is needed. In particular, there is this driver patch needed for supporting new GPU firmware.

Additionally, the new Polaris firmware for the RX 590 is currently available via Alex's microcode directory. That new firmware binary has yet to be merged to the linux-firmware.git location for getting picked up by the Linux distributions on their next pull.

I tried the Linux 4.21 "work-in-progress" DRM-Next code paired with the new firmware baked into the initramfs. There is different behavior in that the GPU fan no longer ramps up to 100% duty before losing the display output, but the display still doesn't light up.

That's where things stand at the moment. I have yet to try AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 for their Radeon Software stack, but I will be trying that next while waiting to hear back from AMD on other possible workarounds for getting the RX 590 playing well on the mainline code. (Still a bit hectic this week but my wife will be out of the hospital in the next day or two, so will be able to return to my normal 17-hour-day testing/work routine.) But hopefully won't be much longer before the RX 590 is running well for Linux gaming and I'll be out with a slew of benchmarks.
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Michael Larabel

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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