What Goes On Within AMD's Linux Beta Program?

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 10 March 2009 at 01:46 PM EDT. Page 2 of 2. 19 Comments.

What AMD gets out of this private beta testing is ensuring greater distribution compatibility and community maintained packaging scripts. The broader, independent testing also provides AMD with feedback on problems their internal QA teams may have missed. This testing is especially valuable as AMD only officially supports the Catalyst Linux driver on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SuSE, and Ubuntu distributions.

Not covered on this private beta list is normally any direct tech support, an AMD question answering session, access to AMD developers, access to proprietary source-code, or access to hardware and driver road-maps. In fact, leading up to the release of the RV770 GPU for the Radeon HD 4800 series, the support was never mentioned in advance on the list. The change-logs for the early releases are usually incomplete.

AMD does about four driver releases (usually two beta, a release candidate, and then the general availability build) each month. That about covers the declassified information on AMD's Linux Beta Program.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.