There's Not Yet A Catalyst 15.4 Beta For Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 15 April 2015 at 11:11 AM EDT. 18 Comments
AMD --
Windows users this week saw the release of an AMD Catalyst 15.4 Beta driver, but if you're looking out for the equivalent Linux build, sadly it has yet to surface.

In fact, if officially going by AMD.com Linux driver stable/beta releases, the last updates were last year. The last stable driver release is the Catalyst 14.12 "Omega" driver for Linux while the latest beta is Catalyst 14.6 Beta for Linux.

Ardent Phoronix readers will know though that AMD had provided Canonical with an early Catalyst 15.3 Beta Linux driver for Ubuntu 15.04 in order to support its new version of the Linux kernel and X.Org Server. This driver was since back-ported to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

While this driver has been available exclusively on Ubuntu for a few weeks (though end-users/developers have since salvaged the packages to make this updated driver work on other distributions), this newer driver has yet to appear on AMD's web-site.


35-Way NVIDIA/AMD Proprietary Linux Graphics Driver Comparison / Testing 60+ Intel/AMD/NVIDIA GPUs On Linux With Open-Source Drivers


I've yet to hear from anyone at AMD when they plan to officially release a new Catalyst Linux driver regardless of it being in stable or beta form. All indications are that they're busy focusing on their new unified driver strategy that uses the common yet-to-be-released AMDGPU kernel driver.

The only downside of the new stack is that it basically tosses all current AMD Linux Catalyst users under the bus since this new AMDGPU open and closed-source driver stack is only for the Radeon R9 285 and future Rx 300 series graphics processors, but not the existing GPUs. For there, with an infrequently updated Catalyst Linux driver, the main choice is becoming the open-source R600/RadeonSI stack, which is still evolving for providing faster performance, suitable compute/OpenCL/HSA options, and slowly but surely gaining OpenGL 4.x functionality.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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