LinuxQuestions.org

LinuxQuestions.org (/questions/)
-   Linux - General (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/)
-   -   AMD basically kills proprietary Linux drivers (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/amd-basically-kills-proprietary-linux-drivers-947830/)

TobiSGD 05-31-2012 02:37 PM

AMD basically kills proprietary Linux drivers
 
As I ranted already in an earlier thread, AMD support for Linux is going downhill. Now they made it official: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTExMTA
New drivers are in future only released when new games demand it (on the Windows side, who knows what about Linux). Catalyst 12.4 was the last version that supported the HD2/3/4XXX chips, so no Xorg server 1.12 support for those chips and no 32 bit kernels 3.2.8 and higher without manually patching the drivers.
This renders my laptop useless for any future Slackware release as long as the open source drivers have their power management issues (if they ever get fixed, which I really doubt at this time).

For me there is only one conclusion: If AMD decides to stop support for my 2 and a half years old laptop I will stop supporting AMD. The future is Intel/Nvidia for me and I will not recommend AMD for anyone using Linux anymore. I really regret that I bought a new AMD video card for my workstation a few months ago, Nvidia would have been a better choice.
AMD really makes me angry.

Cultist 05-31-2012 03:57 PM

Since the proprietary driver is now the only option for you and presumably a lot of others, I think its fair to assume that work on the driver from the community will be picking up a lot in the near future. The power problem might get patched now that people have a tangible reason to put effort into it.

onebuck 05-31-2012 04:04 PM

Member response
 
Hi,

I too find this as a sad issue. I have a AMD based laptop and will hopefully get to use it for a few more years somehow.

Reminds me of the drop of the r300-r500 for my Dell 1501 which is still in use but no new support.

Damn crystal ball was wrong again! :(

TobiSGD 05-31-2012 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cultist (Post 4692329)
Since the proprietary driver is now the only option for you and presumably a lot of others, I think its fair to assume that work on the driver from the community will be picking up a lot in the near future. The power problem might get patched now that people have a tangible reason to put effort into it.

I hope so, but sadly open source developers (lacking a boss to tell them at what to work) often tend to do more work on things that are new and interesting (like OpenCL or support for newer chipsets) than on boring things like power management and the like. I just hope that somebody will do the things needed.
For the time being I downgraded the laptop from -current (wasn't updated to the new Xorg anyways) to 13.37. Thank Bob I am using a distro with longtime support, so even if things go bad I still can use the machine for quite some time. Ironically, my older netbook with the GMA950 video chip works fine with -current and will do that for some time in the future, I hope.

BeaverusIV 05-31-2012 05:18 PM

I would have to say I've never liked AMD much for linux and for my latest purchase I avoided them. Not saying NVIDIA is any better (grumble Optimus grumble)...

nixblog 05-31-2012 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 4692279)
For me there is only one conclusion: If AMD decides to stop support for my 2 and a half years old laptop I will stop supporting AMD. The future is Intel/Nvidia for me and I will not recommend AMD for anyone using Linux anymore. I really regret that I bought a new AMD video card for my workstation a few months ago, Nvidia would have been a better choice.
AMD really makes me angry.

I made that decision about 6 or 7 years ago. For me, AMD is to hardware what Adobe is to software - for Linux that is. I tell people to avoid AMD cards as they seem to be nothing but trouble in my experience.

BeaverusIV 05-31-2012 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nixblog (Post 4692383)
I made that decision about 6 or 7 years ago. For me, AMD is to hardware what Adobe is to software - for Linux that is. I tell people to avoid AMD cards as they seem to be nothing but trouble in my experience.

Exactly. It will be interesting how the next few years pan out. I don't know much about Apple but it seems they're pissing off their devs though not as much as Microsoft seems to be. I dream of an Android-like environment for computers where OEMs realise they can differentiate with linux and sponsoring a distro. They can have teams to improve drivers and push for better drivers, even adding tweaks to the DE or whatever. I think PCs benefit from that a lot more than phones do.

The thing is the inertia of getting all these companies to change.

scorpioofthewoods 05-31-2012 07:28 PM

I suggest avoiding anything that requires closed drivers if at all possible. You never know what might happen. Nvidia is not all that much better and still stops support sometimes on somethings. Intel video is coming along and might be just fine for some people, depending on what you need to do. Do your research and see what will work for you. If you can give your money to a company that is friendly to open source and Linux, why would you not want to as long as it will suite your needs?

BeaverusIV 05-31-2012 07:45 PM

I have tried to do that, but especially with laptops and graphics cards it's hard to do.

Steve R. 05-31-2012 07:55 PM

The goal of a hardware manufacturer is to sell hardware. Based on that simple premise, one would assume that they would make software drivers for ALL operating systems, especially Linux to sell to the most customers. Why limit your market????

When my Cannon printer runs out of ink, I will be buying (grumble) an HP printer since Cannon refuses to make a Linux driver. Yes, there is a Linux driver, which works well with B/W, but when it comes to color - not so good.

I sometimes wonder if Microsoft and/or Apple may secretly discourage hardware manufactures from writing Linux drivers. Time-Warner, for example, made a deal with Blockbuster where Blockbuster would "hold" a new release for about a month so that Time-Warner could advertise how they had movies that were not yet available at Blockbuster. Deceptive advertising. Warner Brothers Will Make Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster Wait Longer for New Movies

TobiSGD 05-31-2012 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scorpioofthewoods (Post 4692442)
If you can give your money to a company that is friendly to open source and Linux, why would you not want to as long as it will suite your needs?

Well, AMD pretends to be Linux and open source friendly. They have developers that are paid to work on the open source drivers and they give some of the information needed to write free drivers out. I understand that they may have reasons to not give out information regarding UVD (the video decoding unit), because they fear that the restricted playback chain for Bluray on Windows may be compromised and their may also be third party IP involved, but come on, they don't give information out for basic functions like power management. What the heck is that? HDMI audio support is there in newer kernels for the cards up to the HD5XXX series not because AMD gave information to the FOSS developers, but because they reverse engineered that function.

Basically you can say that the nouveau driver, which is completely reverse engineered, also a total lack of information from Nvidia, is in a better state than the radeon drivers, which AMD pretends to support with developers and information. This stinks.

S. Chapelin 06-01-2012 05:39 AM

Unfortunately, the creative programmers who backward-engineer drivers, I mean the real wizards of coding, don't seem to be very communicative people. Inversely communicative people, like me, are not that bright on wizard coding. The result is that knowledge is not being communicated and at some point we may run out of those magic people who write new drivers. (that is a private fear of mine. I may be wrong, it may be just a gut feeling.)

TobiSGD 06-01-2012 12:27 PM

I don't know if I should cry or laugh. Phoronix just posted the changelog for Catalyst 12.6 Beta (12.5 will be omitted, due to their new release policy): http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTExMTU
Besides from what we already know:
Quote:

- Pre-HD5000 series support removed -- no more HD 2000/3000/4000 series support.
they surprised me with this:
Quote:

- X.Org Server 1.12 support.
That is a direct slap in the face for any pre-HD5000 owner. It basically translates with: Go away, you suckers and buy new hardware, you will never run anything newer than you have now with our drivers, use our crappy OSS drivers, for which we maybe some time in the future will release the necessary specs.
My answer to this, as I have already stated earlier: I will go away and buy new hardware, but definitely not from a company with this attitude. I am normally not a fanboy of any hardware manufacturer, neither AMD, Intel nor Nvidia, but this behavior more or less makes me an AMD anti-fanboy. Go away AMD, you suck.

NyteOwl 06-01-2012 01:57 PM

SO everyone if you want them to change - stop posting on a forum they'll never read and send them a letter. A near physical ink on paper letter. If enough people do, maybe they'll rethink their position.

Realize though, that as someone has pointed out that their business is to sell hardware. Eventually all harware reaches an EOL where it is (from the manufacturers standpoint) economincaly infeasible to support anymore, at least fully. In this case however the 4000 series are barely over 3 years old and a five year lifespan would be more appropriate.

nVidia are not much if any better so switching absed on this policy change may not gain you anything. Indeed a mass migration may only prove AMD was right and the Linux market is unupportable from an economic standpoint. I have used both nVidia and ATI. Both have good and bad points. Sadly the worst thing that happened to ATI was its purchase by AMD.

(written on a machine using a HD 4870 in Slackware)

TobiSGD 06-01-2012 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NyteOwl (Post 4693257)
Realize though, that as someone has pointed out that their business is to sell hardware.

No, their business is to sell hardware and deliver appropriate drivers for this hardware. The second point was never done right by AMD/ATI for Linux, nonetheless they claim themselves to be Linux friendly, which, as is seen now in the open, was nothing than a lie. Also, even if their business is only selling hardware, this is marketing at its worst, many customers (at least many of the Linux people) are really pissed of now.

Quote:

nVidia are not much if any better
The oldest series supported from their current drivers is the Geforce 6 series. Launched in 2004. Older chips get at least sometimes bugfixes and patches. The HD4000 series was launched in 2008 and is still sold as part of their motherboards with integrated graphics. It is not only that they won't support old chips anymore, they won't support currently sold hardware. Which basically means: If you want to use Linux then you can't use the hardware we just sold you to its fully extent, screw you, buy a newer discrete card.

Quote:

Indeed a mass migration may only prove AMD was right and the Linux market is unupportable from an economic standpoint.
I disagree. Not to react in the only way larger companies seem to understand, with stopping to buy their products, is a sign to AMD that they get away with their lies and bad support and that the Linux community is made of sheeps.

Quote:

(written on a machine using a HD 4870 in Slackware)
Wait for the next version. The driver for your card will not work on it. Of course you can try the FOSS drivers, if you don't mind bad power-management, not using parts of the hardware you have paid for (like UVD) and bad performance. I want to get what I pay for, not only a half of it.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:45 AM.