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Topic Title: AMD, ATI, Linux, and the open source
Topic Summary: Pushing the open source iniciative by releasing tech docs
Created On: 09/27/2007 06:39 AM
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 09/27/2007 06:39 AM
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zir_blazer
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Anandtech

Now that ATI is owned by AMD, and AMD is quite friendly with open source Software, they are beginning to share internal technical documents about some of their GPUs that gives enough info for making a basic 2D Video Driver from scratch. Considering that ATI drivers were fully propietary, this is a good start, though the amount of complex, vast data required to be released in order for accoplishing anything decent with this is inmense, so it may take some time.
The deal is that for Linux, is it often recommended nVidia based Video Cards because ATI Linux Drivers sucks, but with this, properly developed and maintained Linux Drivers for ATI Video Cards could actually make the Radeons destruction machines.


Source: Anandtech
 09/28/2007 11:34 PM
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MU_Engineer
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Originally posted by: zir_blazer

Anandtech



Now that ATI is owned by AMD, and AMD is quite friendly with open source Software, they are beginning to share internal technical documents about some of their GPUs that gives enough info for making a basic 2D Video Driver from scratch.


Are they doing this for Windows as well? In the Linux world, this is old news.

Considering that ATI drivers were fully propietary, this is a good start, though the amount of complex, vast data required to be released in order for accoplishing anything decent with this is inmense, so it may take some time.


The 2D-only documentation is over 1000 pages. You can find it at X.org if you are interested.

The deal is that for Linux, is it often recommended nVidia based Video Cards because ATI Linux Drivers sucks, but with this, properly developed and maintained Linux Drivers for ATI Video Cards could actually make the Radeons destruction machines.


NVIDIA cards are often recommended because the first ATi proprietary drivers stank. ATi didn't really put much heart into the drivers because the Xorg "radeon" driver was stable and worked very well on hardware R400 and older. ATi had a fire lit under its butt when it released the x1800 and the "radeon" driver did NOT work on it, leaving ATi to make a driver for the card. The driver was late but worked pretty decently. Sure, all of the ATi Linux drivers before the very newest one (8.41) don't extract nearly as much performance out of the cards as NVIDIA's drivers do, but the drivers are stable and easy to set up, easier than the NVIDIA cards' drivers. The only bug I can recall on my x1900GT/3200x1200 Xinerama setup of 2 20.1" LCDs/Gentoo AMD64 was that Xvideo didn't work properly on AMD64 until about 8.33 or so. That wasn't too big of a deal anyway as outputting video via OpenGL worked decently. I guess I was one of the oddballs that got an ATi card to specifically run under Linux and now I guess I have the last laugh

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 10/01/2007 08:15 PM
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technic58
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Are the drivers really that much better? It was probably about a year to a year and a half ago...I had my X800 installed with PCLinuxOS and the latest ATI driver at the time, and it would play Doom3 with only minor issues. However then I tried to play BF2 through Wine and it wouldn't even come up. I wonder how CS:S would work. I'm considering going back to Linux for awhile either way...it's not like I game a lot now that school is robbing every moment of free time I have.

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 10/02/2007 11:11 AM
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Mime
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I wouldn't expect a night and day kind of difference, but they can't be that much worse...

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 10/02/2007 12:08 PM
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MD - Moderator
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You know what guys, we need a Linux section here on these boards...


I'm ready for Ubuntu or Kubuntu on my home machine, I bet there are others here that are ready too..

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Edited: 10/02/2007 at 12:09 PM by MD - Moderator
 10/02/2007 12:40 PM
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Mime
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I've been using ubuntu at home for quite a while now, plus on my laptop. After hacking my laptop linux is the only thing I can use on it without fiddling with the wireless again.

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 10/02/2007 03:38 PM
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PorscheRacer14
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I used to use Turbo linux till Vista didn't want to dual-boot with it. So I haven't had Linux in over a year now. Maybe I'll put it on the Thunderbird, but it's been a while since I set up Linux. I'm not exactly savvy when it comes to Linux.

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 10/02/2007 03:50 PM
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MikeB12
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A linux forum would be good... the short time I've been around, seems like linux posts get thrown around in diff forums... and not everyone knows how to answer linux ques. at least a specific forum would give linux users a focused placed to look for answers and post ques...

I like playing with linux every now and then.. usually end up with some frustration, but learn something every time... IIRC the first time I had to mess with ndiswrapper to get wireless working I almost caused an embolism. lol but it's come aways since then, last time I tried it was built in... anyway, a forum I think would be good...

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 10/02/2007 07:27 PM
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Camthrax
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Sounds like good news. However, i think, with regards to the "linux" forum, should be more like the "Open source, AMD, ATI, and you" Forum. thus, not leaving anyone out. and also would let any other questions about Open source things that arent linux derived (infrequant, Possibly, but hey.)

well, that's my ramble.

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 10/02/2007 08:44 PM
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MD - Moderator
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That sounds good Canthrax...

We have quite a few people here who actually know what they are doing with open source stuff...

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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.

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 10/02/2007 09:19 PM
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Camthrax
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And quite a few people, like myself, that feel they should learn. Still, all credit due to the first person who mentioned this, i just expanded on it.

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 10/03/2007 11:39 PM
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MU_Engineer
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Originally posted by: Mime

I've been using ubuntu at home for quite a while now, plus on my laptop. After hacking my laptop linux is the only thing I can use on it without fiddling with the wireless again.


I run Gentoo 2007.0 AMD64 on my desktop and Ubuntu 7.04 AMD64 on my laptop. 64-bit Linux is about the only thing that will run everything on my desktop as I have 4 GB RAM and a RAID 0/RAID 5 setup on the same SATA controller, which requires OS-run RAID. Windows XP lacks RAID 5. My laptop is much more "standard" hardware and it dual-boots Ubuntu with Windows XP Tablet. The laptop was really designed for Vista and the drivers for XP are kind of an afterthought and the drivers make XP rather unstable on the laptop. Ubuntu is absolutely rock-solid on that machine, even though there are a few hardware issues to be resolved (the Wacom MultiTouch tablet getting its driver and the SigmaTel 9205/Intel HDA audio working after resume) it is much more usable than XP. Vista might have better driver support on this machine, but Vista itself has several issues with itself than need to be worked on before the OS is really ready for the prime time. So I use Linux on the laptop as well.

A Linux forum would be a great idea. I am surprised that AMD doesn't already have one as they basically owe the adoption of the x86_64 ISA to Linux. Linux was the first OS to support the new ISA out of the gate and was the only OS to support it for the better part of a year. MS didn't support x86_64 until 2005, nearly two years after the first x86_64 Opterons were released. If Linux or the other free *nixes like the BSDs hadn't been around, x86_64 ISA support would have been far less and it might have led to a standard fight between AMD and Intel, which AMD would have likely lost. That would be terrible for the CPU market as Intel would outright own the ISA and anybody making a compatible chip would have to license it as I am sure that Intel would not make it public like AMD did. Intel solely owning the ISA that Windows runs on would spell an end to AMD in the consumer market once 32-bit x86 gets passed by unless there is a mass migration away from Windows. AMD might have had some traction in the server market, where there is more than one ISA and OS out there and the performance of the Opteron would driven ports of OSes to x86_64. But it would have been a hard slog for AMD even then.

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 10/04/2007 09:55 AM
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monte84
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Originally posted by: MD Willington

You know what guys, we need a Linux section here on these boards...





I'm ready for Ubuntu or Kubuntu on my home machine, I bet there are others here that are ready too..


Yes, i like that. Unfortunately, i do have ubuntu on my main rig, just the current binary drivers for the 2900 causes a random hardlock. Havent been able to find this result online, then again, how many 2900 users are using linux?

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 10/04/2007 02:53 PM
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MU_Engineer
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There are probably a few. I'm running an x1900, so no help here.

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 10/05/2007 08:36 AM
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MD - Moderator
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Well it looks like we'll contact the guys running the show and put the "AMD, ATI, Linux, and the open source" bug in their ears for this forum... no guarantees, but we can always ask...

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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.

Physics? Ha! This is clearly magic and devilry at work. Prepare firewood! We have witches to burn!


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 10/05/2007 10:31 AM
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PorscheRacer14
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Let's hope they say yes!

*Yeah, if you could get the 2900 to work in Linux properly, along with a GPU folding client, you'd be a top ringer for points. So far it's wishful thinking.

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 10/06/2007 12:08 PM
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MD - Moderator
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Looks like this just moved to "FORUMS --> OPEN SOURCE"... or maybe I'm still half asleep... LOL

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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.

Physics? Ha! This is clearly magic and devilry at work. Prepare firewood! We have witches to burn!


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 10/09/2007 03:08 PM
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MU_Engineer
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If you are using the new v. 6 beta Linux client, notice that there is a "-gpu" option in the client configuration. Somebody on FAH forums asked about this and there was a curious lack of response from the Pandegroup guys. Perhaps this means there is upcoming support for GPUs under Linux? I'd be interested to get my x1900GT into the fold as well.

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 09/10/2008 05:01 PM
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Tharkun
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I'm glad to see more open source (read as free software) stuff online in a visible place for people.
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