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KDE Open Source

KDE KWin May Drop Support For AMD Catalyst Drivers 148

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the my-radeon-9100-is-displeased dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The KWin window manager maintainer for KDE is looking at removing the legacy OpenGL 1.0 renderer from the KWin code-base due to the costs of supporting legacy hardware. This means dropping support for non-GL2+ graphics cards, which are all over six years old, but in the process would mean that for now there is no longer any support for the AMD Catalyst driver on the KDE desktop. Due to driver bugs, AMD's proprietary Catalyst software only works well with the GL1 renderer even though their latest hardware supports OpenGL 4."
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KDE KWin May Drop Support For AMD Catalyst Drivers

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  • by haruchai (17472) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:15PM (#39125717)
    Six years is a long time in the graphics world and AMD / ATI have had plenty of time to fix their broken stuff.
    • by mehemiah (971799)
      in the mean time , i have a radion 300 chipset, looks like I'm switching to Awesome window manager.
      • No need to switch. KDE will work fine, you just won't have all the fancy effects you may have become accustomed to.

        • No need to switch. KDE will work fine, you just won't have all the fancy effects you may have become accustomed to.

          That depends. I have a R250 chipset in my laptop (no ability to change it there). It just means I'll have to switch from the hardware OpenGL support to a software OpenGL support. Wait? I may have done that already....all effects still working.

        • by Sipper (462582)

          No need to switch. KDE will work fine, you just won't have all the fancy effects you may have become accustomed to.

          Don't make that pronouncement so fast; Qt5 has a requrement for OpenGL (ES) 2.0 or above, and KDE4 is now being developed using Qt5.

          http://labs.qt.nokia.com/2011/05/09/thoughts-about-qt-5/ [nokia.com]

          The current "compilation requirements" are listed for KDE 4.4 but not for any version newer than that, but it is very likely that KDE4 will eventually have a baserequirement of OpenGL (ES) 2.0 due to that being a requirement for Qt5.

          http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules [kde.org]

        • by bky1701 (979071)
          Completely false. I have a rather new ATI card, and KDE (along with a number of other parts of the X-related system) have simply never come close to working right, effects or not. In fact, enabling the effects seems to mitigate some of the graphical corruption and nearly seizure-inducing playback errors in video. Killing that means I'll be unable to use the system at all. None of this on Windows, of course...

          I think there is a point where FOSS developers pointing fingers and threatening is harmful. This
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why?

        KWin works just fine with OpenGL 2.0 on the Gallium R300 driver. I'm using it right now. Just don't activate Blur or Wobbly Windows, those are slow and buggy.

      • in the mean time , i have a radion 300 chipset, looks like I'm switching to Awesome window manager.

        Is the "Radion 300 chipset" that you have some sort of cheap, Chinese knockoff version of the real thing?

      • If one believes the recurring tests at http://phoronix.com/ [phoronix.com], the open source (Gallium3D) drivers for the R300 through R500 chipsets are reasonably mature this days. Still slower than Catalyst, but for a Windows manager they might do.

        And Catalyst versions after 9.3 don't support R300 anyway (see http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_r500_legacy&num=1 [phoronix.com]). So unless you already tried it, why not run the open source drivers?

        • by mehemiah (971799)
          Duh, thanks I forgot they were only talking about Catalyst not the open source ones. I'll see if that also makes a certain java [spiralknights.com] game work better
    • Time, but not incentive. Linux's share of the desktop market is still rather tiny, and no-one really cares about graphics acceleration on servers.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        I'll bet Linux' share of the "7 year old desktop computer market" (if you can even call it a market) is larger than Linux' share of the desktop market overall. The top-grossing game of 2005 (7 years ago) was World of Warcraft, so it's not like a computer from 2005 is crap. The XBox 360 was also released in 2005, so there are a great many people playing on 2005-era 3d capabilities.

        That said, a 3d-accelerated desktop is not a necessity; really not an advantage at all. fvwm and fluxbox don't need any vers

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          I'd bet that you have a nice idea, but it's quite hard to say if it's accurate or not - as in, not even remotely.

          Have any studies been done on how far back people are relying on stable releases of distros?

          • by timeOday (582209)
            You are right, I don't have that data. The link I suspect between linux and old hardware is first the low cost, and second the lack of suitability for gaming and third poor linux support for the latest hardware.

            But who knows, probably linux is used more by computer enthusiasts, and computer enthusiasts may tend to have newer hardware. (Although I think enthusiasts are marked more by their ability to nurse old hardware. I mean, if you see somebody driving a nice new Lexus, it could be a car enthusiast,

      • by Creepy (93888)

        Actually, times a'changin' there. I work on a product that crunches a CAD model into part thumbnails for realtime viewing on the server.

      • Linux's share of the desktop market is still rather tiny...

        Depends how you measure it, whether you consider absolute numbers (which are in the millions) and how heavily you weight the various kinds of users. For example, Linux basically owns the animation workstation market in Hollywood.

    • Maybe this will push them to finally fix it.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      6 years is not a terribly long time in computing anymore. My primary laptop is over 6 years old, and has an ATI graphics card. It's old enough that it's not supported by the Catalyst drivers anymore, but it's still plenty capable for me.

      But fortunately, this is less about excluding older stuff than it is about ostrasizing AMD for not keeping their drivers up to date.

      • by haruchai (17472)
        For most things I do, I could probably use my old ATI Rage (Pro? 128? ) from '98, if any of my old mainboards with AGP slots still work. But there are the unexpected things that trip you up. Case in point - my 5 year old 19" LCD died without warning last week and I didn't have time to open it up to see if it was fixable. Because I had something that absolutely needed to be done, I rushed out and bought the first affordable quality (I hope) monitor I could find - a Viewsonic 2231. It wasn't until I was unpa
        • by unrtst (777550)

          I could probably use my old ATI Rage (Pro? 128? ) from '98 .... would the old video card support its 1920 x 1080 resolution ... But if I hadn't upgraded the videocard a 2 years ago, I don't think any of my older ones would have supported the max / native resolution

          FWIW, yes, it would support it: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2174312&CatId=695 [tigerdirect.com]

          Sorry for the poor choice of sites for specs... was the first google links that had them.

          ATI Rage 128PRO 32MB Video Card - PCI
          Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1200 @ 85hz

          Same for a "Rage 128", non pro.
          The "Rage XL" and "3d Rage Pro" would not do 1900xanything - they max at 1600x1200, and that's probably only because there were no 1900x1200 screens then.

    • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:44PM (#39126193)

      If they don't hurry, all those Linux gamers will switch to nVidia instead!

      Oh, wait...

      • But, actually, if you do any gaming in Linux, as limited as it is, you pretty much need a nVidia card.
        Yeah, binary blob and stuff, kernel taint, whatever, but it does the work for me.

        • Yeah, I think that was the joke.

          • Argh, some day I will understand that kind of stuff. Let me blame the language barrier... yes, that'll do.

        • by JamesP (688957)

          Actually

          If you do any serious 3D work on Linux you would be using nVidia already

          And yes, there are lots of users of that.

          Gaming is important, but there's people paying top notch linux support to run 3D software on Linux

          (But if you do professional work on Windows or Mac you would probably be using a nVidia card as well)

    • Six years is a long time in the graphics world and AMD / ATI have had plenty of time to fix their broken stuff.

      As I understand it, it is essentially just two full time AMD engineers on it. They do a respectable job considering.

      • by haruchai (17472)
        That's all? Two is clearly not enough; I guess they feel that, with only Nvidia as a competitor, the small Linux base isn't worth it.
  • by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:21PM (#39125787)
    Wont this result in Linux losing out on the "old PC" use case?
    6 year old PC's can still run XP, and once XP support is withdrawn, they will have to either sell off those PC's or move to Linux
    By withdrawing support for old PC's, they are losing out on a decent amount of the already tiny marketshare Linux has in the PC market
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by meow27 (1526173)
      i dont know how you run KDE 4.x on old hardware

      its a massive peice of bloat IMHO

      gnome2/MATE or xfce will simply run faster
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Did you try running KDE 4.8?
        It was running perfectly on minimal hardware when I tried it.

        • by celle (906675)

          "It was running perfectly on minimal hardware when I tried it."

              And what's the definition of minimal on the planet you live on?

    • by jadrian (1150317) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:25PM (#39125865)

      I don't remember XP having compositing window manager. They'll still be able to use KDE and Kwin, just not OpenGL compositing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by NotBorg (829820)

        Meanwhile you could just use the open source drivers for many older ATI cards and have OpenGL 2.1, greater stability, and decent performance. Desktop effects work and full-screen Flash videos play better than on XP.

        And for the most part, those that say the open source drivers suck are basing their opinions on their experiences from 6+ years ago or some bullshit Phronix article that benchmarks functionality that you might not even care about if you take a rational look at what you actually use the machine

    • by gshegosh (1587463)
      6 year old PCs can still run XP (which is unsupported since 2009) OR KDE 4.8 which will probably be supported for a few years coming.
      Why do you compare latest KDE to old XP? Does Windows 7 work well on old PCs?
      • by Spad (470073)

        XP SP3 is still supported until June 2014 - Microsoft extended support when it became apparent that nobody was migrating to Vista and they needed time to get them to switch to Windows 7.

        • by asdf7890 (1518587)
          It wasn't just the lack of people moving to Vista, that problem was starting to go away as people began to buy new machines with it pre-installed (removing the hardware compatibility issues which is one of the things stopping existing XP installs being changed over to Vista) and the major post roll-out problems were addressed (in the first service pack on MS's part, and with 3rd party software being fixed or replacements developed/found for other issues).

          The key reason for the support extension was netbo
      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        depends, my dad uses it on a amd xp 2800+, though its got 2 gigs of ddr ram and a geforce 6600GT in it (leftovers from me) and it runs just as well as xp did

    • by armanox (826486)

      KDE and GNOME aren't competing against XP - they've blown XP's UI out of the water years ago. OS X and Windows 7 are the UI's they're competing against.

      Also, Linux really doesn't market to the "old PC" crowd anymore anyways.

      • by JBMcB (73720)

        Sorta. I like KDE3/Gnome2 's interface better than XP. I prefer XP over GNOME3/KDE4. There's just too much crap going on, those OSes are starting to get in the way of getting things done.

        • by armanox (826486)

          I'm not a fan of GNOME3, and still prefer KDE3 over KDE4, but they all provide a lot of features that XP doesn't support. Now, if they are useful or not is another story.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Since when Linux doesn't market to the "old PC"? Almost everyone I know uses Linux as desktops just because of that - they want modern browsers, messengers, office tools and they can't get that on 10-15 year old PC's. Or at least they can't get it with processor power and as little RAM as it was normal at the time, and nowdays it's hard to find decent big RAM sticks that aren't used by someone else.

        OK, it's true that those people don't use latest KDE or GNOME, but other WM's are enough for their needs.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "6 year old PC's can still run XP, and once XP support is withdrawn, they will have to either sell off those PC's or move to Linux"

      People who run Windows on old PCs don't care about "support".

      • until your XP gets a nasty ZBOT infection. last time I installed XP I even got the classical worm infection before all updates are applied. now I only install linux distros, which need a lightweight desktop to run as well as XP, but windows 7 is an option if you have crap hardware with 1GB ram.

        • Which is why you should have a firewall (or a NAT router) between your PC and the internet. It may not be perfect protection, but it works quite well.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      The "Old PC" use case really is for hardware that's 2-5 years old, not much older than that. Even Linux can't make an ancient piece of crap responsive under modern application and rendering loads. You can use that older hardware for office work like editing documents, but if you have to deal with modern media, a 5+ year old machine is starting to have a hard time keeping up.

      Sad, but true.

      Only geeks running file servers and firewalls want the really old hardware, and they don't even want a GUI running

      • I don't what went wrong in your case, but my logitech trackball worked just fine under several of the latest linux distros about a month ago. Unless that ver of ubuntu is from january (Can't recall the numbering scheme) it's not the base install. FWIW I'm using the wireless/bluetooth model with the blue ball.

        Mycroft
    • by Xolve (2527602)
      But KWin will run without effects and that's fine for a "buggy" hardware/driver.
    • by Junta (36770)

      By the same standard, you can still load an old Linux distro that is still tons newer than XP.

      Even assuming old PC with brand spanking new distro, KWin is far from a hard requirement...

    • by Tim C (15259)

      6 year old PC's can still run XP, and once XP support is withdrawn, they will have to either sell off those PC's or move to Linux

      Why? It's not like XP will refuse to boot one day because it's expired.

  • I haven't heavily used Linux since I was in highschool. What's up with the graphics situation on it? I always hear/see problems with it, and I find it confusing because it's such a fundamental thing

    That said, the loss of Catalyst is not a big one.. I recently had to uninstall it on my Win7 machine because it caused constant blue screens.. after analyzing the memory dumps, it was the culprit..

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Long story short:

      Graphics aren't the problem on Linux. If you want flat and 2D display, you can throw any graphics card into a Linux workstation and get a decent display. If, on the other hand, you want decent 3D acceleration you pretty much have to rely on the 3rd party drivers from the major graphics card chipsets (ATI and NVidia). The NVidia drivers are not bad, since they're used heavily in the super-computer market (think Tesla cards); NVidia has a large investment to keep the super-computer market

    • I haven't heavily used Linux since I was in highschool. What's up with the graphics situation on it? I always hear/see problems with it, and I find it confusing because it's such a fundamental thing

      I think it's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. Accelerated 3D on Linux is hit-and-miss. Therefore, people don't often use it for things that require that. Therefore, there isn't that much of an incentive to improve things.

      On the other hand, both nVidia and Intel actually support Linux, and have done so for years. AMD and Via have paid lip service for years, but their drivers don't work very well in practice. Then there are the drivers developed by the community, which tend to lack features and performance

    • by RogueyWon (735973) *

      While the graphics situation on Windows is far better, it has actually slid back a bit from the user's (or at least the gamer's) point of view over the last 12 months or so.

      I went for years with XP and Vista machines, never having to think about graphics drivers. I'd stick the latest set on when I bought the machine, and then they'd "just work" until I was ready for a new machine. But recently, there's been a real trend towards graphics drivers optimised towards particular games - which may give performance

      • by iONiUM (530420)

        Oh I agree with you completely there. I used to have an nVidia geForce 8800GTS (yes it's old, but it worked great), but I was unable to update my nVidia drivers to the latest. In fact, I had to stick with a 2 year old version (I forget the version # exactly), otherwise I had random blue screens. Recently though, I bought BF3, and it crashed with the old drivers.. so then I was really fucked.

        Ended up with ATI radeon to avoid nVidia completely, but like I said originally Catalyst started crashing my computer.

  • KDE, Gnome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by santax (1541065) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:26PM (#39125883)
    I remember when they first started out. Their gui-system would replace windows, but better. With less bloath and more freedom for users. Those days are long gone. I do hope the guys at kde understand that this will mean a new (and probably) big lost of users. AMD should get their drivers straightened out, but I can't help but have the feeling this will bite KDE in the butt and not AMD. Still a shame those gui's became so bloathed and slooowwww. And thank God for fluxbox and the likes.
    • Re:KDE, Gnome (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jadrian (1150317) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:46PM (#39126237)

      Still a shame those gui's became so bloathed and slooowwww. And thank God for fluxbox and the likes.

      If this is how you feel, then you'd use Kwin with effects off, and wouldn't care about lack of OpenGL compositing. So I don't see your point.

      • by Sipper (462582)

        Still a shame those gui's became so bloathed and slooowwww. And thank God for fluxbox and the likes.

        If this is how you feel, then you'd use Kwin with effects off, and wouldn't care about lack of OpenGL compositing. So I don't see your point.

        Temporarily, right now, that works. However the newer versions of KDE4 are being based on Qt5, which has a base requirement of OpenGL (ES) 2.0 or above. http://labs.qt.nokia.com/2011/05/09/thoughts-about-qt-5/ [nokia.com] This means presumably KDE4 will have the same base requirement. :-/

        • by suy (1908306)

          However the newer versions of KDE4 are being based on Qt5, which has a base requirement of OpenGL (ES) 2.0 or above.

          If I understood properly, the issue is that Qt5 will use an OpenGL rendering model. That doesn't mean that the graphics hardware requires an OpenGL working driver to function, because Qt5 can use a raster engine in the CPU, like does right now (passing "-graphicssystem raster", which is the default). Actually, they have given some numbers, and the CPU rasterizer is faster in Qt5 [nokia.com], because LLVMpipe is faster than Qt's rasterizer.

          Remember also that Qt5 is not out yet, much less KDE5. It will take years for bei

          • by Sipper (462582)

            Awesome post. :-)

            However the newer versions of KDE4 are being based on Qt5, which has a base requirement of OpenGL (ES) 2.0 or above.

            If I understood properly, the issue is that Qt5 will use an OpenGL rendering model. That doesn't mean that the graphics hardware requires an OpenGL working driver to function, because Qt5 can use a raster engine in the CPU, like does right now (passing "-graphicssystem raster", which is the default). Actually, they have given some numbers, and the CPU rasterizer is faster in Qt5 [nokia.com], because LLVMpipe is faster than Qt's rasterizer.

            That's really interesting, and it's good news. As long as Qt5 + KDE5 continue to allow machines to use it without requiring OpenGL 3D support in hardware, especially if there's still a software rendering (i.e. rasterizer) available, I'm happy. And I don't even need for it to be fast -- just that it will work. Thank you VERY much for pointing the above information out.

            Remember also that Qt5 is not out yet, much less KDE5. It will take years for being forced to upgrade to KDE5. This year we will have a LTS release of Kubuntu, which means you will have supported KDE4 till April 2017. I think there will be also one or maybe even two Debian releases with KDE4.

            That's good as a backup plan, although I'll doubt I'll need to resort to using it based on the technical details you've gi

            • by suy (1908306)
              I'm also a (happy) Debian user, however, I just googled a little bit about (k)ubuntu because they have predictable releases and time-frames. :)
    • "better than windows" and "thank god for fluxbox". In the same paragraph.

      Are you a troll or an idiot? a window manager is not the same thing as a desktop environment. The WM is a tiny, tiny part of that. And even as a standalone WM, kwin is really, really good.

      Some of us think that using the CPU to calculate stuff that can be done by the GPU is dumb. Idiots would buy amazingly expensive gigs with GPUs with many texture units and then deactivate textures because they had the illusion it made their games run

      • by santax (1541065)
        Come on fanboi... If you like KDE by all means, use it. No need at all to respond like this, with personal attacks and a child-like manner of expression. Love to hear about the stupid hardware choices I made btw.
        • You are comparing fluxbox to a DE. If this had been about GNOME, I would have responded the same way.

          Free software developers do what they do out of love. Because of that, it is sometimes somewhat incomplete, but also typically very well though out at the conceptual level -- at least for projects that survive. Idiots like you only serve to demotivate the devs. I don't like it when people get attacked from ignorance. I like it even less when people get attacked from ignorance as they are doing things for the

          • by santax (1541065)
            Now it's getting interesting and I sure as hell hope you don't use xorg's xserver to boot that nice KDE of yours. If you do, you are using the code of a terrible human being! (at least, parts of it)... Now, grow up, kid.
            • Seriously? You code for xorg, and you cannot tell the difference between a DE and a WM? That explains a lot...

              You still are a terrible human being for attacking people: as you apparently are qualified, you are not an ignorant jerk, but a troll. I am not sure this is better.

              • by santax (1541065)
                Ah I am sorry, I didn't realize it was me that was attacking without any knowledge on the person instead of the topic. My bad. Have a nice day. Kid.
  • by joib (70841) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:27PM (#39125893)
    To recap, KWin currently supports:
    • No compositing
    • Compositing using the 2D XRender interface
    • Compositing using OpenGL 1.x

    • Compositing using OpenGL 2.x
    • Compositing using OpenGL ES 2 (code mostly shared with the OpenGL 2.x codepath)

    So what is suggested here is to delete support for compositing using OpenGL 1.x.

    Personally, I can hardly blame the developer for wanting to prune that list a bit.

    And, if you don't want to see this feature deleted, now is your opportunity to step up to the plate and contribute!

    • Exactly.

      Also, if for some reason, this makes you not want to use KWin anymore, no problem! Just use one of the many other window managers. You can even do that and still use KDE.

    • It's not so much KDE pruning the list, as Qt. The OpenGL 1.x support is very difficult to maintain in Qt; and they changed things quite a bit for 2.x. KDE adopting Qt5 (to be released later this year) will mean an EOL on OpenGL 1.x support. So they're kind of forced along.

      However, if your graphics chip can't quite chop it; then you just have to switch to a software OpenGL renderer that can support it. So you're not SOL; it just might be a little bit slower.
  • So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tanktalus (794810) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:37PM (#39126083) Journal

    I had more than my share of problems with the Catalyst driver. Switched to the radeonhd driver in its infancy, and got better results, albeit more crashes. It quickly matured. Later I switched to the radeon driver, once it had reasonably mature support for my HD3870 or whatever it is. The performance is great, the stability is great, and I expect that compositing will continue to work.

    Basically, AMD has helped the open-source community to develop this driver sufficiently for it to take over as far as I'm concerned.

    • Have you tried to view HD video with that card in Linux? I bought a similar ATI card to support their policy of providing documentation of the hardware specs to the open source community. Their web site claimed that the card was supported under Linux but after installing the Catalyst drivers, I still couldn't get more than a couple of frames per second while playing 720p videos. Apparently "supported" meant that it barely worked, was buggy as hell (especially with dual-head support) and assumes that you
      • by Tanktalus (794810)

        Yup. "ATI Technologies Inc Radeon HD 3870" - and full blu-ray quality video plays in dragon in fullscreen mode just fine. And I used to use it with two monitors until my wife's computer went kaputs and I bought a bigger, faster machine for myself and gave her the hand-me-down. By the time I upgraded, the problems were nearly non-existent. The bigger issues ended up being keeping up with KDE/Qt's compositing requirements in the driver (KDE 4.0 through about 4.3 or 4.4), but they basically just work now.

        Y

  • I really could care less because I already determined that suicidal thoughts decrease significantly when you just don't even bother trying to use AMD/ATI graphics on Linux.
  • I am trying to imagine a world-view in which this is "news that matters," and somehow, it is just not coming to me. How this got posted is beyond me.

  • by SalsaDoom (14830) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @01:01PM (#39126457) Journal

    The problem comes in with the fact that the open source drivers don't support everything. I seem to be in a real minority -- I really use Linux for all my desktop stuff, except playing the odd game. All my music, movies, everything I do from my linux laptop generally. The open source drivers won't allow me to do all the stuff that I do -- mainly, I won't be able to watch high def movies -- no hardware decoding support. There probably never will be either, without using catalyst. Do not also forget that since I'm on a laptop, I've got concerns regarding my power usage too on occasion, and the open source drivers consume a lot more juice. So the open source drivers *I would much rather use otherwise* don't support all the features that I use frequently. So this is bad for me, at least. My laptop isn't old, either -- its video card is a Mobility Radeon 5870, still pretty spiffy if you ask me.

    Also, the desktop effects do more than just look pretty, a number of handy features for organizing windows and seeing what apps you have running require it.

    So yeah, I just can't see this making AMD finally bring their drivers into the last century. Speaking as a Militant Linux Zealot who aggressively hates and seeks the destruction of everyone who doesn't wholly agree with me -- The linux desktop numbers are fairly low, I personally think they are higher than most people think -- but thats still a low number. Then cut that into a third or so which is the KDE desktop people. Thats one third of a small number ... I doubt AMD gives a shit. I see what the developer is saying here, but it seems that his choices are 1) Irritate a lot of users who use AMD graphics, probably lose a number of them who use the catalyst features, 2) Continue to support code for the sake of AMD being kind of a shit company.

    I'd rather not get screwed by this, so I hope he continues to support GL1 for now, and maybe we can find another way to push AMD into updating their drivers because I don't think he'll get the response from them that he thinks he will.

    • by Rashkae (59673)

      If you aren't playing games, the Open source ati drivers should not only do everything you need, they are arguable better than the ATI catalyst, (with the exception of the power management. that would require manual configuration tweaking.)

      As far as High Def video, that workload is moving to the cpu, which, assuming you have more than 1 core on this rig, should be just fine for any high def video. (More videos are being encoded 10-bit now anyway, which doesn't have video card support on *any* platform.)

      • by SalsaDoom (14830) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:24PM (#39127665) Journal

        Actually. Your right. I'm running ArchLinux here..

        I removed the catalyst drivers and installed the radeon driver... a few desktop effects don't work (such as wobbly windows) but the important ones that I actually care about work just fine. Video seems to play fine. Interesting! I had to tweak my monitor detection script a bit (xrandr seems to call displays differently according to the driver) but it all works fine. The KMS looks much better with my bootsplash too.

        Maybe this doesn't matter? :)

        • by Rashkae (59673)

          The catalyst drivers have never been able to play video without tearing (they are completely unable to do Vsync with XV or even gl video output). That should work out of the box with the Radeon driver. It takes more cpu time, but that's why I say that the Radeon driver is superior for high def video.

    • Why would a "Militant Linux Zealot" buy a laptop with AMD graphics? Support for AMD graphics has always been poor and even the most basic research when buying a machine would turn up this fact. I agree that you are "in a real minority" but, not because you use linux for everything (hell, my parents do that) but because you use linux for everything and purchased the worst possible graphics platform for doing that.

      • by SalsaDoom (14830)

        You sound a bit like a nasty little troll here, but I'll reply anyway.

        Because they work fine in Linux, thats why. Are you talking about OpenGL performance? Well, not so much. But otherwise I've had very little trouble with AMD graphics in Linux. There is more to this than whats immediately obvious anyway. At the time, I worked at a local computer store and I got laptops for cost, well, at the time nVidia's laptop graphics where total shit and the ones with AMD's where far better laptops in general. So I pic

  • Why , does a window manager to be tied to DRIVERS? Give me a break! I would recommend just dropping KDE and using XFCE, or even FVWM, its fast, it doesnt use much RAM and it actually follows good X design philosophy.

    Another question, why not just allow Kwin to use an OpenGL software renderer (Mesa) if there isn no hardware support. OpenGL is an A P I, that means that you should be able to drop in a software renderer as a backup if there is not adequate hardware rendering. Whats so hard about this for this d

  • would mean that for now there is no longer any support for the AMD Catalyst driver on the KDE desktop. Due to driver bugs, AMD's proprietary Catalyst software only works well with the GL1 renderer even though their latest hardware supports OpenGL 4

    Doesn't that kind of contradict its-self? Even if AMD's software is buggy with newer GL, buggy doesn't equal "no longer any support".

    It sounds to me like the cards would be supported, and might finally get some attention and bug fixes if the desktop were actually using the newer library and thus tripping on the bugs.

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