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Thread: Arch Linux Revolts Against ATI Catalyst Driver

  1. #11
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    As an Arch user using fglrx, I cannot but applaud the decision. We cannot have a single, badly written binary driver holding back the whole distribution.

    Full disclaimer: I will continue using the blob, as I need OpenGL 2.0+ for my work, but I don't expect the distro team to maintain the blob for me. The portion of the userbase that requires fglrx will be able to publish custom PKGBUILDs that get the job done.

    Now, the real question is "how much time before we see GLSL support in open drivers?" Because in all other regards, they are ahead of fglrx.

  2. #12

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    I've been using Arch linux exclusively for about a year now. If you know your way around linux, it's fantastic.

    Before using Arch I used Debian (for about 2 years) My first laptop with debian was a Dell witih an x1400 ATI card. The driver was so atrocious (I couldn't even play a DVD. there were screen refreshing issues. and this was before compiz came out). Because of ATI, I sold the whole laptop and bought a new one with an nvidia card. Since then, I've made a very concious effort to ONLY buy laptops with nvidia.
    In the last 4 years I've had 5 laptops (with just the first using ATI)

    I then built a desktop. The decision was obvious, I bought an nvidia 8800GTS
    Everything was great. Compositing/compiz worked flawlessly, DVD playback was great etc..

    I'd kept hearing about ATI improving, and catching up, and phoronix would often imply they they were on feature parity with nvidia.
    (note to self, features like crossfire etc.. don't matter. we care about Xserver support, and compositing)

    So, I saw a good deal for an ATI 4870, and thought "hm... I'll give them another chance"

    It was the biggest mistake in my computing life.
    Immediately I went from a perfectly working desktop, to no compiz, crashes, and false promises.

    I remember seeing how the Arch Linux devs delayed XServer 1.5 JUST because they were waiting for a catalyst driver that supported it.
    This is unacceptable. The whole distro had to wait for them.

    Then, phoronix started talking about catalyst h264 hardware acceleration, and how it was great (and about to be released). But guess what, yet again, it never happened. Who knows if it ever will.

    All I know is nvidia delivered. No, they didn't promise, they just delivered.

    Needless to say I got burned twice, and it won't happen again.
    I sold the 4870 on ebay, and bought a GeForce GTX 260.

    It's really pathetic that my previous $300 card couldn't even do video playback under compiz (and compiz has been around for ages!)

    So, now I'm an Arch Linux x64 nvidia user. And I'm really, really glad.

    I've sent Michael a couple of PMs saying that he should stop doing al these gaming benchmarks comparing ATI/Nvidia.

    Most of us don't care if ATI gets 3fps more in some game.

    A decent graphics card review would cover the IMPORTANT THINGS. namely compiz support, compositing, 2D performance,vdpau support, Power managing, ease of install, Xorg tweaks, support in x64, delays in support of XServer, DRI2 etc..

    Those are the deciding factors when buying a graphics card for use in Linux

    Most of us don't game in linux. We use linux for other reasons.

    ATI, are you listening?
    Last edited by SyXbiT; 03-01-2009 at 12:29 PM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SyXbiT View Post
    All I know is nvidia delivered. No, they didn't promise, they just delivered.
    AMD/ATi also never promised anything. It's realy Phoronix who try to catch a sensation by making things up (maybe that's a little bit to harsh) and predicting features etc only by guessing. It's worked good for them so far, they've got the attention of many ATi/fglrx users.
    Quote Originally Posted by mutlu_inek View Post
    It would be nice if JGC's official statement in this thread would be elevated to an addendum of the official news item to make the situation more clear. It is great that phoronix uses its visibility to give these issues a platform that might be heard by companies and commercial developers. Thus, I think it is important that the position of Arch Linux is made as clear as possible.
    HAHAHA Michael admitting a mistake/making a correction. Yeah sure, that's gonna happen.HAHAHA
    It's sad but Phoronix realy is the THG of Linux-News-sites. I'm not saying everything Phoronix does is bad, for example their coverage of the foss-(ati)-drivers is very good, but there also are lots of very inaccurate etc articles.

  4. #14
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    Uhm... I'm running 4870+fglrx+amd64... no problems here. What's the deal? It's a binary blob. Binary blobs never work consistent across different distros since every distro has their own idea about file system layout ( yep, many shit on FHS or do their own variation ) and kernel patching and what not else. They can't make it free. So wait until the free drivers catch up and stop shitting on them. It's NOT GOING TO HELP ANYBODY ( except harming Linux in general ). I like people with lack of foresight...

  5. #15

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    My comments were not just to rag on ATI.
    I understand they are making an effort on the OSS front.
    BUT, I will not buy them until they fix the things I mentioned.
    So, it's more like a helping hand

    ATI, do you want more business?
    Do you want to sell more graphics card to linux users?

    Then fix compiz, VDPAU, and start supporting XServers at release ( or very close to)

    If you do that, you'll have my business. If not, you won't

    It's that simple

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhick View Post
    Michael admitting a mistake/making a correction. Yeah sure, that's gonna happen
    It's probably worth reading the mailing list referenced by the article before picking on the writing. JGC's post was very clear and level-headed but it came *after* the article (and the article reads pretty much like the mailing list entry).

    I personally try to avoid symlinks (probably because I keep getting in trouble with them ) but right now I think the driver requires them for certain distro configurations. Much as I sympathize, I hope the Arch folks would not stop packaging fglrx just because of the requirement for symlinking.

    That said, if they're moving to server 1.6 and we don't support 1.6 yet then packaging the driver for upcoming Arch versions doesn't make a lot of sense. Not sure if it's still worth packaging for users running older versions or if most Arch users run the latest bits anyways (ie there would be too few people running pre-1.6 to be worth the effort).

    The only thing I didn't really understand was that the first part of each post basically said "we've stopped packaging because of technical issues" while the second half of each post said "we hope someone else will take over the packaging". I think that translates into "it's a pain in the butt so someone else should take it over", which is fair.
    Last edited by bridgman; 03-01-2009 at 01:55 PM.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by SyXbiT View Post
    All I know is nvidia delivered. No, they didn't promise, they just delivered.
    You must be kidding. Just look here:

    http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=115916

    You sound funny now.


    I'm really happy to hear that Arch Linux devs abandon support for catalyst. Should we blame them or AMD? I don't think so. AMD supports only few distros and Arch Linux devs wouldn't change their philosophy just, because binary blob doesn't work. If someone wants working fglrx just choose Kubuntu. I hope we'll get the new X server earlier than before now

  8. #18

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    you cannot compare 2D performance issues to what ATI has done
    I'm thrilled with my nvidia card.
    ATI, after 2 years of compiz being around, still can't support it.
    Don't have VPDAU, and still have MAJOR tearing when playing videos (even in metacity)

    you're the one who's making ME laugh

    obviously all drivers have bugs. Bug you can't compare

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by SyXbiT View Post
    you cannot compare 2D performance issues to what ATI has done
    I'm thrilled with my nvidia card.
    ATI, after 2 years of compiz being around, still can't support it.
    Don't have VPDAU, and still have MAJOR tearing when playing videos (even in metacity)

    you're the one who's making ME laugh

    obviously all drivers have bugs. Bug you can't compare
    I used nvidia cards for years and I can say their drivers sucks a lot. I'm a lot happier with Xorg Radeon driver. What makes you laugh exactly? I commented what makes me laugh in your post. What AMD promised? It looks YOU missed a point.
    Last edited by kraftman; 03-01-2009 at 01:37 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    17

    Thumbs down Simplistic notion of Phoronix editor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhick View Post
    Michael admitting a mistake/making a correction. Yeah sure, that's gonna happen.
    This is not about admitting any sort of "mistake," but using Phoronix as a platform to talk back to the big silent wall that is AMD... which, I believe, is what Michael is trying to do.

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