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Thread: Standard Radeon vs. fglrx

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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Standard Radeon vs. fglrx

    Getting fglrx to work on newer Radeon graphics cards (newer than the 9800 level) is increasing in the hassle factor. On the other hand, ATi makes it painfully clear that older cards aren't supported for fglrx at all in the newer distros (9.04+)--the convenient ol' "phase out of support." The 9.10 (Karmic), community-supported "valid" version only allows one resolution, 640X480, for my 4550....

    I hate to say this: The traditional Linux techies really can't resort to dismissing such issues anymore. Their convenient "Pontius Pilate" response--washing their hands of proprietary driver issues--is annoying and insulting. The standard driver is so clumsy, stupid, and laughable that it's ignored by most of us who use Radeons--it's simply a flawed stepping stone to fglrx. Really, fglrx is essential for most "modern" Radeon cards. Dismissing it as inferior--and not deserving of any attention--insults our collective intelligence, right?!

    I think developers should make certain that key issues in the usable video driver area are fixed and ready for the next version before releasing new distro versions--why so many new releases anyway (Yippee!)? What good are upgrades in other areas if we can't see them or even the screen? Maybe developers should "key" distro versions to Radeon, nVidia, and other (modern) video chipset cards: Developers act like video and graphics aren't very important. Unfortunately, they're key: Such issues generally are far more important than the other stuff they work on.

    If Linus Torvalds on down hate proprietary software so much, why do they let Cyberlink sell software in order to get past codec and DRM issues? (At least that's true on Ubuntu.) We may end up paying for decent video drivers and support--maybe it's worth it. (I see a slippery slope.) It's clear that the Linux techies really can't deal with this effectively....

  2. #2
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    I use the open source driver on a HD 4550 and I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

    You're doing something terribly wrong.

  3. #3
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    I use the open source driver on a HD 4550 and I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

    You're doing something terribly wrong.

    Have you considered hardware differences and monitor/card combinations?: It's not as simple as you think. I did get it to work--some kind of "trick" often is necessary. Divining the trick to use, perhaps, is often the problem. I figured the card may have been "toast" or needed extra cooling, as it uses a fanless HS. If it was toast, it likely wouldn't accept a more "advanced" driver.

    It seems that linux code indicates analog, 1280X1024 and 1024X768 monitors still are the norm. (Linux code is always behind, and, I don't see the solution to that.) An off-brand or weird sized monitor (say, AOC 15.6" or LCD TV) may be difficult to config, also. My monitor (display) icon always has a "slash" through it with the newer distros.

    It just seems that video card driver config is more tricky and difficult than in the Radeon 9800 days and earlier. Sometimes the restricted driver from distro teams doesn't work--aticonfig does then, though. In this case, the restricted driver does work after all while aticonfig doesn't....

    I haven't gotten the "plain" driver to work, with good performance, in a long time. Sometimes, it doesn't work at all--again, I have to use aticonfig to get a working driver.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsnoorky View Post
    I hate to say this: The traditional Linux techies really can't resort to dismissing such issues anymore. Their convenient "Pontius Pilate" response--washing their hands of proprietary driver issues--is annoying and insulting. The standard driver is so clumsy, stupid, and laughable that it's ignored by most of us who use Radeons--it's simply a flawed stepping stone to fglrx. Really, fglrx is essential for most "modern" Radeon cards. Dismissing it as inferior--and not deserving of any attention--insults our collective intelligence, right?!
    Do you suggest Linux devs should start fixing and working on fglrx?

    EDIT:

    Ok, techies aren't devs.
    Last edited by kraftman; 01-24-2010 at 10:51 AM.

  5. #5
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    gsnooky, I believe the HD4550 was launched around the same time that the drivers in Ubuntu 9.10 were locked down.

    You may need newer driver versions to support the 4550, whether you're using the open source or the proprietary drivers. If you can pastebin the xorg.log from what you referred to as the "community supported <valid> version" (radeon ? radeonhd ? vesa ?) we can probably figure out what's going on.
    Last edited by bridgman; 01-24-2010 at 12:39 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsnoorky View Post
    <cut>
    Wow, I've never seen such an ill-informed post about Linux outside of Ubuntu Forums.

  7. #7
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    Default OK, Purist.

    Quote Originally Posted by monraaf View Post
    Wow, I've never seen such an ill-informed post about Linux outside of Ubuntu Forums.
    I didn't come here asking for help. I don't think that I phrased the post well.

    I've been fooling with Linux for about 10 years. I understand the philosophy--source code must be available for the purists to accept any routine for the core.

    On the other hand, most users with systems less than 10 years old with fairly decent video cards would agree that the standard ATi driver generally doesn't cut it--I agree that the community, in a practical sense, is hobbled with limited cooperation and resulting binaries from ATi, and with legal issues.

    It's true that Cyberlink now sells software for Linux--in order to enable legal codecs. As I understand it, Linus Torvalds doesn't like it, yet, he accepts it. Linus is a really sharp guy, but, I don't think he completely understood the ramifications of legal and proprietary code when he started toying with UNIX long ago--such issues never go away, nor, are they ever alleviated to any extent....

    The world is swirling around you, descending into a sinkhole: Somehow, you don't seem to be aware of that. I'm just noting that your Ivory Tower is beginning to look somewhat like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsnoorky View Post
    Their convenient "Pontius Pilate" response--washing their hands of proprietary driver issues--is annoying and insulting.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsnoorky View Post
    I think developers should make certain that key issues in the usable video driver area are fixed and ready for the next version before releasing new distro versions
    These statements are incompatable. How do you suggest developers address "key issues" in drivers for which they have no control, source, or way of testing?

    Whats more, core linux projects should not have to accomodate the whims of fractious hardware vendors with ugly hacks in order to integrate binary blobs.

  9. #9
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    Default Alright purists....

    Quote Originally Posted by Smorg View Post
    These statements are incompatable. How do you suggest developers address "key issues" in drivers for which they have no control, source, or way of testing?

    Whats more, core linux projects should not have to accomodate the whims of fractious hardware vendors with ugly hacks in order to integrate binary blobs.
    Incompatible.

    OK, I did get it to work. I had to include source and unapproved updates.

    You misunderstand--I'm not saying that the "pure" teams should work on it. I merely indicate that linux developers should make sure that the "ugly" (ATi binary) team is well ready before new distro versions pop up.

  10. #10
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    @pingufunkybeat

    4550 + dvi needs a fix like this:

    http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/dri...6030604820f4d9

    Kanotix Excalibur uses a driver with that of course.

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