It was just a month ago that the open-source Avivo driver for the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) series was introduced to the public, but in this time we've seen some great progress made. This open-source R500 driver now contains RandR 1.2 support, support for a variety of R500 graphics cards, and most recently support for Shadow Framebuffer was added. The Avivo driver still isn't comparable when it comes to the features found in the fglrx driver or even the open-source Radeon driver for the R200/300/400 series, but it's a work in progress. If you are running into problems with the fglrx driver, stuck using the VESA driver for one reason or another, or just want to get rid of the binary blob and experiment with this open-source driver, we have written a guide for setting up the Avivo driver from source on Ubuntu.
I have been following Phoronix coverage of both the avivo driver and ATI's binary blob for a while now, and I really appreciate having an up to date news source on these topics!
Today I finally decided to test the avivo driver on my Dell Inspiron 6400 with an ATI Mobility X1400. The compilation went without any problems, but after switching to the avivo driver, xorg failed to start, with the following error at the end of the log:
(II) avivo(0): Output LFP connected
(II) avivo(0): I2C device "LFP connector 1:ddc2" registered at address 0xA0.
(II) avivo(0): I2C device "LFP connector 1:ddc2" removed.
(II) avivo(0): EDID for output LFP