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ATI And Current Linux distributions - Urkle - 08-06-2009

OK, due to my recent hardware failure of my primary linux box for development, I've had to "find another box" to continue development of the linux patch.. That has led me to get Fedora 11 installed on my Mac Pro (aka BigMac). This beast has 2 video cards currently (the ATI X1900 was removed due to it overheating all the time). So currently it houses an nvidia 7300 and an ATI HD 2600 PCI-E cards.

I finally have linux booting (albeit through some crazyiness to get around the EFI on the mac). It works non the less.

First stop, get the ATI card working (as the nvidia cards I've never had issues with).

Upon looking at the Repository that usually has the ATI drivers I find this post

Apparently NO ATI drivers!!.. Looks like ATI's catalyst 9.3 has no support for 1.6 and no support for kernel, 2.6.29 (the newer drivers don't either)!!!.

This post

Talks about the attempts to get ATI's drivers working on Fedora 11 and Ubuntu 9 (which both include kernel 2.6.29 and the new Xorg 1.6 release).. Apparently the current "patch" works, but is VERY SLOW and produces a LOT of error output to your system logs.. Not good..

From reading around, current recommendations are to stick with older distributions (Fedora 10 and ubuntu 8) if you want to use accelerated ATI.

This only furthers my frustration with the poor quality of ATI's drivers on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. (Yeah they are bad on mac as well).

Now, what's odd is that nvidia's drivers do not have these issues with newer kernel releases nor newer Xorg releases. (as nvidia has 2 sets of legacy drivers now). It could be because nvidia uses a 'unified driver model' as the call it.. Basically they replace the entire DRI sub-system in Xorg.. I'm unsure how the ATI drivers are written.

Well, I'm trying the Catalyst 9.7 drivers from ATI right now to see if they might work.. But everything looks rather dismal.

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - Urkle - 08-06-2009

And even the 9.7 drivers released only last month don't support "current kernels" out of the box that are in Ubuntu 9 and Fedora 11..

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - grib - 08-07-2009

I have been using the Debian packages for 9.6 with 2.6.30 kernels with not too much problems (other than the standard problems of proprietary drivers). I am building the 9.7 modules now. So if there's a problem with kernel incompatibility, the Debian maintainers have done some black magic to work around. I would expect Ubuntu would work as well.

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - Urkle - 08-08-2009

are you building the 9.7 modules from the ATI installer? or from a "modified" debian deb package?

From all the website I've been reading on this, yes ubuntu has a "modified" version of the drivers but they don't work very well.

On F11 under the modules wouldn't compile. And I actually had to go in and MANUALLY compile things because their installer script ran the make in such a way that it got stuck in an infinite loop that just sucked up all the a CPU.

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - Fredagsmys - 08-16-2009

Fedora is surely a nice distro but my guess is that ubuntu has the largest install base among those playing this game. If you where to get rid of most problems with pulseaudio, ati drivers whatever in a distro, wouldn't the one with the largest install base be of highest priority?

I don't want to start a distro flame war or anything, you probably have your reasons for your choice of distro, I was joust thinking out loud. Smile

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - Urkle - 08-16-2009

Really there is no data that I am tracking as to what distro everyone is running, only by posts in the forum that a large set of ubuntu users are having issues. But from my experiences documented in the beginning of this thread the issues are not distro specific at all, so getting it to work on fedora would get it working on unbuntu as well. Also, from my experiences most of the problems with ATI users not being able to play the game has to do with them trying to use the open source drivers which, I'm afraid, can not supported at this time.

As for pulseaudio, it sucks. It's not any better than ESD back in the day.. The only time pulse audio is bearable is if you have a multi-core system, which I see as a waste of a CPU core. Personally I'd rather just funnel everything into the hardware and have it do the mixing (I love my SB Live card for that). It's looking like the only way to get the game working smoothly for pulse audio is for me to write something or get openAL to bypass pulseaudio on startup and directly goto the ALSA sound drivers. That's what I've been messing around with, and what is taking so long. Once I get the code into the game to "select the audio destination" I'll start throwing out the patch to get it tested. I'm hoping that will be before the end of the week.

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - Fredagsmys - 08-16-2009

Ok, thanks for your quick and informative reply. If it's not a distro specific issue then most users will get the benefit of your patch. Great!

Good luck with your coding, nice to hear that someone who works on it is eager to get this fixed as soon as possible.

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - Gert - 08-18-2009

Well, it seems the 9.8 driver finally supports 2.6.30, running it on Gentoo 2.6.30-r4 now.

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - DigitalPioneer - 08-20-2009

Hmm, I love my Archlinux. Smile I don't have anywhere near this much trouble. It all goes to crap every time I upgrade my kernel, but that's just because I always forget to manually rebuild the kernel module. Works pretty well for the most part. And I get all the latest toys... Kernel and Catalyst 9.8

RE: ATI And Current Linux distributions - Urkle - 08-21-2009

I'm going to be testing the 9.8 drivers tomorrow, but I would love feedback on if that fixes issues for people using "current" distros (Ubuntu 9, fedora 11, etc...)

OH, and be sure to pester AMD/ATI about getting their legacy drivers updated :-D.