Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2007 20:09 UTC, submitted by Michael
AMD "Not only is AMD providing the open-source community with their ATI GPU specifications, but they have also been partnering with Novell on the development of a new open-source display driver. We've been telling you about AMD's open-source work all month, and today the new driver is finally available for download. It is still very much a work in progress and isn't much further along than the open-source R500 Avivo driver. However, this new driver does support the Radeon HD 2000 (R600) family. This new X.Org driver is called RadeonHD."
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RE[3]: Awesome
by cyclops on Tue 18th Sep 2007 07:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Awesome"
Member since:

"Unfortunately, now the problem has simply changed focus from video to wifi. I've been playing this game for 20 years. And I sometimes wonder if we are really making progress, or if the problems are escalating about as fast as they are being solved. I think we are making progress. But it feels like a long walk up a fast treadmill."

There is no we. There have been large areas of missing support in GNU's past, but the days of compatible hardware being included with a distribution are long gone. I remember sound cards where the major problem, and then linmodems which I'm not sure if there was ever a solution, or whether broadband simply overtook it. wi-fi has been a problem but support has been available for a long time, and growing. Unfortunately those who have been forced to rely on older kernels due to things like binary blobs simply haven't been able to take advantage.

Linux development and company interest is escalating at a rapid rate, and the code submitted routinely doubles. In fact the move has been not to buy hardware thats supported in Linux, but to *expect* and *demand* all hardware works. In many ways I suspect this is a step backward, as hardware companies often do not get the credit they deserve apart from a few notable exceptions.

The major difference in graphics cards is that the specifications are held by monopolistic companies due to the nature of the market, compared to other hardware components, with Intel holding about 60% of the market and AMD holding another 20%, a major problem has been overcome. Although I suspect very strongly that Linus' practicality(sic) and I use the word in the correct place...or I should say *short term solution* has been damaging to GNU for a long time with its "good enough"(sic) drivers, and its had far reaching effect that includes application support that takes advantage of such hardware. Its a shame that the kernel has neglected support for the desktop for its server; embedded market.

I say this knowing that hardware support by Linux is not universal, and although I only paint a rosy picture of the future I'm well aware than many of the universal drivers that Linux enjoys and other kernels will soon be a thing of the past due to Vista's overreaching DRM hardware specifications. It will be interesting times.

Edited 2007-09-18 07:49

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Awesome
by siki_miki on Tue 18th Sep 2007 09:23 in reply to "RE[3]: Awesome"
siki_miki Member since:

Yes, it is interesting to see that Linux kernel community stubborness is producing fruit and tech giants like AMD/ATI are bending back and cooperating.
In this case AMD realizes that they can benefit from symbiosis with Linux again (on GPGPU) just as they did with Opteron (i.e. AMD64 instruction set).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Awesome
by sbergman27 on Wed 19th Sep 2007 03:57 in reply to "RE[3]: Awesome"
sbergman27 Member since:

Two things. First of all, I'm intrigued by your comment "There is no we." What do you mean by that, exactly?

But on the main topic... I do not recall a hardware support problem quite so frustrating as the current WiFi situation. Wifi is unreliable enough even under ideal circumstances. And the current situation with Linux is far from ideal. With winmodems, you could just avoid them. With winprinters, you could just avoid them. With sound cards, you could make sure that what you bought was soundblaster compatible.

But with wifi, support is spotty, vendors change model numbers more frequently than most of us change underwear, and to make matters even worse, you can get a Linksys model 6BX7 version 4.0 and get one chipset, or pick up the 6BX7 version 5.0 in the identical looking box on the shelf right next to it... and the chipset is from a completely different vendor. That is not really the exception. That is the common case.

Ironically, notebook buyers actually have it easier in this respect. They can buy a notebook with an intel chipset.

But if they make the wrong choice, they're stuck. I bought a Compaq presario. It has an HP branded mini-pci wifi card with a broadcom chipset. (yuck!) I ordered in an intel based mini-pci card and installed it. The bios complains that only HP cards are supported and the laptop refuses to boot. -System Halted-

Edited 2007-09-19 03:59

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Awesome
by cyclops on Wed 19th Sep 2007 10:15 in reply to "RE[4]: Awesome"
cyclops Member since:

There is no we, because what you said was a lie. I doubt you linux credentials and this thread points it out.

I use lie; where I perhaps should use the term subterfuge; or ignorance.

I'm exited by the *next* generation of Linux based GNU. ; The combination of 7.3+Linux 2.6.23+Compiz+Fuzion(whatever). Simply because so many of those niggles that power-users(sic) workaround have been fixed. It was actually frustrating to see so posts on 7.3. I include such niggles as "Widescreen on Intel"; Native wireless drivers; Native r300-r400 support; Screen rotation+resolution fixes and a whole host of other problems that have plagued the desktop for too long, and hopefully will not be held back by pragmatic(sic) binary drivers.

Their is no we simply because I don't agree the main reason being I'm using wireless Linux right now. The 2.6.22 and 2.6.23 have been revolutionary in their wi-fi support. Buying a compatible wifi card/stick is trivial and cheap $10-$15 you can pick one from It doesn't help laptop owners with built in wi-fi because reasonably they don't want a cheap usb stick hanging out of their $1000 laptop, but I suspect wi-fi support has moved from spotty to good!? in the last two revisions of the kernel...and I mean native support rather than a wrapper to binary drivers. Unfortunately for GNU computability even today far from universal although its made large strides recently...and that trend is set to continue. Saying anything otherwise is a lie. I'd love to say that 10% or 95% of wireless chips are supported, and if you can point to any current figures I would love to see them.

Now your other point that separates the *you* from me, is that you lie about support for the xpress 200M chip that you say is in your machine, and you are part of that problem that I say will be fixed in the next generation of distribution or *now* if you technically capable. 3D on your chip has been available since June, and you seem blissfully unaware of whats happening on your own machine. Now if you would have said that good open-source drivers for what is based on a 5 year old chipset being available to GNU has been a failing linux I'd tend to agree, but lets talk about the *NOW*.

Linux has been typically bad in areas geared towards the GNU desktop, simply becuase Linux driven by companies only interested in the server. Times have changed you even acknowledge as much elsewhere. The next generation of Distributions move from power-user friendly to everybody. I'm very excited. It doesn't solve the artificial problems overstated elsewhere(codecs; those adobe products; cutting edge gaming).

Like I say. I paint a rosy picture...but I'm very aware that all kinds of problems remain, although those very problems you describe are gone.

Reply Parent Score: 1