How well does Fedora handle ATI cards?

gilpel at gilpel at
Tue Aug 4 21:38:55 UTC 2009

Joonas Sarajärvi wrote:

> Nouveau is just for Nvidia hardware. The rough equivalent for ATI
> devices is the radeon driver.

> RPM Fusion nonfree doesn't currently ship the proprietary
> Catalyst/fglrx driver for Fedora 11

So, Radeon is free, Catalyst/fglrx non-free?

> because it is incompatible with
> Linux 2.6.29 and newer, and F11 uses a kernel based on the 2.6.29
> series. So if you want to use this driver, the only Fedora option is
> really Fedora 10, until AMD updates the driver to support a newer
> Linux.

Ok, so that's why, when I bought my computer and I said I would use Linux,
the salesman suggested I buy an Nvidia card.

I've installed Compiz, but are there other uses for 3D ? If not, if one
doesn't care about Compiz, I understand that Frank Cox says he had no
problem whatsoever with his ATI cards.

>> How do you manage ATI cards with F11 and the
>> kernel?

> I use the radeon driver provided by Fedora.
> Currently it has no hardware 3D acceleration features, but there's
> support for 2D exa and xv acceleration, so the driver works just fine
> for basic use. For older ATI hardware (R500 generation and older),
> there's even 3D support.
> The non-free Catalyst driver supports distributions, not kernels, and
> Fedora is not in their list of supported distributions. Fedora, on the
> other hand, has nothing to do with the proprietary drivers from
> neither AMD nor Nvidia, and thus won't pick an older kernel just to
> support them. Sometimes Catalyst seems to work on Fedora, but quite
> often Fedora has something too new for it, and it fails to work. Due
> to this, I think that the free drivers are the only viable long-term
> option for use in Fedora.
> Fortunately, AMD has released specifications that help create free
> drivers for the new ATI hardware, and there's work ongoing to get
> radeon driver provide 3D acceleration even for the newest devices. It
> seems that the development repos have some 3D stuff already working,
> but the work hasn't yet landed to stable releases of the graphics
> stack components. Still, this looks very promising.

3D non-proprietary? That would indeed be nice!

Thanks a lot for your very comprehensive answer, Joonas!

More information about the users mailing list