45 Replies Latest reply on Jun 18, 2018 4:08 PM by pokester

    Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?

    allanitomwesh

      I was looking forward to dropping windows 10 and moving to GNU/Linux what with being able to play most games on Steam OS. Gaming is probably all that keeps me on Windows. I would prefer to use an AMD card,but the performance displayed here
      22-Way Comparison Of NVIDIA & AMD Graphics Cards On SteamOS For Steam Linux Gaming - Phoronix
      Is just abysmal. Literally pathetic. Why would AMD allow this? More importantly what is being done to bring performance similar to Windows on Steam OS?

        • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
          kingfish

          You might have a better response by moving this post to the linux forum > The specified item was not found.

          • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
            lehjr

            For now, the problem is 2 reasons, lack of standardization and rapid paced development. Lack of standardization is basically different kernels, display managers, desktop environments, even GUI toolkits and it's often difficult or impossible to support every single combination. The rapid development pace is just that, everything you are trying to support today will have already changed by the time you get up tomorrow and have had your first cup of coffee.  There's no ability to plan ahead because everything is released right away. Keep in mind that not every Linux distro uses the "bleeding edge" releases, but some do, and even those that don't have ways of installing it. On the other hand, Windows is Windows, and the differences between Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and all the derivatives (server and media center) changed very little from driver perspective. If you look at Android which is built on a customized Linux kernel, the driver support is pretty decent because manufacturers get the source before it is released to the public, so they have time to tweak their drivers.

             

            The upside of the rapid development and release cycle means releases can come within minutes of a bug being reported, whereas Windows and Android bugs can take months for a fix to be released, and often lead to other fixes.

             

            As for the future, that's where Vulkan comes in, and should mean less code to maintain and faster releases of fixes, not to mention better performance.

              • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                natasha

                Excuse me, my problem is not coincides with originator's one, but it corresponds to the topic title.

                 

                The problem is described in Intel / ATI PowerXpress & fglrx.

                 

                lehjr wrote:

                 

                Lack of standardization is basically different kernels, display managers, desktop environments, even GUI toolkits and it's often difficult or impossible to support every single combination

                I have tried various Linux distributions, kernels -- the same result. Could you mention at least one variant which does work? I am ready to install it (I mean free OS, of course).

                 

                lehjr wrote:

                 

                The upside of the rapid development...

                Fix this at least for some older kernel/distribution version -- an older working version is much better than top-end version which doesn't work...

                • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                  allanitomwesh

                  I appreciate the reply.
                  While you raise valid points,there's no ignoring that high end AMD GPU's are getting demolished by a budget competitors GPU. I don't feel your explanation is satisfactory. Is it that AMD simply decided "it's too much work!"? I can accept if it was merely a performance hit compared to Windows. That would make sense. But this is pure negligence I feel.

                • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                  ragerino

                  Hello AMD,

                   

                  Today I wanted to give Linux another shot since I'm diving into machine learning and I wanted to use the full power of my PC insted having linux running in a VMWare.

                   

                  So here's my config:

                  Intel i7 2600K / 16GB / Asus P8768-V / AMD Radeon 7970 OC + a new SSD only for Linux

                   

                  Ubuntu 14.04 just installed fine. After having problems using the Open Source Graphics drivers when rotating one of the screens, I tried to install proprietary drivers through "Additional Drivers" tool. Booting resulted in a black screen with blinkin cursor. I was able to get to the UI by selecting one of the other boot options.

                   

                  Using AMD Catalyst center to rotate the screen resulted in freezing the whole PC. Several reinstalls with alternative proprietary driver installation guides resulted in very similar results.

                   

                  --> I gave up (for now). What was very curious to me is, that also my WIndows10 Dual Screen setup was corrupted. I had to use Driver Uninstaller from Guru3D and reinstall the Graphics Card drivers to get it working again. To me it seems that Linux drivers and/or graphics card bios are doing stuff which they should not do.

                   

                  Leaves me with a bad aftertaste and thinking about switching to a NVidia-card. As a loyal ATI/AMD customer this makes me kinda sad,

                   

                  Why isn't AMD open sourcing the Linux drivers? Is your code that crappy? Or are you actually already using Open Source code so you don't want everyone to know that you're violating Open Source licenses?

                   

                  IMHO AMD is pushing customers towards alternative chip manufacturers.

                    • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                      russianneuromancer

                      tl;dr

                      ragerino, use latest open source driver or latest closed source driver. Builds that in 14.04 repo is can be considered old.

                      ragerino wrote:

                       

                      Ubuntu 14.04 just installed fine.

                       

                      There is the problem. With choosing LTS you choosing old version of open source driver. That okay for something like 2xxx-6xxx, but not okay for GCN-based 7xxx and up. So to get most latest and most stable you need to use Ubuntu 15.10 or Kubuntu 15.10, NOT LTS (because in LTS there is also issues with Steam and VirtualBox installation, and so on, and so on). So, my advice, give it another shoot, but with Kubuntu 15.10.

                       

                      Note 1:

                      Well, that was not completely true, in 14.04 you also could install latest kernel on your own, rollback to 14.04.1 and then use Oibaf PPA for 14.04, but that not very intuitive procedure and by using Oibaf PPA you install developments builds of the open source driver (not stable) - you may need developments builds in some cases (for example if there is fix for some bug or some game you are waiting for, or some important feature that you need badly right now) but in general it's better to not use it without reason and understanding how to revert back this PPA and how to report discovered bugs to driver developers. So it's better to try Kubuntu 15.10 instead.

                       

                      Note 2:

                      You also could install AMD Radeon Software 15.11 deb-packages for 14.04 from AMD web-site, or build packages for 15.10 to use it instead of open source driver. But better go to open source one since it usually reported as more stable than closed source one (but less performant).

                      ragerino wrote:

                       

                      Why isn't AMD open sourcing the Linux drivers? Is your code that crappy? Or are you actually already using Open Source code so you don't want everyone to know that you're violating Open Source licenses?

                      AMD actually have open source driver for TeraScale-based and GCN-based hardware: http://developer.amd.com/tools-and-sdks/open-source/ (used by default in desktop GNU/Linux distributions, like Ubuntu and Kubuntu).

                      Future AMD proprietary drivers for GCN1.2-based hardware (except R9 285) will work on top of open source kernel module: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_bordeaux_strategy&num=1 (developers who work before on closed source kernel module in fglrx, now will be doing open source kernel module for GCN1.2-based hardware).

                      Initial OpenCL 2.1 and Vulkan implementations most likely will be closed source, and then open sourced.

                      ragerino wrote:

                       

                      IMHO AMD is pushing customers towards alternative chip manufacturers.

                      Alternative chip manufacturers have only one driver - Intel only open source, nVidia only closed source. If you need OpenGL 4.2+ on Intel there is no driver that can help you get OGL4.2+, AMD have closed source driver for such case. If you need proper hybrid graphics (without tearing, per application offloading) there is no driver that can help nVidia Optimus laptop owners, AMD have open source driver for such case (latest stable build provide OpenGL 3.3, latest development build currently on 4.1 level).

                      So in fact alternative chip manufacturers pushing customers towards AMD hardware.

                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                          natasha

                          russianneuromancer wrote:

                           

                          Alternative chip manufacturers have only one driver - Intel only open source, nVidia only closed source. If you need OpenGL 4.2+ on Intel there is no driver that can help you get OGL4.2+, AMD have closed source driver for such case. If you need proper hybrid graphics (without tearing, per application offloading) there is no driver that can help nVidia Optimus laptop owners, AMD have open source driver for such case (latest stable build provide OpenGL 3.3, latest development build currently on 4.1 level).

                          So in fact alternative chip manufacturers pushing customers towards AMD hardware.

                          It would be so if user is sure that proprietary driver will work on his hardware... In my case it doesn't work, for 2 years (it has never worked at my laptop under any tried Linux). So if I decide to buy a GPU I will think if I really need an AMD card...

                           

                          As I understand, Intel GPUs are not considered as something high performing, so that OpenGL versions are enough for them.

                           

                          As for Optimus, at least it is able to start X and, as I understand, allows OpenCL (+CUDA) programming, unlike fglrx in AMD/Intel systems (except some 'fortunate' configurations, which you in fact cannot predict before buying a laptop).

                            • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                              russianneuromancer

                              natasha wrote:

                               

                              It would be so if user is sure that proprietary driver will work on his hardware... In my case it doesn't work, for 2 years (it has never worked at my laptop under any tried Linux).

                              Do you able to use your hardware with AMD's open source driver?

                              As I understand, Intel GPUs are not considered as something high performing, so that OpenGL versions are enough for them.

                              There is Intel Iris.

                              natasha wrote:

                               

                              As for Optimus, at least it is able to start X

                              If you need to launch application on dGPU and doesn't want to see tearing - you just out of options.

                              natasha wrote:

                               

                              unlike fglrx in AMD/Intel systems (except some 'fortunate' configurations, which you in fact cannot predict before buying a laptop).

                              Most of Intel iGPU and Radeon dGPU combinations works as far I aware. But if your laptop, that officially supports Linux, was shipped with not working GPU driver - complain to vendor of this laptop.

                                • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                  natasha

                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                   

                                  Do you able to use your hardware with AMD's open source driver?

                                  It does work with radeon driver but I need fglrx, since the main reason to choose a laptop with this videocard was OpenCL programming. Gallium OpenCL SDK, which in principle might be installed on radeon driver, doesn't support my card yet. Integrated Intel card for graphics is enough for me.

                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                   

                                  There is Intel Iris.

                                   

                                  It would be interesting to see its clinfo, but ok, may be.

                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                   

                                  Most of Intel iGPU and Radeon dGPU combinations works as far I aware.

                                  As I know, yes, there are no problems with open-source driver. But there are a lot of problems with fglrx, starting from non-working cursor after installation of the driver, finishing black screen. I know just one similar laptop which definitely works with fglrx -- Acer Aspire E1-572G (it also has Radeon HD 8750M, but it has Core i7 processor with slightly different integrated card).

                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                   

                                  But if your laptop, that officially supports Linux, was shipped with not working GPU driver - complain to vendor of this laptop.

                                  Could you mention at least one laptop with AMD Radeon HD 8750M or similar card and Intel processor (preferably Core i5), that officially supports Linux (in general, I mean free distributions)? I have found just 2 manufacturers (HP and Lenovo) where Linux is at least present in the list of OSs when you choose drivers; graphics driver is absent there. Other popular manufacturers don't have even this (at least, I couldn't find).

                                   

                                  If AMD developers need access to such a machine, ok, let they run test drivers, programs, etc. at my machine. I would be glad to help them if I can do something for this.

                                    • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                      russianneuromancer

                                      natasha wrote:

                                       

                                       

                                      It does work with radeon driver but I need fglrx, since the main reason to choose a laptop with this videocard was OpenCL programming. Gallium OpenCL SDK, which in principle might be installed on radeon driver, doesn't support my card yet. Integrated Intel card for graphics is enough for me.

                                      If you need fglrx - buy hardware with fglrx   Sure, if fglrx is not working on some iGPU+dGPU this not good, but it's probably not working for a reason that may have nothing to do with driver - maybe some UEFI issue or something like this. It's not like AMD excluded support of your GPU from the driver, right?

                                      natasha wrote:

                                       

                                      Could you mention at least one laptop with AMD Radeon HD 8750M or similar card and Intel processor (preferably Core i5), that officially supports Linux (in general, I mean free distributions)? I have found just 2 manufacturers (HP and Lenovo) where Linux is at least present in the list of OSs when you choose drivers; graphics driver is absent there. Other popular manufacturers don't have even this (at least, I couldn't find).

                                      I checked market.yandex.ru and find like around at least dozen and half of such laptops (searched for laptops with preinstalled Linux and GCN-based GPU) by Dell and HP.

                                        • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                          natasha

                                          russianneuromancer wrote:

                                           

                                          If you need fglrx - buy hardware with fglrx  

                                          Maybe I should also pay AMD developers in order to obtain working driver? And could you show an Intel/AMD notebook with preinstalled fglrx (not a general phrase "I have seen dozen and half of such machines"), where it is explicitly seen a priori?

                                          russianneuromancer wrote:

                                           

                                          ...it's probably not working for a reason that may have nothing to do with driver - maybe some UEFI issue or something like this.

                                          If so, why radeon driver does work with such BIOS? If it would be BIOS-Linux problem, why one driver does work, but another doesn't? Or BIOS is organized so that it rejects just fglrx at Linux?

                                          russianneuromancer wrote:

                                           

                                          It's not like AMD excluded support of your GPU from the driver, right?

                                          In practice it is excluded -- I cannot use it with fglrx driver.

                                          russianneuromancer wrote:

                                           

                                          I checked market.yandex.ru and find like around at least dozen and half of such laptops (searched for laptops with preinstalled Linux and GCN-based GPU) by Dell and HP.

                                          From here, for example, preinstalled Linux doesn't mean anything. And from here, Dec 8, 2014, it is seen that fglrx doesn't always work on Dell laptops.

                                          However, actually, there are much less unresolved complaints against HP and Dell laptops for this subject. So maybe, at least partial solution for AMD would be to list explicitly supported (or not supported) laptops in release notes to fglrx, if AMD developers cannot produce driver, working in general case with their hardware...

                                            • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                              russianneuromancer

                                              natasha wrote:

                                               

                                              Maybe I should also pay AMD developers in order to obtain working driver?

                                              That would not help if issue is on UEFI side.

                                              natasha wrote:

                                               

                                              And could you show an Intel/AMD notebook with preinstalled fglrx (not a general phrase "I have seen dozen and half of such machines"), where it is explicitly seen a priori?

                                              If product description is incomplete you could ask laptop vendor sales department for clarification. btw, such issues in UEFI happen exactly because there is not enough demands from customers.

                                              natasha wrote:

                                               

                                              If so, why radeon driver does work with such BIOS? If it would be BIOS-Linux problem, why one driver does work, but another doesn't? Or BIOS is organized so that it rejects just fglrx at Linux?

                                              I have no idea, that was just a guess. There is many things that not working with fglrx and just works with radeon (like sleep/resume on some boards with faulty UEFI) your case could be just one of such things.

                                              natasha wrote:

                                               

                                              In practice it is excluded -- I cannot use it with fglrx driver.

                                              Error message says that this GPU model is unsupported? Or there maybe some other, different issue?

                                              natasha wrote:

                                               

                                              From here, for example, preinstalled Linux doesn't mean anything.

                                              Yeah, with preinstalled OS and driver his complains are valid, and if he contact laptop vendor support and AMD technical support he should get proper solutions. Not sure if he done that, but looks like not. Also it's very likely he just doesn't need proprietary driver like you do.

                                              natasha wrote:

                                               

                                              So maybe, at least partial solution for AMD would be to list explicitly supported (or not supported) laptops in release notes to fglrx, if AMD developers cannot produce driver, working in general case with their hardware...

                                              Agree, this is good idea. You can send this advice to AMD: http://support.amd.com/en-us/contact/email-form

                                                • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                  natasha

                                                  UEFI mode is disabled in my case, so this shouldn't be its blame...

                                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                                   

                                                  If product description is incomplete you could ask laptop vendor sales department for clarification.

                                                  One more general phrase...

                                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                                   

                                                  There is many things that not working with fglrx and just works with radeon...

                                                  Yes, and not just in UEFI mode. And this is also included into the question in the title of this discussion.

                                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                                   

                                                  Error message says that this GPU model is unsupported? Or there maybe some other, different issue?

                                                  Can you call this a good support?! When you obtain just black screen with this driver for 2 years. Or I should be glad to obtain formal installation of non-working (on my card) driver and enjoy, contemplating the line with my card in the list of supported devices? Or when support team (from address, which is mentioned by you) gives you one or two standard advices, you answer that they don't help, and this team simply stops speak with you. Excellent support!

                                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                                  ...if he contact laptop vendor support and AMD technical support he should get proper solutions.

                                                  Having experience in speaking with AMD support, I don't believe in this... As for vendor support, seems the most probable (and, in principle, logical) answer would be to sent him to the AMD team, since fglrx is neither installed initially by them, nor is available for download from their site.

                                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                                   

                                                  Also it's very likely he just doesn't need proprietary driver like you do.

                                                  In any case, this doesn't add respect to fglrx.

                                                  russianneuromancer wrote:

                                                   

                                                  Agree, this is good idea. You can send this advice to AMD: http://support.amd.com/en-us/contact/email-form

                                                  I don't promise, but maybe I will do this a little bit later...

                                                    • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                      dryden22

                                                      I just think it is rather obvious that it is just rather ridiculous that these graphics cards are not supported in Linux.

                                                       

                                                      I don't think you have to go out of your way to make that point.

                                                       

                                                      AMD has the man-power to provide this driver and even have a somewhat better experience than this.

                                                       

                                                      If they leave it to the ATI team and just say "do as you please" it will or would probably come around.

                                                       

                                                      AMD != ATI.

                                                      • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                        russianneuromancer

                                                        natasha wrote:

                                                         

                                                        UEFI mode is disabled in my case, so this shouldn't be its blame...

                                                        Point is - I talking about motherboard  firmware, that was tested without Linux support in mind, therefore there is probably some motherboard firmware issues fglrx trying to deal with on boot but fail, resulting in your impression of driver issue. (And you probably mean "Legacy mode enabled" instead "UEFI mode is disabled".)

                                                        natasha wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Can you call this a good support?! When you obtain just black screen with this driver for 2 years.

                                                        I do agree that Linux support is bad in Lenovo IdeaPad products (I own one of IdeaPads; also there is vendors with worse support).

                                                        natasha wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Or when support team (from address, which is mentioned by you) gives you one or two standard advices, you answer that they don't help, and this team simply stops speak with you. Excellent support!

                                                        Oh, that happen with me multiple times with multiple vendors. Just open new ticket with name like "Follow up of [ticket number]" and past you unanswered question.

                                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                          • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                            natasha

                                                            Yes, I meant "Legacy mode".

                                                             

                                                            russianneuromancer wrote:

                                                            Point is - I talking about motherboard  firmware, that was tested without Linux support in mind, therefore there is probably some motherboard firmware issues fglrx trying to deal with on boot but fail, resulting in your impression of driver issue.

                                                            Thank you for this thought. I will try to dig this...

                                                             

                                                            Happy holidays!

                                                            Regards,

                                                            Natalia

                                              • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                dryden22

                                                Personally these days I stay away from AMD graphics, though it may be swearing in the church.

                                                 

                                                I have always been an AMD fan but the consolidation of ATI in the way it has been performed, is or was not really my cup of tea.

                                                 

                                                nVidia has been around for a long time, it is so long ago that I don't remember what my first card was, or my second. It was around the time of the 3dfx Voodoo cards. I remember buying an AGP card when I still didn't have AGP yet on my motherboard, mistake! Only time we've driven to a certain city by car, so in some sense it is a good memory.

                                                 

                                                That was a Riva TNT. After that I got a Riva 128. Which did work and was a bit cheaper. I did a few years ago purchase an ATI card, or AMD(?) which was a HD 5570 card or something like that. But it was passively cooled and became too hot, but moreover, it gave switching issues with my HDMI audio, because the card would do a digital mode switch (send some PCM mode signal) each time a sound was played, and then revert it afterwards. My receiver needed time to respond to that, which meant the sounds would not be audible unless I kept some music playing.

                                                 

                                                Now I still buy AMD CPUs but I also don't like the APU thing. So I have recently purchased a FX 6300 which I like a lot. But its GPU is going to be either the onboard 760G, or rather now, probably, I think, some GTX 950. I did buy some Intel mobo for a desktop server, I mean a little development server of mine. I didn't even know what i3s, i5s and i7s were, but I just bought an i3 with a load of memory, on intuition.

                                                 

                                                But my track record, so to speak, no matter how little, is one AMD K6, one Duron 800, one Sempron 2600+, one Athlon X2 5050e, and now the FX 6300, for my personal systems.

                                                 

                                                I think having the graphics chipset on the motherboard is just a much better deal.... it's just something you don't need to upgrade, and having GPU tied to CPU is just a waste imo.

                                                 

                                                Same goes, in principle, for a memory controller, but what goes.

                                                  • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                    dryden22

                                                    I wrote that I never buy ATI graphics anymore... but now I just did. For various reasons, one of which was that it was the only choice left that I would feel happy about. The other is that it is a same card as a competing nVidia product (960 vs 380) except with 2x DVI instead of 3x DisplayPort, which I like (whoever really needs 3 monitors at displayport resolutions???).

                                                     

                                                    Another was that nVidia is advertising with a certain bonus bundle (a small gift in the form of a Heroes of the Storm bundle) but then doesn't readily specify immediately, or makes you believe, that the bundle is available with every purchase, but only a very select group of retailers participate in the action. So you go and buy your card, and then you find out that they are not going to deliver.

                                                     

                                                    And that is just nasty.

                                                     

                                                    So instead of a GTX 960 I just got a R9 380, it required (for me at least) a more expensive PSU (because of the higher TDP) but the PSU also had a benefit of sleeved cables (somewhat) and advanced fan control (Corsair RM650i) so in the end I bought:

                                                     

                                                    - MSI Radeon R9 380 2GD5T OC

                                                    - Corsair RM650i.

                                                     

                                                    I am happy to find that the MSI card has full fan control via Afterburner. I can turn the fan off, and have it spin at even 600 RPM. I might put them all to 600 RPM at idle.

                                                     

                                                    I also wanted the PSU to spin at 600 RPM at idle. So most of my fans in my system will be spinning at around 600 RPM. Which I like.

                                                     

                                                    The system makes a lot of noise but I think most of the noise at present comes from the 4x 2.5" Notebook HDD (Samsung SpinPoint M8 @ 5400 RPM). I never expected that, but still, it is the truth right now.

                                                     

                                                    The MSI cards (Armor 2x) are SO unpopular that you scarcely can find any review on the matter. So I will go and post some data on SilentPCReview.

                                                     

                                                    Regards.

                                            • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                              adutzu89

                                              : Try installing the driver from Amd website, I had other issues with the driver from "Aditional Drivers" of Ubuntu 14.04 and after installing the lastest from the website it worked and the drivers didn't got corrupted after kernel updates from Ubuntu updater. The most annyoing thing is that I have a laptop with 2 gpus, integrated/discrete and there is only driver for the integrated one and I'm stuck with that until they provide one.

                                               

                                              • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                dryden22

                                                That's why most vendors focus on Ubuntu or derivates. It's a little bit easier if you only have like one or two distros to support. Mint is also Ubuntu. But for real support you also need tools, so then the question is: KDE? Gnome? Unity? The Mint thing? I would say that requires even more development. And you can't offload it to the distros or the desktop-environment makers, because they don't really take responsibility for their product. Open sourcing it for further development by "the community" would be disastrous really. They basically ruin everything they get their hands on. Those filthy hands. Those "it has to be free, and now I want it" hands. Then they'd take the credit for the driver while you need to keep developing it. Thieves really. It won't work. You could open source it for inspection but not for development. But there is no organisation you can perform a joint operation with, unless it operates as an organisation. But the KDE and Gnome people etc. don't qualify. So there will be no GUI in the short run I believe.

                                                 

                                                Meanwhile Kubuntu has its Driver Manager or something like that.

                                                 

                                                There are commercially available drivers for the n word, that you can install, that I know. It doesn't have to be any different for the A word or the A word. Still, no explanation.

                                                • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                  mikejones84

                                                  I want them to update the crimson driver for xorg server 1.18. What's taking them so long? The nvidia driver was promptly updated when xorg server 1.18 was released. So what's the hold up, AMD?

                                                    • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                      the_mard

                                                      Heyyo,

                                                       

                                                      Tbh for this thread? I think the issue is the size of the driver development teams. It has long been speculated that NVIDIA have a much later driver development team and there's no doubt that the Linux and OSX driver teams for NVIDIA are much larger than AMD's team which leads to the bing performance swings in certain titles compared to others...

                                                       

                                                      BUT, just as it is apparent in Windows with the CPU overhead performance issues are in DirectX in general compared to the competition? Same can definitely be said for Linux and OSX. WIth that said? Odds are Vulkan will fix this issue in Linux/OSX for games that will take advantage of Vulkan... that is, whenever Vulkan comes out and games start using it in favor of OpenGL (and let's face it, OpenGL definitely needs to go away).

                                                       

                                                      So yes, the performance in Linux is definitely sub-par compared to the competition or even just swapping to Windows... but I honestly feel this will end up becoming a time-limited issue as OpenGL gets phased out. Just have patience... 2016 is definitely going to be a good year for PC Gaming on the hardware side of things for GPUs, but the software side will take a while to catch up. I figure at this rate? Vulkan games on Linux might not be the norm until 2017 since it's unclear how many game developers have full access to the unreleased SDK since Vulkan is still undergoing certification and not publically released... the currently dubbed v1.0 by Khronos Group.

                                                    • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                      das_linux

                                                      For me, as a Linux user there is more than just raw performance.

                                                      AMD has started to support the open source community and wants to create a stronger shared development with the community. In the long run this will give us much more stable drivers. You need patience there.

                                                       

                                                      Second, the AMD control center allows to easily create per app profiles.

                                                      You could create a special profile for one specific game and adjust 3D settings with performance in mind.

                                                      I guess one has to spend some time with testing to find performance settings you like.

                                                       

                                                      Thus, my impression is, AMD GPUs might have a great future on Linux.

                                                      It just may take a year or two until we see first results.

                                                      If AMD takes its open source commitment serious, AMD may well become the No1 choice for Linux users and gamers.

                                                       

                                                      Third, if you think the Crimson/Catalyst drivers don´t meet your demands you might try the open source radeon driver that

                                                      is already available on Linux, you just need a recent kernel. This driver is said to be already very stable, yet it might not

                                                      support the lates bleeding edge AMD GPU.

                                                       

                                                      I´m not a big gamer (mostly office and multimedia) and I just abandoned Nvidia in favour to an AMD R7 360 and I´m pretty sure

                                                      I will never regret this decission.

                                                      • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                        pushpsmarty

                                                        I am big fan of linux, and I only install windows just because of Counter Strike 1.6 (Stem Game). However i use Linux in office whole day and in home to i study things running linux virtual box.

                                                        Then only reason i had to run the linux in virtual box is graphics driver. I bought AMD laptop because i have heard the AMD is beast in gaming graphics.. but that's true only if you have windows PC. The day is not far when some organization gonna make there graphics hardware dedicated for Linux gaming just like windows. As linux is not coming in handy to normal users.

                                                         

                                                        Its a big shame that 1000 times since college i have tried to configure my graphics, something i failed sometime i did and it failed after updates, anyway for now i have tried Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora, CentOS but nothings worked for me. All are just crashing, shutting down, blinking like horror. So just because i bought AMD hardware i am stuck with Windows.

                                                         

                                                        Shame AMD !!!, if you can't do it just release the specs of your hardware open source will do it. Or just remove Linux option from your website as its total waste of time for people.

                                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                          • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                            russianneuromancer

                                                            What laptop and GPU model you are talking about? When you tried Linux on hardware last time and with which distribution?

                                                              • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                the_mard

                                                                Heyyo,

                                                                I agree with russianeuromancer. It could have just been a time when AMD's Catalyst drivers on Linux were in very bad shape. Crimson drivers were a step in the right direction for Linux but still lacks OpenGL performance in all OpenGL Linux titles hence Steam Machines running SteamOS have largely stuck with Nvidia GPUs.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Nowadays? Installing AMDGPU drivers is quite easy and it is AMD's open source DRM kernel based driver... especially Ubuntu's upcoming versions which will use mesa or AMDGPU and no longer offer fglrx which tbh makes sense. In a year or so I bet AMDGPU will be on par with fglrx and then fglrx will just get phased out... I just feel like Ubuntu is pushing the trend a little too fast is all given that amdgpu doesn't support all versions of OpenGL just yet...

                                                                1 of 2 people found this helpful
                                                            • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                              ramchyld

                                                              Not sure if this makes any sense, but AMD just forced me to dump Linux on one of my rigs. Said rig has an AMD A10-5800K APU with RadeonHD 7660D crossfired with a PCIe RadeonHD 6670G card.

                                                               

                                                              I run Ubuntu on said rig, using FGLRX because it supported Dual Graphics/CrossFireX. With 16.04 LTS, the Dual Graphics setup stopped working because the open source Radeon driver can't do CrossFire. And because it's a Trinity chip coupled with Northern Islands graphics, AMDGPU isn't going to support it.

                                                               

                                                              I think this is really poor showing on AMD's case. The open-source Radeon and AMDGPU drivers are nowhere ready for prime-time, the former lacking a lot of crucial features like OpenCL and CrossFireX, and the latter only supporting Southern Islands cards and APUs.

                                                               

                                                              I'm a long time AMD supporter. I have a lot of older builds that pair a Phenon II CPU with NVidia GPUs. And those work fine, even SLI works. I strongly believe that AMD should've kept FGLRX alive a little longer, at least until OpenCL and CFX is implemented on the Radeon drivers.

                                                                • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                  the_mard

                                                                  Heyyo, eh so tbh CFX and SLI in Linux are poop... it's mainly due to OpenGL and how the framebuffer acts. You see, CFX and SLI like OpenGL when the framebuffer flips instead of swaps... ID Tech 4 Engine was the only game engine that I've seen in Linux that supports FB flipping thus SLI and CFX. Sadly that's where SLI for Linux both began and ended because of that.

                                                                   

                                                                  Hopefully, once Vulkan comes out with LDA support we shall see the rise of multi-GPU support in Linux. Until then? Windows is the only way to go for multi-GPU gaming.

                                                                • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                  lehjr

                                                                  Ok, so coming back to this after some time to see how things have changed, now we have amdgpu and amdgpu-pro, but no real change where it counts.

                                                                  "The AMDGPU-PRO focus is on enterprise/LTS distros and workstation/CAD markets"

                                                                  It Looks Like AMDGPU DC (DAL) Will Not Be Accepted In The Linux Kernel - Phoronix Forums

                                                                  which to summarize, means the only way to stay with AMD and be happy about it is to lower your expectations. "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that." So it looks like after being a loyal AMD user since the k-5 days, I am being forced to jump ship. 

                                                                  • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                    v.konti

                                                                    Quite sometime later and things haven't changed, honestly.

                                                                     

                                                                    Yes, there are the AMDGPU-PRO drivers, but I wouldn't grade them as PRO. I installed them on a CentOS system with an RX480 8GB & compared its OpenGL versus a slightly older system that had an nVidia 580GTX 1.5GB. The results in FPS were almost the same, which tells us a few things. If you think about it, both Linux & OSX are heavily reliant on OpenGL - and Apple has moved away (at least almost its entire user base) from AMD. I have yet to see a MacPro build offering an AMD as an option any more (in the long past, there were many).

                                                                     

                                                                    As for the people who claim that it's because of the frequent changes on the Linux Kernel, I will have to disagree. I run a "bleeding edge" system, specifically the Arch. I have a Black Magic Design Monitor card, which works perfectly on it with its native drivers, slightly adjusted through the AUR. Also, I run the AMDGPU-PRO OpenCL branch of the AMD drivers, which works and performs normally on all applications that require it. Today I had yet another Kernel update & guess what, both my Decklink and my OpenCL still work, without any required updates. That's what DKMS is for. A kernel utilizes modules and after each upgrade, the DKMS readjusts the module to be usable by the newer version.

                                                                     

                                                                    That is exactly what nVidia does. I have Arch on a laptop that has an nVidia graphics chip & runs on Arch as well. Normal, proprietary drivers function without a single issue - and no additional upgrades are required by the company's software team. Oh, that one had a kernel update too. No issues.

                                                                     

                                                                    So, the issue here is pure negligence on AMD's part. They obviously don't care about the Linux user base, not even the ones they claim to support - or at least their drivers' performance wouldn't be so sluggish. On that note, I tested Tomb Raider with AMDGPU-PRO and got 14fps average, while the open source ones gave me 87 FPS. That was tested on the 16.04 Ubuntu mind you.

                                                                     

                                                                    Therefore the image is quite clear. I do regret getting the RX480 because truth be told, I did have it on a Windows 10 system initially & every 2-3 reboots, the drivers lost connectivity to DirectX and I had to re-install (games reported "no DirectX capable video card found").

                                                                     

                                                                    When I edit videos faster with a 580GTX than I do with an RX480 (which comes closer to the performance I have from the laptop's 425M nVidia card), I think I know what my next upgrade will be.

                                                                     

                                                                    All in all, my card is good. It's the drivers that are just unacceptable.

                                                                      • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                        russianneuromancer

                                                                        I wonder what stack you did installed on your setup? In case you missed this, installation instruction clearly states that completely open stack is recommended in all cases besides Pro cards, which include Mesa as OpenGL implementation. In my opinion, it's not because Pro cards are special, just because someone who bought Pro cards most likely will run something like Ansys or Houdini, which was tested and certified to run only with closed stack. As for Tomb Raider - look into system requirements for name of compatible video driver. For Radeon GPU - it's Mesa. Game wasn't even tested with closed stack, because there is no point to do so - home user will run game on default OS driver which is Mesa. User who read installation manual before running amdgpu-pro installer will also end up with Mesa. And who you think developed drivers for Radeon GPUs, that give you 87 fps in Tomb Raider, if you think AMD don't care about Linux userbase?

                                                                          • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                            v.konti

                                                                            Please, don’t get ahead of yourself here. “Installation instructions”? That’s the very first thing I do on everything I ever lay my eyes on. I’ve been with computers for nearly 35 years now, it’s not something new to me. For a good amount I’ve been doing visual effects, 3D, real-time, virtual reality etc. Including tackling the Unreal Engine lately. My stack was 17.30. Then I gave up on it all-together.


                                                                            Yes, I have laid my hands on high end CG production systems (plus I built a few studio infrastructures through the years) & that’s what I am primarily interested in. Gaming is secondary, but also a good test for card profiling. Needless to say what OS high-end VFX facilities use internally. Hint, it’s not Windows.


                                                                            What is going on with Mesa is that they lack all the advanced OpenGL profiles a good number of applications require. This causes either segmentation faults or corrupt 3D displays. Try running Houdini under the open source drivers for AMD and see for yourself.


                                                                            Question:

                                                                            How come and nVidia has its proprietary support drivers for Kernels up to 4.16, while AMD – at the same time mind you – supports only up to 4.9? Especially when one of their supported distro (Ubuntu) has moved on to its new LTS, featuring the 4.15 Kernel? If that’s not staying behind, I don’t know what is. Even the newest version, AMDGPU Pro 18.10 has no description up to which kernel it supports.

                                                                             

                                                                            As comparison, have you tried running Unigine benchmarks under AMDGPU Pro and under Mesa AMDGPU? I will spare you the results.


                                                                            On the high-end part, I remember AMD doing a promo with Black Magic Design on their support for their Davinci Resolve. Guess where things stand today. Also, guess why most of high-end applications utilize CUDA rendering instead of OpenCL, especially when both APIs can pretty much do the same things (Fusion & Resolve has been a good proof of that).

                                                                             

                                                                            Perhaps the operative words are “developer support”?

                                                                             

                                                                            The fact that one company cannot correctly implement drivers for its own products is answer enough.

                                                                              • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                                russianneuromancer

                                                                                v.konti написал(а):

                                                                                 

                                                                                My stack was 17.30. Then I gave up on it all-together.

                                                                                This release is no longer relevant. Check out latest instruction: Radeon Software for Linux Installation (--pro installer option call closed source OpenGL stack as legacy).

                                                                                v.konti написал(а):

                                                                                 

                                                                                What is going on with Mesa is that they lack all the advanced OpenGL profiles a good number of applications require.

                                                                                Sorry, but you call OpenGL Compatibility Profiles, that doesn't have proper specification anywhere, "advanced"?

                                                                                v.konti написал(а):

                                                                                 

                                                                                This causes either segmentation faults or corrupt 3D displays. Try running Houdini under the open source drivers for AMD and see for yourself.

                                                                                If application violate OpenGL Core Profile specification - rendering will be corrupted with Mesa, because Mesa follow OpenGL Core Profile specification much more strictly than other drivers (you can verify this with piglit). Legacy stack and nvidia doesn't have same issue because developers of this drivers adjust driver to app or per-applications basis, even if application is at fault of some particular rendering issue or crash. Nvidia started doing so first, and then AMD have no choice but follow. The fact that it's accepted industry practice doesn't make it any less wrong. But, hey, at least developers of such applications start supporting one driver besides nvidia.

                                                                                v.konti написал(а):

                                                                                 

                                                                                How come and nVidia has its proprietary support drivers for Kernels up to 4.16, while AMD – at the same time mind you – supports only up to 4.9?

                                                                                ...

                                                                                Even the newest version, AMDGPU Pro 18.10 has no description up to which kernel it supports.

                                                                                Unlike nvidia, AMD doesn't need to support particular kernel releases, because Pro driver and Mesa "talk" with same kernel module, which is part of upstream kernel. There is just no need for supporting particular kernel releases, because kernel side of the driver is part of the kernel. You can use pro stack with Linux 4.17 right now (even if dkms build failed, because Linux 4.17 include amdgpu kernel module with dc patchset) or try it with code that is ready for 4.18: ~agd5f/linux 

                                                                                In terms of kernel compatibility, nvidia is even not in the same league.

                                                                                v.konti написал(а):

                                                                                 

                                                                                Perhaps the operative words are “developer support”?

                                                                                If you ask about nvidia here, operative words are "vendor lock-in". Lock-in API (CUDA) aside, I don't expect you to understand why out-of-spec standard implementation (NvidiaGL) is bad, but I will try anyway, so check this out: Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe - Slashdot:

                                                                                You are behind the times, and should really be firing your complaints at Nvidia. For the last couple of years I've used ATI cards for GL development exclusively. Unlike Nvidia cards they actually implement the GL spec to the letter. With Nvidia cards you can pretty much call any old combination of GL functions, and something will appear on screen. They never fail! This is a problem because you never find out errors in your GL code until after you've shipped the product. With ATI, if you pass an invalid arg, or call a method at the wrong time, they will generate the correct error. This sadly leads to a situation where a developer uses an NVidia card for development, ships, and then it won't run on ATI or Intel cards. The upshot is that people incorrectly assume that ATI drivers suck. They don't. Nvidia drivers are the ones that suck!

                                                                                  • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                                    pokester

                                                                                    To add to what you have said, AMD is really the only one in the race that has supported Open Source completely. If Open CL & Vulkan were adopted across the board by all OS's the issues we have today would quickly vanish. Those in charge however MS, Apple & Nvidia for whatever reason seem to want to stick to the proprietary path that divides not unifies graphics. Heck Apple just announce they are dropping support for Open GL all together, they have not implemented Vulkan and will only support Mantle their proprietary API. Even MS who manages to keep the world beating to the DX drum doesn't block Vulkan and Open GL from it's OS. It is like the industry is heading in the wrong direction, at least as far as consumers are concerned. Developers really hold the key to changing all this, but so many are lazy and don't want to change what they have been doing, even though long term it makes their job easier and MORE PROFITABLE. Why would you not want to program to API's that are universal and are just as capable as the proprietary API's?

                                                                                    • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                                      v.konti

                                                                                      As an end user, I look at what works and what doesn't. I currently run 3 Linux distros on my main system: Arch, Debian 9 and CentOS 7.5. I have no requirements for AMDGPU-Pro on Arch, as I use it for the new software features and I'm OK with using MESA in there. Aside from that distro, the other two are considered to be on the stable side, with Kernels that do not change every week or two. For the Debian side, I did a manual installation of the DEB files (17.50) and left it there. It works. I can't say the same for CentOS (or RHEL for that matter), where the majority of all professional applications aim at (especially the visual field).

                                                                                       

                                                                                      For example, CentOS 7.5 & Ubuntu 18.04 were released last April (we're now 3rd week in June), but there is still no definitive driver support. On the Ubuntu, due to its Kernel, there may not be the need for DKMS, but CentOS requires it (and is currently left "hanging" by AMD). As a result, I get desktop environment freezes that lock down my keyboard as well, while sound still continues to play in the background. That happens when I activate two 3D views and a browser or when I use OpenCL render.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Please, to explain how the politics apply to me - as an end user - when I own an AMD product I can't use.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      To that end, I will offer a simple example on Blender vs a system that runs on nVidia and vs CPU:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Simple camera animation on a still environment with limited global illumination (using Cycles).

                                                                                      1. CPU renders @ 3min 20sec - no errors in camera movement - no errors in its OpenCL implementation

                                                                                      2. nVidia GPU renders (580GTX) @ 2min 30sec - no errors in camera movement - no error in CUDA implementation

                                                                                      3. AMD GPU Pro rendes (RX 480) @ 1min 20sec - jitters in camera movement (random frames - at times camera doesn't move) - OpenCL crashes after one frame (reports unable to initialize the device), while many times it crashes on first frame render attempt

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Tests were done in:

                                                                                      CentOS 7.5 (CentOS 6.9 - which I tried, has extremely deprecated libraries)

                                                                                      Debian Stretch 9

                                                                                      Blender 2.79b and 2.80

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Now, as an end user that wants to produce digital content, what reason do I have to invest in more AMD products?

                                                                                        • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                                          pokester

                                                                                          These are Peer to Peer forums. You are not talking to AMD here, just other users like you. There are a couple AMD mods here but are not from the driver teams and no guarantee they see or forward what you say. You need to submit a support ticket to talk to AMD. I get what you ask for, but nobody here can help you get it. I hope AMD listens when you ask them. I suggest you run this up the linux side of things. Somebody at the top there probably knows how to directly talk with someone at AMD and can get quicker results. Good Luck. That support email link is here:  Email Form

                                                                                    • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                                      ramchyld

                                                                                      Thing is, the open stack doesn't seem to support Blender. I used the open drivers, and Blender couldn't detect any of the four GPUs I installed in the machine. I did some digging and apparently you need the Pro drivers to enable OpenCL rendering? I built the Threadripper workstation with four GPUs specifically for 3D and video rendering. Not only does it's RAID driver not work properly under Linux (NVMe RAID not supported, does not present SATA RAID array as DMRAID compatible array but as a single disk thus messing with my existing knowledge of how RAID works in Linux, etc), but the open drivers can't even do OpenCL rendering, reading up says that I need the "Pro" drivers, but installing that just bricks the display.

                                                                                  • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                                    ramchyld

                                                                                    Re: Vulkan: Well, I thought the mesa ones were CPU-driven and the pro drivers provided GPU-driven Vulkan drivers instead for some reason. Mesa ones do GPU acceleration?

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Re: RAID: Well, if I want the boot partition on the NVMe sticks, then UEFI has to be able to see the array.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    The way the UEFI-defined RAID works is that it takes up the three NVMe sticks and spans it's partition table across them. This means I can drop the boot partition on the array, the UEFI firmware automatically splits the data across three disks, and when booting it could see the UEFI boot partition, load grub, grab the initrd (off the array, natch) and boot lightning fast. If I were to use btrfs RAID or MDRAID, then the UEFI boot partition would have to reside on a separate disk that's not part of the array so the machine can find the boot partition- UEFI can only boot off a EFI payload (in our case, UEFI GRUB) on a specially marked FAT32 partition thanks to Microsoft's meddling (and let's not bring secure boot into the picture). If the payload resides on a btrfs partition or MDRAID-defined array, UEFI cannot load UEFI GRUB off the array and this foils the machine boot.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    PS: I need to use RAID-0 for the NVMe disks. Yeah, I know, it's dangerous, but then that's only for the OS and programs- the home directory is stored on a set of six 7200RPM 1TB hard drives in a RAID-10 array and thus is safe.

                                                                                      • Re: Why are AMD's Linux Drivers so bad?
                                                                                        russianneuromancer

                                                                                        ramchyld написал(а):

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Mesa ones do GPU acceleration?

                                                                                        Yes.

                                                                                        ramchyld написал(а):

                                                                                         

                                                                                        If the payload resides on a btrfs partition or MDRAID-defined array, UEFI cannot load UEFI GRUB off the array and this foils the machine boot.

                                                                                        Right, it shouldn't be on btrfs or mdadm in first place, and indeed have to be placed separately. But the beauty of btrfs and mdadm RAID implementations that you could have any RAID combination after that. For example RAID1 for /boot, RAID5 for /home (or /var/lib/libvirt, whatever) and RAID0 for /. btrfs have incremental snapshots on top of that, and option to send snapshot diffs to another device or btrfs array (to RAID5 for example) via btrfs send/receive (that could be useful in case NVME drive death).

                                                                                         

                                                                                        In comparison, chipset RAID implementation is not even in the same league. Sure, setting up btrfs or mdadm RAID arrays with UEFI require certain level of process understanding and knowledge about possible gotchas, but this certainly doable and give enough benefits to learn this stuff in first place. You could experiment in VM to get idea how to set up all of this, and then apply it to system you are running right now. You can even just copy it with "cp -vax" to external drive, setup RAID arrays NVME via btrfs or mdadm, copy it back on this arrays, adjust fstab to new reality, notify GRUB about changes (update-grub and grub-install via chroot), run "update-initramfs -u" as last step, and your system will run without reinstall (just don't forget to install btrfs-tools or mdadm packages).