ATI once again disappoints the Linux community with the lack of support for Xorg 7.5 on its latest Catalyst 10.3 driver. That is, unless you’re on the pre-release versions of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx.
Read on for more information.
When Fedora 12 was released on November 17, 2009, owners of ATI cards found themselves in the lurch: the existing catalyst driver back then, Catalyst 9.11, was not written to support X.org Server 1.7, a key component of the X Window system (which is currently on version 7.5) in which most Linux desktop environments like Gnome and KDE are layered upon.
While the open-source “radeon” and “radeonhd” drivers are able to provide basic 2D and 3D support for most ATI cards, the lack of support for X.org Server 1.7 meant that users requiring more advanced features from the Catalyt driver like power control options and CrossfireX were not able to upgrade their operating systems lest they break the graphical user interface.
Unfortunately, the recently-released Catalyst 10.3 drivers for Linux are still not compatible with Xorg 7.5, meaning that users of Fedora 12 and any other Linux distribution that are on Xorg 7.5 are still without the official Catalyst drivers even after 5 months of waiting.
Furthermore, most distributions which are currently on Xorg 7.4 are soon due for a new release, which means that the possibility of these distros moving to Xorg 7.5 for the upcoming version of their operating system is rather high.
However, Ubuntu users seem to be left out of the confusion, and for good reason: Phoronix reports that ATI has slipped an unreleased Catalyst driver to Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, and it appears that this particular driver is actually a prerelease version of Catalyst 10.4, which, surprisingly enough, supports Xorg 7.5.
As for those who are not on Ubuntu but are utilizing X Server 1.7.x for their distro, it seems there’s not much choice but to hope that support for Xorg 7.5 will be added into Catalyst 10.4.
Alternatively, extracting the unreleased drivers off the Ubuntu repositories and manually building them for use in your respective linux distro might also work.