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Why AMD GPU users may want to avoid Ubuntu 16.04 & Derivatives


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#1 cat1092

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 04:07 AM

 

 

If you use the AMD Catalyst (fglrx) driver on Ubuntu you may wish to avoid upgrading to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS next month.

 

Here's the problem, if one installs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (or family derivatives available) & has an AMD GPU, guess what? 

 

When one checks for Hardware drivers, there's no options for AMD graphics, including the Catalyst suite & new Crimson drivers. None whatsoever, so the user is stuck for good with what's fed, until either Canonical fixes the issue or someone comes out with a PPA for AMD GPU's for Ubuntu 16.04. I've experienced the issue myself with Ubuntu MATE 16.04 & when checking for additional drivers, all that was offered were the AMD CPU microcode drivers, there's an Intel version of this also, these has been available for some time. 

 

So it's going to have to be a nVidia GPU for Ubuntu 16.04 to have any say in the matter, leaving me with little option except to remove what likely is a decent OS in Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS & hope that Mint 18 makes adjustments at time of release (they've not gone along with Ubuntu in the past). 

 

Read on for more, to potentially avoid wasting time if running an AMD card. Kind of sad, because as of this moment, AMD has the most powerful consumer version card on the market, with either 16 or 32GB of GDDR5 VRAM. nVidia will probable match their offering, yet who knows when? 

 

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/03/ubuntu-drops-amd-catalyst-fglrx-driver-16-04

 

At the current time, while Ubuntu MATE 16.04 itself is a good OS, I cannot stand the screen tearing while scrolling down a Web page, which is what's taking place. Ubuntu can do better than this, what a disgrace on their end for releasing an OS w/out proper drivers for an entire brand of GPU's, many of whom dropped $300+ to purchase. 

 

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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 08:36 AM

Just download them directly from AMD.

 

http://support.amd.com/en-us/download


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#3 Al1000

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 10:26 AM

Does it work ok?

The article says:

... you cannot download and install the fglrx/catalyst driver using binary packages from the AMD website as, even if you could get them to install, the driver does not support Xorg 1.18¹ that ships in Xenial.

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/03/ubuntu-drops-amd-catalyst-fglrx-driver-16-04



#4 DeimosChaos

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 10:49 AM

Ahh. I hadn't read the article. Just figured Ubuntu wasn't shipping 16.04 with AMD drivers for whatever reason. So if AMD is not supporting Xorg 1.18 then it won't work. Though I'm sure they will update that fairly quickly.


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#5 cat1092

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 03:38 AM

That's the issue at hand, and hopefully this will get fixed soon, regardless of whom is at fault. Canonical is certainly not doing themselves favors by these type of arrogant statements. 

 

 

 

To top it all off Canonical say: “AMD won’t support fglrx on 16.04, period”, and Canonical has no desire to take over the duties (which it would have to support for the next five years kids, as this is an LTS).

 

Though on the download site for Ubuntu, including derivatives, this could had been announced, saving users from a lot of effort in setting up what amounts to an unusable OS. Especially those w/out any other brand of onboard graphics until things are fixed, not good on their end to assume that everyone has another option. 

 

Many AMD users who are running the popular 'FX' series of CPU's, are stuck with motherboard choices w/out any onboard graphics (audio only), while many used to, not all includes nVidia anymore. Maybe because it was no good anyway (or to begin with), combined with AMD's decision to go with APU's, some OEM's dropped the feature for these MB's, and nVidia was the only choice for AMD CPU's, had been for a long time. 

 

Seems as though Canonical has prepared for a future that has yet to arrive, in the Zen line of CPU/APU's, which will be included in new GPU builds. While it's good to plan for the future & I support that end, there's also the present to deal with, and consumers aren't going to throw away perfectly good hardware over this. Ubuntu will have to support the current lineup (still being sold) for at least the next 2-3 LTS releases, not counting this one. I'm sure that they can make adjustments to support various hardware. If Windows can support 10+ year old hardware, then surely the latest Linux based OS's can support hardware built in the last 5 years. 

 

I feel that 16.04 LTS was a rushed release. In this respect, Linux distro maintainers are no different than any other brand whom has done the same (think Windows 8/Vista & probably 10 also). Yet I also feel that this doesn't happen as often with Linux distros, just saying that it's not impossible to take place. Developers are pushed to the max to release an OS on time, corners are cut at times to make it happen & patched later. 

 

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#6 NickAu

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 06:58 PM

 

Though on the download site for Ubuntu, including derivatives, this could had been announced, saving users from a lot of effort in setting up what amounts to an unusable OS. Especially those w/out any other brand of onboard graphics until things are fixed

This is why you test it in live mode first.


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#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 11:17 PM

That's the issue at hand, and hopefully this will get fixed soon, regardless of whom is at fault. Canonical is certainly not doing themselves favors by these type of arrogant statements. 

 

 

 

To top it all off Canonical say: “AMD won’t support fglrx on 16.04, period”, and Canonical has no desire to take over the duties (which it would have to support for the next five years kids, as this is an LTS).

 

Though on the download site for Ubuntu, including derivatives, this could had been announced, saving users from a lot of effort in setting up what amounts to an unusable OS. Especially those w/out any other brand of onboard graphics until things are fixed, not good on their end to assume that everyone has another option. 

 

Many AMD users who are running the popular 'FX' series of CPU's, are stuck with motherboard choices w/out any onboard graphics (audio only), while many used to, not all includes nVidia anymore. Maybe because it was no good anyway (or to begin with), combined with AMD's decision to go with APU's, some OEM's dropped the feature for these MB's, and nVidia was the only choice for AMD CPU's, had been for a long time. 

 

Seems as though Canonical has prepared for a future that has yet to arrive, in the Zen line of CPU/APU's, which will be included in new GPU builds. While it's good to plan for the future & I support that end, there's also the present to deal with, and consumers aren't going to throw away perfectly good hardware over this. Ubuntu will have to support the current lineup (still being sold) for at least the next 2-3 LTS releases, not counting this one. I'm sure that they can make adjustments to support various hardware. If Windows can support 10+ year old hardware, then surely the latest Linux based OS's can support hardware built in the last 5 years. 

 

I feel that 16.04 LTS was a rushed release. In this respect, Linux distro maintainers are no different than any other brand whom has done the same (think Windows 8/Vista & probably 10 also). Yet I also feel that this doesn't happen as often with Linux distros, just saying that it's not impossible to take place. Developers are pushed to the max to release an OS on time, corners are cut at times to make it happen & patched later. 

 

Cat

 

 

The problem is that on other distros this will soon be an issue, one cannot plave the full blame on Ubuntu for AMD falling behind and dropping the ball


Edited by MadmanRB, 30 April 2016 - 11:23 PM.

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#8 cat1092

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 01:00 AM

 

 

Though on the download site for Ubuntu, including derivatives, this could had been announced, saving users from a lot of effort in setting up what amounts to an unusable OS. Especially those w/out any other brand of onboard graphics until things are fixed

This is why you test it in live mode first.

 

 

Actually I did, though it's sort of hard to install drivers in Live Mode. Plus one doesn't or shouldn't expect the Live experience to be the same as the installed OS, I use the latest Linux Mint bootable, finalized DVD to perform transactions, so am not leaving financial information on my drives. No it's not the same, but plenty good enough for me to get what I need done, to include testing new releases. I'm just testing to get a feel of the OS, and don't expect perfection, and when testing by USB stick, don't bother with the persistence file because my dedicated card (a 2GiB SDHC card attached to a USB card reader) for this purpose fills up fast & sometimes would get 'low disk' errors when I used persistence. 

 

Hopefully some of the ones who builds their next release around Ubuntu will either hold off until the issue is resolved, or build based on the current platform, though for an LTS release, it's not good. Maybe updates to whatever code will come as soon as released, and then can be installed as a point release (such as Mint does), or however other LTS releases handles updates. I mean, they offer new Linux kernels, so what's the difference? 

 

Maybe the best action will be to work with AMD in a team effort & hold off. :)

 

Yet I firmly believe that if it were an Intel issue holding back progress, Ubuntu 16.04 & the others would never had been released. Many tends to forget that AMD was Linux compatible & were working more closely with their devs long before Intel was, even to this day, unless policies has changed in the last year, if one wants the latest Intel graphics drivers on their distro, there's a short time to act, if not, will have to wait for the next release (& Intel's short notice & timeframe to install) for new graphic drivers. Once the timeframe is over, the download links doesn't work & if there's a PPA, am not aware of it. 

 

Not even Microsoft gets this low, they work with all major vendors to ensure there's drivers for most major components of a new OS, even if they have to assist with doing so in-house & shipped as a critical update. Canonical & the other distros that's not under control by them should had warned AMD users at a minimum 'install at your risk', that for these users, for road is not ready. This isn't like the old Broadcom wireless driver issue that we see come up from time to time, and I don't expect support out of the box for 10+ year old components. Yet less than 5 years & many complete computers still on the retail shelves today with these cards, it's not unreasonable to ask. 

 

In my opinion, this is one of many other campaigns to force AMD out of business, which in the end will be bad for all, in the form of higher pricing, once nVidia is the only major 3rd party GPU OEM left. Then when we're again paying $350-400 for their lower mid-tier cards, folks will appreciate there's competition. To this day, there's both R7 & R9 AMD cards with 4GB VRAM & 256 bit selling for under $200, less than what I paid over a year back for a GTX 960 with half the VRAM & only 128 bit. While I generally don't fall for conspiracy theories, I firmly believe this is as close as it gets to one. 

 

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#9 cat1092

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 04:50 AM

 

The problem is that on other distros this will soon be an issue, one cannot plave the full blame on Ubuntu for AMD falling behind and dropping the ball

 

 

Well, the least that both could had done was worked out a resolution before release to the public. 

 

Reminds me too much of the Dell/nVidia issue, where high powered GTX cards weren't supported. Being that XPS is among Dell's best line, they should had released BIOS version A15 long before they did, also made the i7-4790K work as should, as ready to prepare for W10 upgrade (if desired). 

 

Unlike Dell, neither Ubuntu nor AMD can settle for many ticked off customers, and must together work to resolve the issue ASAP, to minimize bleeding. :)

 

Otherwise, many will continue to run 14.04 (which is fine, supported through April 2019. Hopefully Linux Mint will fix this on their own, or a PPA will be released with the proper drivers. 

 

Cat


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#10 pcpunk

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

In my opinion, this is one of many other campaigns to force AMD out of business, which in the end will be bad for all, in the form of higher pricing, once nVidia is the only major 3rd party GPU OEM left. Then when we're again paying $350-400 for their lower mid-tier cards, folks will appreciate there's competition. To this day, there's both R7 & R9 AMD cards with 4GB VRAM & 256 bit selling for under $200, less than what I paid over a year back for a GTX 960 with half the VRAM & only 128 bit. While I generally don't fall for conspiracy theories, I firmly believe this is as close as it gets to one. 

 

Cat

 

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#11 cat1092

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 04:10 AM

 

The problem is that on other distros this will soon be an issue, one cannot plave the full blame on Ubuntu for AMD falling behind and dropping the ball

 

 

Well, hopefully non-Ubuntu based distros won't follow the same downwards path. :)

 

Plus many of the computers on retail shelves and online were designed & produced months, if not a year ago. Not much AMD (nor any OEM) can do about that. They have included the recent Vulcan run time libraries with their latest drivers, so are making progress. Only problem is, there's no kernel to fall back on, because Ubuntu 16.04 is likely using the latest. 

 

Not everyone can afford Intel hardware, or there are those who has a mixture of machines. 

 

So the only way to run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on a new computer at this time is to buy Intel. Not good for Linux growth, which I've been questioning for at least 3 years, seems either through their forums where arrogance is the daily bread, many users are having more & more installation issues, when not long back, one could pull any old computer from the curbside (or sticking out of the top of trash can) & install most any Linux version, would run fine. 

 

I could had understood it had Ubuntu totally dropped 32 bit altogether, because the numbers online are dropping with every stat count (& not just Linux), it costs cash & resources, some working for little to no pay to keep these up to date. What I don't understand is why drop a major series of GPU's still awaiting customers on retail shelves. 

 

What ball did AMD drop? They announced their next huge gen GPU before nVidia, only the latter is shipping first, I guess less talk & more action with the GeForce 1080/1070 models, the first pre-orders selling out in under 4 hours & will be the holidays before access to everyone who wants either, even the lower rated model in the 1070 will slap any current card around (or so they say). How they kept it a secret throughout design & production was a feat within itself, nVidia must have a great salary & benefits package, no one seen this coming before the announcement. Though AMD had already released one & of course it was expected for nVidia to counter attack, turns out, it's going to be the other way around, and obviously Moore's Law is still relevant in the GPU industry. The only thing that can hold them back is RAM technology coming to a crawl. which won't be happening any time soon. 

 

Had this been Intel, no one would had said a word about 'dropping balls', and Canonical would had delayed release, or worked hard with Intel devs to come up with a solution. :)

 

The only other hardware that's peaked are SATA-3 SSD's, other than a tweak here & there, the speed will not improve by much, has been superseded my MB's with M.2 & PCIe type of SSD's, there's going to be no SATA-4. I had read an article somewhere several month back that the ones who came up with the standard on MB's (regular SATA fittings) had a meeting, but nothing became of it. Even some notebook OEM's has got in on the faster action with PCIe M.2 SSD's, so the future for traditional 2.5" models are becoming dimmer (& boring for me). I have a hunch after purchasing my first one of these SSD's, an upgraded MB will fall into my XPS 8700 & PCIe M.2 will follow. :P

 

Once the smoke has cleared, these Linux OS's will be supporting AMD again, wouldn't in the least be surprised if the Linux Mint team pulls a cat out of the bag to make it happen. If so, that again will tick Ubuntu users off (at Canonical), just like the 11.04 release which included Unity w/out posting the two or three lines of Terminal code to remove all & keep the traditional version. In huge part, what made Ubuntu MATE a success out of the box, it wasn't Unity that made Ubuntu popular, as it already was. It was Ubuntu's easy to use interface, including an easy to use Start Menu, that attracted many to the distro. Anyone who could boot a computer could run Ubuntu as is before Unity, and w/out typing 3 or 4 letters of least used apps to pull these up. It was the basics that made Ubuntu a household name among Linux users, long before Unity was dreamed of. 

 

Oh, and back then the distro was #1 also. Many tends to forget this, or chooses to, or never ran Ubuntu before Unity was released. 

 

On the bright side, affected users doesn't have to upgrade, nor purchase new hardware. 12.04 is still supported until early next year, and 14.04 until early 2019, so there's no need to panic. :)

 

AMD & Canonical will work together to figure this out, there's no other choice. By not supporting the brand, will cost in usershare. Especially new Linux users on new computers, if Ubuntu doesn't work, then most (rightfully) will never give the the OS a second chance.

 

Cat


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#12 Davezor

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 06:49 AM

I just couldn't go by this post without registering and asking a few questions myself. I wanted to switch from Windows 10 to Linux finally after purchasing my new laptop for my college studies. Professors here use Linux only and it would be useful to get a grasp for it since I'll be here for another 4 years. 

 

I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS just like you and had the same problems... Screen tearing, computer won't wake up from sleep without a 5 minute white-line screenflickering and so on... 

 

I also have an AMD card, R7 M340 and bulilt in Intel HD 520 graphics.

 

Which distro and what version should I get for optimal performance? I just want normal experience without any screen tearing and stuff I described above.

 

Thanks!



#13 DeimosChaos

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 08:14 AM

Hi Davezor!  :welcome:

 

Feel free to always start your own topic!

 

To answer your question, if you want to stick with Ubuntu, just download and install 14.04 LTS. You should be able to run the AMD graphics on there. :)


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#14 cat1092

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 01:45 AM

Davezor,  :welcome: to the Linux Community of Bleeping Computer Forums! :)

 

We're happy to have you here & are more than willing to assist you with a Ubuntu OS (14.04 LTS) that's compatible with your new system & supported until April 2019. :thumbup2:

 

As my colleague DC stated, please create a new Topic & we'll happily assist. :)

 

We look forward to serving you, if you're not satisfied, neither are we. That's our Team dedication to all of our members. :)

 

Good Luck & we look forward to seeing your post for assistance. Keep in mind that there's no 'dumb' questions here, we all were in your boat at one time, new to the Linux world. At the moment, there's nothing we can do for GPU support in regards to AMD, the kernel upgrade that forced this issue was a decision made by Canonical, the distributor of Ubuntu. 

 

If & when we do find a solution, will inform users in this or a new Topic. :thumbup2:

 

Cat


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