[blfs-support] Proprietary Radeon Driver

Dan McGhee beesnees at grm.net
Thu Nov 28 06:05:25 PST 2013

On 11/28/2013 01:23 AM, Simon Geard wrote:
> On Wed, 2013-11-27 at 11:17 -0600, Dan McGhee wrote:
>> I'm working my way throught the Xorg installation and getting close to
>> installing the drivers.  Xorg hasn't quite caught up yet with my chip
>> which is Radeon HD 8610G, and I'm going to use the proprietary driver
>> from ATI.  I'm asking for advice on when to install it.  It's a
>> pre-compiled binary and installs with a script.  Should I install it
>> when I install drivers for Xorg, or should I wait until I'm finished
>> with Xorg and install it before I start Xorg for the first time?
>> This driver comes with a QT based configuration utility.  As I look at
>> the BLFS book, I see Qt-4.85 and Qt-5.1.1.  In what circumstances are
>> both of these necessary?  I'm thinking of building 5.1.1 because of its
>> recentness.  I'm not that familiar with Qt--in fact I'm quite ignorant
>> of it--and want to install what is necessary for my system to work.
> Qt5 *is* more recent - but because of that, there's a good chance it
> won't work with the Radeon config tool. Different major versions of Qt
> aren't binary (or even 100% source) compatible, so unless AMD have
> already ported it to Qt5, it probably require Qt4.
> Unless, that is, it's statically linked, or perhaps provides it's own
> private copy? I've never used the AMD proprietary drivers, so I don't
> know the tool you're referring to...
> Simon.
Thanks, Simon.

It actually appears that the Qt dependency is an Ubuntu thing. I found 
an installation guide at AMD and the only graphics requirements are 
Xorg, XFree86-Mesa-libGL, XFree86-libs and fontconfig. Although this 
guided references Xorg-7.6, it looks like it's a bit dated in its 
referral to the XFree86 stuff. I don't know if anything is still name 
that--I'm working through the installation of Xorg now--but I suspect 
that the libraries are part of a standard BLFS install. I did see a *GL 
get installed last night when I was working.

As far as Qt-4 vs Qt-5 go, it was going to be a guess in spite of your 
remarks. I installed the proprietary driver for my chip when I first put 
Ubuntu on. That was at the beginning of Oct. At that time, it was 
"Catalyst*10.1beta2. Last night it was Catalyst*11.3beta9.4. AMD is 
doing a lot of work on it.

I'm belaboring this point in case any other LFS'ers get this chip. I'm 
really careful when it comes to recent AMD-Radeon graphics. Not knowing 
the incompatibility between Xorg and the recent chips, I burned up three 
laptops. Apparently, one of the lacks in those drivers is temperature 
sensing or fan management. So, I decided that until I could verify 
beyond a shadow of a doubt that an Xorg driver supported my chip, I was 
going to use the proprietary driver.

When I found out that the linux version of that driver was in "beta" 
development, I understood why Xorg was behind.


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