Branching out from Ubuntu, best choices for stability with up to date Radeon drivers?

Like it says, I’m looking for something that will be as simple to use as Ubuntu, but keeps its oss drivers more up to date, what would you recommend, especially for something that wouldn’t mind being loaded from an external USB drive and used with machines of differing hardware from AMD, Intel and Nvidia? My main stuff is all AMD, but I do end up using other people’s gear from time to time, so it’s nice to be able to just have all of the oss drivers installed and have everything pretty much just strike right up without issues.

Linux Mint comes to mind, but your requirements “ease of use” and “latest oss GPU drivers” don’t mix very well. If you want “bleeding edge” you’ll be looking at source-based distro’s like LFS and Gentoo/Funtoo. Essentially, you’re rebuilding important parts of your system every time a new driver version is released. Not so much of a problem on a 64-core Epyc system, really a chore if you’re on a Core2 Duo or Atom proc. :roll_eyes:

Mint would be a step backwards and there was a distro Wendell mentioned a few months back, but I don’t remember what video.

Browse the Distrowatch list, perhaps it’ll stand out if you see the name again.

If by “latest” you meant the latest stable point release, then I would say Manjaro following the stable branch. If instead you mean sources from git then that will definitely not give you a stable system.

By the way, there is this ppa you can use on Ubuntu to get the latest stable mesa. Been using it for several weeks now. It’s more reliable than padoka stable and much less likely to break your system like oibaf.

This is highly dependent on the device, at least with regard to amdgpu.

RX5xx devices work flawlessly pretty much on every distro. After that doesn’t work reliably anywhere under Linux, in my experience.

It’s so bad that I’ve got specific pinned versions of firmware, linux-libc-dev, and kernel and headers to make them work.

One minor revision up or down, and they break.

amdgpu’s reputation for being well supported by open source software is overblown or their devices are defective. In either case, the user experience is better with Intel and Nvidia on Linux.

I have personally experienced problems with Arch, Debian Sid, Devuan Ceres, Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Fedora. Versions of Linux tied to LTS releases often do not even boot reliably with Vega, Radeon VII, and 5700 cards.

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It was my presumption that the Vega cards where just as reliable as the rx 5xx cards.
I’ve had my Vega 56 running on Ubuntu 18.4.0something LTS for ~ a year with zero issues.
But maybe I just got lucky?
Also no problems with Mint 20 LTS.

I’ve had no problems with Manjaro and Fedora using an RX580 and RX5700XT. Wendell has said (in a ramble with TLG here) that Manjaro has worked well with a RX5600, they discuss issues they’ve had with Ubuntu.

It´s hard to recommend anything without knowing your exact gpu.
But yeah AMD drivers are a mess in general lately,
not only in linux but also in windows atleast in regards to the RX5000 series cards.

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There’s always Rolling Rhino:

do you care about ROCM?

My Radeon VII has been very stable using Fedora. Only nagging point is some weird lines sometimes in konsole that also happen with another amdgpu. This has been a problem for a couple of years so not sure who to blame here…