[QUESTION] AMD Closed Source Drivers on Latest Arch Kernel

Hey guys, (Sorry if this is the wrong place for this)

I recently tried to update my arch linux install to the latest stable kernel (3.13 or 3.12.8) but ran into the error "Catalyst requires Xorg < 1.15" or something along those lines (posting this in college, haven't got the error infront of me).

I went to the arch wiki and this is documented, so I thought "oh, no problem then". The problem I am running into is when I put this repo into my pacman.conf I get an error basically saying It can't reach the repo (I'll post a more detailed error later on), this is strange as I can reach the web address (except for the $arch bit) from a web browser and can download the files no problem.

I was wandering if there were any mirror repos I can get this from, or if there is a way for me to download xorg 1.14 and compile it for my system myself. I have reverted to a Windows 8.1 / Ubuntu Linux dual boot at the moment, and it really miss the AUR :P.



Any particular reason for wanting to use the proprietary drivers?

According to this: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_2014_opengpu&num=3 the open source drivers appear to be doing well.

I have tried the open source drivers (xf86-video-ati) and I tried to play FTL with poor performance, I have had no such issues with the closed source drivers. If there are things I can do to get good performance on the open source drivers I would be thrilled to use them.

If you're on kernel 3.13, you should have decent performance though. On kernel 3.12, RadeonSI is a bit sluggish.

There are a few problematic points right now, because of the speed with which AMD stuff is being merged, and how that affects mesa, xorg-drivers, etc... but I've been using RadeonSi drivers for a while, and they are functional. Sometimes, you do have to tweak a few settings to get the most out of them (check glxinfo and you'll see that they're not automatically set as default handler for certain functions or calls, but it's very easy to eselect them, but I do agree that it's not normal that users should have to do this manually, it is time for the entire open source graphics boycott to stop).

I thought the whole American computer cabardouche industry over this weekend, and came to the conclusion that I'm switching to an independent, entirely non-US distro as soon as possible.

I'll also not be using Steam again, but will be using the Russian alternative games distribution platform that Yandex is setting up, and that only uses real open source software.

My reasons for this are:

- OK, why does RedHat, hmmm, sorry, the "Fedora Community", integrate the geo tracking function in such a way in Gnome that it cannot be removed without breaking the system, but that you have to hack around it with nominatim and always mind your nominatim settings to deflect spyware in an open source product, whereas in the very same version of Gnome on Gentoo, it was perfectly possible to roll out of patch that took care of the geo tracking? That lead me to examine some of the firmwares, and there is a difference in code between several firmware updates before the geo patches. That has lead me to believe that RedHat is going completely Ballmer just like Ubuntu, and they better prove first that they are still on the right track, because I've lost confidence in them. I've been using XFCE for a while, but I don't think I should adapt to avoid spyware in open source.

- OK, why does Valve play all of these childish power games with AMD, forcing them to provide a game-optimized Catalyst driver only for archeologic community distros that are known to be less secure, breaking compatibility with bleeding edge distros, except for the lovely Fedora, because surprisingly, RedHat has a solution where Gentoo and Arch don't... whereas the AMD Catalyst drivers are also orphaned in the Fedora repos... very dishonorable, 'Murica!

- Arch and Gentoo are fighting an impossible fight here in my opinion, they will have to check every dev's work, always change teams and responsibilities, check every bit of code all the time, and even then, they won't be able to avoid adulteration.

I'm going to FOSDEM this weekend with a clear mind, free from the stench of the 'Murican corporate open source rapists.

Are there any resources you could point me to so that I can learn how to improve performance on a per use basis using the RadeonSI drivers. I don't mind tweaking, I would just like the resources to show me how to do it.

As I (think) I said in my post I am currently stuck on windows 8 and Ubuntu Linux and I hate it, I am going to need windows as a dual boot for a little while (I only have one GPU) so that I can power through my windows only games that I have paid for already on my steam library. Once I have done that I have no reason to have Windows any more and I will revert back to the bliss that is 100% pure arch.

Thanks for the help Zoltan

Just read this article, saw the 7850 performance, realised I had one, shit a brick.

Hard to say exactly or point to ressources. It depends from application to application, like what subsystems or APIs do different applications use. There are applications that will only work with open source drivers for the moment, the most important being Gnome Shell without the geotracking function. You can install Catalyst on kernel 3.12 or 3.13 with xorg 1.14.5 and Gnome Shell 3.10+, you can configure it so that it doesn't crash X, but you'll never get the actual Gnome GUI to work unless you use the specific Fedora/RedHat version.

If you don't use Gnome Shell, you can force install the beta AMD driver (that's version 13.11, build 9.95, it's the only one for which AMD hasn't broken xorg 1.14 and kernel 3.12 compatibility) and still have a working system and maximum gaming performance.

If you're unsure on how to force install Catalyst, there are several howto's on different distro fora, but I don't agree with any of them to be honest. The closest one is this one: tojaj.com/fedora-20-howto-switch-from-ati-proprietary-drivers-to-radeon-driver/, but it's not entirely complete. You need a couple of dependencies. The quickest way to get them is to install fglrx via the repos first for the 3.12 kernel, then reboot and let it crash (won't compile), recover, uninstall fglrx from the repos, reboot, then install the AMD beta driver (13.11v9.95), it will not show an error any more, and it will work, but Gnome 3.10+ (except the Fedora version) will not work. If you like KDE, that has wayland too, and kwin is a better compositor than mutter, so problem solved.