You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!
Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can support us on Paypal and Liberapay!

Ubuntu 16.04 dropping the AMD Catalyst/fglrx driver

Posted by , / 27140 views
Canonical have decided to deprecate the fglrx driver in Ubuntu 16.04. This is hardly surprising news as fglrx, which has always been renowned for being a pain, has steadily becoming more and more of a problem on modern Linux distributions. Even Debian with its tentatively updated packages has surpassed the official system requirements for fglrx.

Ubuntu is one of the last distributions to have had support for it, and to make that happen Canonical had been patching the driver files themselves to get it to compile against current versions of X and Linux. The most recent version of Ubuntu that is officially supported by AMD is 12.04.

AMD are expected to release the new Catalyst Linux driver sometime in the summer, which will be based on the AMDGPU open source driver. However it will still have limited support and will not cover the majority of AMD Linux users needs, as AMDGPU is still very much a work in progress.

Ubuntu will now be using the open source drivers for AMD GPUs as other distros are doing. But for now those drivers are also still a work in progress, and functionality is hit and miss depending on your GPU when it comes to gaming.

In my own systems that run on APUs, gaming is sadly impossible for the moment on the open source drivers, but hopefully things will start to change on that front in the coming months.

As always with Linux you can install it yourself, but it will probably be a nightmare in this case. I gave up after many attempts, but best of luck too you though if that is your plan, I hope you're familiar with the rescue terminal :D.

Most Linux gamers will be unaffected by all this, as the majority of us use Nvidia. But I can't help but wonder how many potential new Linux gamers will be turned off of the platform during this AMD limbo period. As a lot of newbie users go to Ubuntu, and a lot of off the shelf systems these days ship with APUs.

Sources:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Ubuntu-16.04-Dropping-fglrx
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/XenialXerus/ReleaseNotes#fglrx
http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Linux+x86_64
0 Likes
42 comments
Page: 1/5»
  Go to:

Comments on this article are now closed.
ripper 10 March 2016 at 6:53 pm UTC
I'm pretty happy with my Radeon R9 270 running the opensource driver. The situation is not perfect, and yes, some games don't run or have issues, but the situation has improved sharply in the last 2 years, and I can now play the majority of my titles (including some AAA ones) quite fine. See my profile on OpenGameBenchmarks:
http://www.opengamebenchmarks.org/accounts/profile/91

As long as I have access to Windows in dual-boot, I'd never pick Nvidia. Nvidia driver is too much pain overall (not to mention that it's also the most aggressive, unlikeable, and opensource unfriendly company out there). Radeon driver just works, most games work fine, and for the few ones that don't, I reboot and play in Windows. And AMD needs some support for moving things in the right direction.
kazriko 10 March 2016 at 6:55 pm UTC
Honestly, installing fglrx from the package hasn't been that big of a pain for ages. I just build the ubuntu packages and dpkg -i them into the system. It's not really much of a challenge after you've done it once. There's not official ubuntu support in AMD's catalyst package, but the unofficial support in the package seems to work just fine.

Building the packages can be done easily from said rescue terminal if you end up in a worst case scenario. I haven't used the official ubuntu packaged version of fglrx in ages. (I haven't upgraded from 14.04 yet either though.)
Kimyrielle 10 March 2016 at 7:10 pm UTC
Handling graphics drivers in Linux is still an absolute pain and is probably THE single biggest obstacle for the average user to get a Linux based system ready for halfway serious gaming. Both AMD but also NVidia have to get their act together eventually and release something that installs with one click, you know...like in Windows. Right now we're a far cry from that. And no, NVidia isn't much better. Optimus. 'nuff said.
vipor29 10 March 2016 at 7:29 pm UTC
i have a radeon 390 and it runs games just fine in mint so im not sure why some think it sucks,it really has come a long way from like 2 or 3 years ago.csgo i get well over 120fps sometimes i see 200fps in 1080p but it doesn't stay that way for long,it never dips below 60fps.i will be running more tests and throwing them up on youtube so other linux users can see what runs on a radeon based system especially a high end graphics card.
Eike 10 March 2016 at 7:29 pm UTC
KimyrielleHandling graphics drivers in Linux is still an absolute pain and is probably THE single biggest obstacle for the average user to get a Linux based system ready for halfway serious gaming. Both AMD but also NVidia have to get their act together eventually and release something that installs with one click, you know...like in Windows. Right now we're a far cry from that. And no, NVidia isn't much better. Optimus. 'nuff said.

For ordinary cases, I feel this is handled quite optimal, at least on Debian. "apt-get install nvidia-driver". Handles kernel updates gracefully as well.
hardpenguin 10 March 2016 at 7:41 pm UTC
ripperI'm pretty happy with my Radeon R9 270 running the opensource driver. The situation is not perfect, and yes, some games don't run or have issues, but the situation has improved sharply in the last 2 years, and I can now play the majority of my titles (including some AAA ones) quite fine. See my profile on OpenGameBenchmarks:
http://www.opengamebenchmarks.org/accounts/profile/91

As long as I have access to Windows in dual-boot, I'd never pick Nvidia. Nvidia driver is too much pain overall (not to mention that it's also the most aggressive, unlikeable, and opensource unfriendly company out there). Radeon driver just works, most games work fine, and for the few ones that don't, I reboot and play in Windows. And AMD needs some support for moving things in the right direction.
Ha! I didn't know Witcher 2 or XCOM run so well with the open source driver! Your card is pretty decent, too!

Nice profile you have there!
stan 10 March 2016 at 7:50 pm UTC
I’m surprised by people saying the nvidia driver is a pain… On Arch and Gentoo you install the driver like any other package, it gets updated automatically, and it works.
ripper 10 March 2016 at 8:13 pm UTC
KimyrielleBoth AMD but also NVidia have to get their act together eventually and release something that installs with one click, you know...like in Windows.
Actually, one of those companies is working hard on something even better, something you don't even need to install, which works out of the box. The second one isn't. Guess which is which
scaine 10 March 2016 at 8:22 pm UTC
View PC info
  • Contributing Editor
  • Supporter
ripper
KimyrielleBoth AMD but also NVidia have to get their act together eventually and release something that installs with one click, you know...like in Windows.
Actually, one of those companies is working hard on something even better, something you don't even need to install, which works out of the box. The second one isn't. Guess which is which

True, but working hard on something you intend to deliver at some unspecified point in the future isn't going to help sway Windows 10 refugees when they want to dip their toe in the Linux lake and test the waters.

AMD has been promising "something better, soon" for... years?

I'm buying a new graphics card, probably after the summer. Time will tell what I go with, but while I'd love to be proven wrong, I wouldn't bank on it being AMD.
GustyGhost 10 March 2016 at 8:41 pm UTC
ripperActually, one of those companies is working hard on something even better, something you don't even need to install, which works out of the box. The second one isn't. Guess which is which

Additionally, it's very refreshing to see Intel take the kernel driver approach. Now if only their GPUs were powerful enough for high end UHD gaming.
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon or Liberapay. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

We also accept Paypal donations and subscriptions! If you already are, thank you!
Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • Tac Tics: "All Walls Must Fall“
  • Date:
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Forum Posts
Facebook