Is somebody still using the Catalyst drivers?



Hi community,

Manjaro is one of the last distros supporting Catalyst out of the box with our install medias. Since Catalyst itself doesn’t get maintained by AMD anymore, we wonder if some of our community members still use this old driver. Catalyst v15.201.1151 (aka 15.9) was released on the 23. Sep. 2015 and is the only working driver we can properly support. This also means you’re stuck on Xorg-Server v1.17.4.

With each new kernel we have to find a way to patch its kernel modules. Also none of our developers own an AMD card. We mostly use Intel or Nvidia hardware on our boxes. Therefore we assume our patches are working as they compile fine.

So my question is: Does somebody still use that driver and when yes, which kernel series is working with it?[poll]

  • Yes, Catalyst is still be used on my end (pls post your kernels, which are working fine with it)
  • No, Catalyst seems to be broken lately (pls post why)


I am missing the option: No, because the opensource drivers are better.

Back on my Fury X, catalyst was still working but I went with amdgpu anyway.


@BS86: is it possible for you to boot one of the Manjaro 17.0-rc1 releases with the nonfree option, to see if there Catalyst is still working?


Do you need some specific output from the live session?


@Onf: just the feedback that Catalyst is still working is mostly enough. You can try to run glxgears to check that.


I use the Catalyst driver too for my AMD 6850HD Card on my PC. Kernel 49 with the last updates.
Which driver can i use for this Card? On Wondows10 i use Catalyst driver too.


1 questions how does catalyst compare with MESA on pre GCN gpus? (not pre terrascale )


Still bad. There is almost no development on R600 or older. All the work goes to RadeonSi


I use the Catalyst drivers


Have several Manjaro’s. most on radeon.
Though I have one Manjaro on catalyst.

[pop@Oct ~]$ mhwd -li

Installed PCI configs:
                  NAME               VERSION          FREEDRIVER           TYPE
        video-catalyst            2016.09.03               false            PCI

Warning: No installed USB configs!
[pop@Oct ~]$ mhwd-kernel -li
Currently running: 4.10.0-1-MANJARO (linux410)
The following kernels are installed in your system:
   * linux410
   * linux49
[pop@Oct ~]$ 

All Manjaro’s working fine.
In this catalyst OS, both linux410 and linux49 works;


I don’t have the Fury X anymore, it’s FAN broke on warranty, replaced it with a RX480 which has no fglrx support.
My secondary machine could fit a 6950, but that system is at a friends house atm and I have no access until next weekend.

Technically speaking, I see no real reasons why catalyst should still be maintained in Manjaro. Latest with mesa 17, the performance of the opensource driver kicks fglrx like there is no tomorrow, and the OpenGL support now is also identical (both 4.5)

I guess a look into this statistics could also help making a decision:
thanks to @mgundogdu for posting that one.

If there is a significant number of users who still want to use fglrx, my guess would be removing it from the install media, but keeping it in mhwd for people that really want to use that old beast.


First tests with RC 1 uncessfull squash error on booting live media with free and non free drivers on real HW no problems on VM.
Test with beta 3:
Non free drivers: starts ok and detection and install of catalyst drivers are ok (not possible to reboot of course).
Free drivers: black screen on boot no error messages (catalyst not included in minimal iso?)

Redownloading RC1 now to ensure it is not linked to the downloaded media.


@philm I dont know if its only for the UEFI loader, but right now the “nonefree” dont works here:

I think thats because the nonfree option still enables kernel mode settings(KMS), whily fglrx only works with user mode settings(UMS). When I remove $DRIVER.modesetting=1 and add nomodeset on the startup shell, i can boot to the desktop.

So i think it would be the best to blacklist all free drivers in the nonfree option

but please don’t disable KMS for the free drivers, they only work with KMS :joy:


Same results with RC1, both tested with UEFI.


Dunno. I used Catalyst for some months last year (somewhere between September and November - not shure). It was working properly, but I went back to radeon because it takes less RAM and I observed some occasional tearing in some dialog frames (KDE).


The question is whether there is still an AMD card that is not supported by open source drivers (radeonsi and amdgpu)?


Seems I managed to break the driver anyway. Yay :stuck_out_tongue:

With the new upstream changes it seems, fglrx has soon reached its end after all. I’ll give it another try by patching the old Xorg-Server 1.17.4, to see if I get somewhere. If I fail, we most likely will bury Catalyst drivers for good.


Bury it pls i have a gcn 1.0 gpu that can work both with catalyst and the free drivers, but the performance WITH catalyst is abssymal and 2d acceleration is buggy.Also any AMD gpu from HD 2000 and up should work with mesa and perform better too.


[quote=“siyia, post:18, topic:17972”]
Also any AMD gpu from HD 2000 and up should work with mesa and perform better too.
[/quote] source? many terrascale report better performance with catalyst


I hate these people pissing over choice.
Personally, my deepest appreciation to manjaro team and philip in particular, for having worked on its support till now.

TRIVIA: did you know fglrx (and nvidia driver too for that) is getting a sensible improvement once this PR lands (in no less than 6 months though imo) in linux kernel?