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airlied [userpic]
ATI X1(3,6,8,9)00 or r520 support update (NOTHING YET)!!

Okay just an update for the world on something I told people at OLS, and in light of the AMD/ATI stuff...

I'm under NDA with ATI for information on a number of devices (r100, r200, r300) via a company I do work for, and using a utility that they gave me under that NDA I got a list of register names, numbers and bit names (no textual info) on the R5xx range of cards.

I wrote a driver for my X1300 card for 2D using that info and a VBE modesetting tool that trapped all the IO accesses. The code mod to the radeon driver is about 600 lines of actual code. I submitted this to ATI for release due to the NDAs I have with them. It is now > 4 months since I did this and I've heard nothing back from ATI apart from the initial interface.

This is just to say ATI's excuses of it being unable to review the 600 lines of code is not really believeable, and also I thought ATI would attend my talk at OLS to perhaps talk to me about it. So now the world knows, we have a probably open source driver available for the X1300 which does 2D modesetting (no big secrets in there) and ATI are blocking it. I'm not willing to do much more work on the driver until I can actually do something with it.

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let's hope the ATI-AMD merger makes things better and not worse.

I've been thinking...

I've been thinking that those of us that are currently using NVIDIA cards should get together and send a message to AMD - We're NVIDIA customers that will sell our NVIDIA GPUs on eBay and buy ATI cards if you'll open drivers/specs!

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AMD s OSRC - (Anonymous)   Expand  

Didn't your NDA say that you can't do exactly that? That is, take knowledge obtained from using the NDA-provided software and apply it to an open-source driver, thus releasing information that was covered by the NDA?

Re: NDA?

I agree. It sounds like this dude is trying to hold ATI (or AMD or whatever) hostage after breaking terms of an NDA by telling the OS community that a driver exists but ATI won't let me release it. Is this what Open Source is coming down to? Strong arm tactics by Open Source vigilantes who get access via NDA and then abuse that right.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see some functionality for those cards in the open source driver but I feel the ends may not justify the means.

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No word about SciTech SNAP?

I read the article 'Open Source Graphic Drivers - They Don't Kill Kittens' and had the hope that maybe something about SciTech Software and their SNAP driver technologie would show up.

They currently only have 2D support - basically because the manufactures don't give away specs (or only under NDA) - but there is an open-source driver developmet toolkit that includes some (older) graphics drivers.
The nice thing with this toolkit is that the drivers are system independent. Only the SNAP base has to be ported to another OS (source available).
SNAP supports over 200 chipsets. The eComStation (eCS) or OS/2 version supports most (>240 chipsets) followed now by the Linux version of the driver.

If more drivers would be developed with SNAP as base other operating systems would benefit because the drivers for graphics cards are "already there".

I hope in the future 3D drivers based on SNAP will be available.

SciTech is ATi driver development partner and has a solution for VBE missing mode problem on ATi chips as they reprogram the graphic card.
So far 2D on the X1000 line of ATi cards is not supported.


Lets call ATI presales and tell them why you don't see a reason to buy an ATI product while ATI is treating Linux so badly:

Customer Care -> Telephone > Contact presales rep:


Don't call support, sales is what drives a company!

thanks for link..

thanks - (Anonymous)   Expand  
Many thanks for your work anyhow, sad situation

Hi Airlied,

Many thanks for your work on the ATI / Radeon X.Org Driver.
The whole situation of open source X drivers is sad, given
that no manufacturer goes open source/secs but more in the closed
source/specs direction.

I need to choose a new graphics card for a new system and
the best supported 3d card is my 9200se from 2 years ago on
my old system.

I use gentoo and I like the freedom of choosing the kernel
version x.org version I like, and not the one my graphics card
manufacturer dictates me.


Re: Many thanks for your work anyhow, sad situation

Have you ever thought about buying a XGI gfx ?
It's surelly much faster than a 9200 and their drivers are open source.

Hi, Dave.

I see that Lenovo are shipping a ThinkPad with Linux installed, and it uses an ATI Mobility FireGL V5200. The ThinkWiki page says that this chip needs fglrx; any idea if there's an effort for a free driver for this, how far along it is, and whether we can do anything to speed it up? (Like, say, throwing cash at you..)

- Chris.


Hey Dave

I have an Lenovo/IBM ThinkPad with a ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 which is annoying me every single day. The Linux-Support of this Notebook was really fine from the first day on but the graphic-chip makes alot of problems.

I depend on this computer for my work (Software-Engineering) and I can only choose between the propietary fglrx-driver (slow, unstable, blob) which often freezes the complete system when using vmware and prevents the system from shutting down correctly. The only alternative is to use the VESA-driver which is as fast as the fglrx-driver in 2d-mode but does not provide video- or 3d-acceleration. just annoying.

So I am switching between vesa (work) and fglrx (videos, google earth) several times a day

And this only because of 600 lines of code?
It would be nice if you just send me this patch...
What is the fine when you break the NDA? I would collect the money for you!
... but somehow I think we have to play by the rules.

so the only thing is to NOT buy ATI-Products. But thats not so easy I knew that ATI's Linux support is bad when I bought my T60 recently but I had no choice.. Displays with 1400x1050 are only available with ATI-chips and I wanted to have either a Apple MacBook Pro or a ThinkPad - both with ATI-Chips :-(

I hope ATI will change its Linux strategy soon

Re: annoying

Apple just changed their graphic cards in the Mac Pro from Ati to nvidia, so you just have to wait for an updated macbook pro, as it will include a nvidia gpu for sure :)

Take no stock in ATI/AMD!

Do you have news about an open source 2D driver?

Any progress out there?


Do you have any progress with them? I'm trying to find a better-than-vesa driver for my R60 Radeon 1400, for FreeBSD.


is there any update on this? i also have a t60 with the x1300 card. the fglrx stuff is just not uptodate (does not compile properly on new kernels, no aiglx, etc).

there should be an open source driver in xorg for the x1[3689]00!

it seems, mr airlied, you are the only one who has a solution for this...



that looks pretty bad, info comes from an ATI insider.

One more comment...

Hallo! ;)
hey... what demented newz!
what do you suppose about it?

Re: One more comment...

i wonder if the e-mail actually reached ati :]


Is there any progress on the issue? I am eagerly waiting for any news concerning this. The 2D driver would be nice, because the current vesa driver does not handle the resolution of my 17" iMac.

The fglrx driver is crap. Not just because it is propriatary, but because of its quality too. I've contacted ATI, but they sad that laptops are not supported. They did not even read the message that it is not a laptop, even though it has a mobility chip in it.

They also refuse to comment on whether they would like to include AIGLX support into their drivers in the future.

However, if you are able to send the patch to individuals despite the NDA then I would like to try it out. I do not understand why would ati/amd withold a 2D driver patch, since it is not the cutting edge technology that the competitors are interestred in.

make money online idea


Any progress out there?

Any fresh news? How can I help with speeding up this progress? This situation really sucks. I wish AMD/ATI die!

I'm too interesting in fresh news

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