No ATI packages from livna any more

ati-controlpanelAs the most people know, graphic driver packages for ATI and NVIDIA cards are provided for Fedora Core users from livna.org. But there were no updated drivers for the last kernel build, and I started to wonder.

Yesterday evening I had a bit time and had a look into it, and it turned out that the package maintainer of these drivers at livna.org stepped back for legal reasons: read here. To summarize it, the maintainer does not want to be involved with the illegal stuff around linking closed source software against a GPL kernel. This is illeagal, and therefore you cannot just provide such software in the web.

There are two good news news in this region, though: first of all Linux users have a real choice know in respect of graphic drivers: Intel released their graphic drivers as Open Source and is developing them as Open Source in the future. Therefore you can buy and run a computer with modern hardware and full 3D support – which only runs Open Source software!
This step is remarkable, and I really appreciate this. It is unclear at the moment if Nvidia or ATI will follow, but know it can be a question of the market.

The other good news is that the installation of ATIs binary drivers is very easy in these days: you just download the driver, run it in a terminal to build a set of rpm packages (it is done automatically), install it, restart (or load the modules by hand), and there you are. For some distributions the packages can even be build in a GUI, so some people will not see the terminal at all to build ATI drivers!

However, the first option is the preferred one: when I buy a new laptop somewhen in the future, it will have the newest Intel graphics chip – fully supported by every up2date linux distribution.

7 thoughts on “No ATI packages from livna any more”

  1. Pingback: Bembel-B Blog
  2. Howdy,

    thanks for the investiagtion on Livna’s ATI graphics drivers releases. I wondered too, why there were no RPMs for kernel-2.6.17-1.2174_FC5 for such a long time and built them myself. But the next day they were available.
    It’s not recommended to use the ATI installer, as it will mess with your Mesa/OpenGL install or something like that, breaking these RPMs integrity.
    You can find build instructions in my posting. I also set a trackback from there.

    Cheers
    Kristian

  3. Nice howto, thanks for the link.
    However, I think they fixed this Mesa/OpenGL problem, probably with the new build scripts which are especially adjusted to Fedora Core. In any case I did not had any double files which was the main reason why I needed –nodeps in the past – which broke the OpenGL in some way, afaik.

    And none word about your way: it is fast an neat, but only as long as nothing changes in the provided drivers: when the build scripts (read: the spec) has to be adjusted because of major changes, than your way could break:/

    But luckily at the moment there are drivers available again. Looks like there is a new maintainer…

  4. Howdy,

    well, I should give the ATI installer yet another chance. I used it on my last Fedora install (FC3), but because I then wasn’t able to build OpenGL apps, RPM conflicts and its overall bad reputation, I switched to Livna this time (clean FC5 install).
    ATI has released a new fglrx version last week, so I definetely gonna give it a try.

    But I am still quite disappointed by ATI (I never liked ’em since the early 90ies). I always have 100% CPU demand when running anything 3D etc. under Linux. And even under Windows they didn’t “comply” to Doom 3’s GL for several weeks and their drivers are crap there too. It is giving me a powered off CRT on 1st head when the Windoze XP shipped driver is installed without any question when I try to update the Catalyst drivers. And the whole graphics driver installation under Windoze is a mess since ever!

    What I like tho is that I get 9800 Pro performance on a crappy 9800 SE (256 bit wide memory) just by patching the Windoze drivers. I didn’t succeed to do that under Linux I think. I set ChipID in my xorg.conf, but no performance increase.

    Well, enough about my rambling, maybe you are one of the lucky guys not using ATI hardware and thus are unable to have anything to add to this rambling here. But I’d love to hear about “softmodding” under Linux.

    Cheers
    Kristian

  5. I am using ATI hardware, but not on a Windows machine, so I have only half of your problems😉
    About the ATI drivers for Linux: they were crappy in the past, as well as their installation routine and almost everything. But since they founded the new Linux driver development team the development really speeds up. Almost every driver release since then contained a brand new feature. The best example is the dynamic display switching they’ve implemented in one of the last releases: though it is still Beta it is already incredible useful – and with a GUI Linux will finally get a smooth solution for attaching a Laptop to an external monitor.

    So, I understand your rambling, but there is a new hope😉

  6. I just installed FC5 and the ATI fglrx driver. I can’t seem to link my openGL apps. Anyone know where things like glWindowPos2i are located? My programs compile without throwing any fits, but they will not run and exit with:

    ./lor: symbol lookup error: ./lor: undefined symbol: glWindowPos2i

    If I comment out the call to glWindowPos2i, the program runs fine. Any ideas, or a Makefile that works?

  7. Sorry, I cannot help you with that. Please keep in mind that blogs are hardly usable as a platform for discussions or solving problems through discussions. The best is to enter a web forum to discuss this issue. Hope you can solve your problem!

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