Is AMD serious about delivering open source graphics drivers for ATI products?

Is AMD serious about delivering open source graphics drivers for ATI products?

Summary: AMD has promised open source drivers for ATI hardware? Is this likely to happen, and if so, when?


Last week, Henri Richard, AMD’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, told an audience at the opening keynote of the Red Hat Summit promised open source graphics drivers for ATI products. 

Richard's is quoted as saying “I’m here to commit to you that it’s going to get done.”  Additionally, he promised that AMD was “going to be very proactive in changing way we interface with the Linux community.”

Two questions.  Is he serious?  If so, when?

[poll id=139]

Are you looking forward to the day that open source drivers are available for ATI hardware?  Would this change how you spend your money?  Would you like to see more companies follow suit?

Topics: Processors, Open Source

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  • ATI and Linux have always been... less than friends

    It's also known that ATI couldn't code a proper driver with a gun to their collective head.

    AMD has usually been favored amongst the Linux/OSS crowd, and this helps them stay that way. I expect open source ATI drivers quite soon. It doesn't matter if it's GPL, BSD or whatever other open source license they're released under, as long as the source is shown.
  • Maybe ATI will end up with good drivers for once

    They're closed source drivers suck on *both* Linux and Windows. The open source Radeon one is actually very very good, and I highly doubt that's ATI's doing. If they go through with this, hopefully the community will contribute enough to turn the likely-terrible drivers they release into something worth using. I'm not so sure they'll actually do it though. We've been asking for years for them to release good drivers in general, and that hasn't happened. Maybe the profit loss last quarter made them realize that by ticking off the Linux crowd they've now got a very computer-savvy, quickly growing group of people who can't stand them and, when asked by friend/family/strangers "what should I get" always respond "Nvidia." That's my standard response. If every Linux geek is telling all of their computer-shopping friends "make sure it's Nvidia," that's got to hurt ATI (unless you assume that all Linux geeks lack friends/family). Even non-Linux geeks probably do it too though, given the state of their Windows drivers.
  • Better drivers, period

    ATI makes rotten Linux drivers with virtually no support. I would already be pleased if they would make better closed source drivers for Linux, like Nvidia does.

    Open source drivers would be even better ofcourse, provided that ATI doesn't use that as an excuse to do even less about making good Linux drivers in the first place.

    Greetz, Pjotr.
  • Hurray!!!

    I sayeth unto thee BOOO!!!! and I sayeth unto thee YAAHH!!!! Now cana I get an ame!?!?!
    Hrothgar - PCLinuxOS User
  • I am a loyal AMD fan, but, I hate screwing with ndis drivers or binary only

    drivers. So, I have a confession to make, for my last laptop, I bought a Centrino based system because I knew it would be hassle free, and, it is. Well, it was also a good price, and hey, with Ubuntu 7.04, the desktop effects work ok with the basic Intel graphics, thought I am about to turn it off. The spinning cube is only cool for a while. The windows rippling when you move them is also only cool for a while.
  • We can but hope.

    But "hope" alone won't make Warcraft run any faster. I wonder if we have Intel and its i965 graphics chips to thank for this? Because unless I see some actual "beef" from AMD over this, I am still considering buying a laptop with Intel graphics.
  • Wait and see. ATi in general has a HORRIBLE record on video driver quality

    And not just for Linux either.

    AMD has a lot of work to do, and they're bound to work on Windows drivers first.

    I'm nVidia for life. And a windows user too - until VM emulation under Linux allows my applications to work; the native stuff beyond basic office apps just can't compete. Yet.

    Still, Adobe has photoshop for OS X. OS X is by and large an open source variant of BSD that runs GNOME - no doubt minor tweaks would make the OS X version openBSD compatible too... Adobe could sell a lot if they developed for genuine open source; not just the hijacked stuff.
  • So true

    If AMD/ATI have at least half brain, they will need to enter to the open source.