Introduction

This guide shows you how to use the open source Radeon driver for some ATI/AMD graphics cards and APUs, which is part of the xserver-xorg-video-ati package.
This driver provides 2D and 3D acceleration in your video hardware. This driver's 3D is usually not as fast as the closed-source, proprietary fglrx driver (called AMD Catalyst) from AMD Inc. for some cards, but has better dual-head support, and supports some older chipsets that fglrx does not.

The Radeon driver is already pre-installed in Ubuntu.

Identifying your graphics chip

First, check your graphic card name and chipset:

sudo update-pciids #optional command, requires internet

lspci -nn | grep VGA

It should report something like this for your graphics card:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RV710 [Radeon HD 4550]

Unsupported chips

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS: for the very latest cards, open-source driver AMDGPU is enabled by default.

  • Previous release: for the very latest cards, open-source driver support is not always instant, using proprietary fglrx/Catalyst driver may be necessary. In this case, read this page.

Supported, but hardware is too old for Unity

These cards will not run Ubuntu's Unity desktop with 3D acceleration. They will still run Unity, but the CPU will be used for basic drawing and performance may suffer. If you have one of these cards, a lighter desktop (such as XFCE or LXDE, found in Xubuntu and Lubuntu respectively) is recommended.

Chipset

Graphics cards

R100

Radeon 7200

RV100

Radeon 7000(VE), M6, RN50/ES1000

RS100

Radeon IGP320(M)

RV200

Radeon 7500, M7, FireGL 7800

RS200

Radeon IGP330(M)/IGP340(M)

RS250

Radeon Mobility 7000 IGP

R200

Radeon 8500, 9100, FireGL 8800/8700

RV250

Radeon 9000PRO/9000, M9

RV280

Radeon 9200PRO/9200/9200SE/9250, M9+

RS300

Radeon 9100 IGP

RS350

Radeon 9200 IGP

Fully supported

All these ATI/AMD cards have good 3D acceleration support. This is not an exhaustive list.
Check the version of Ubuntu you have installed:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 and 15.10: look at the 15.10 column.

  • Ubuntu 14.04:

    • kernel Linux 3.16.0-xx-generic or next (HWE stack Utopic, Vivid and Wily), look at the 15.10 column.

    • kernel Linux 3.13.0-xx-generic, look at the 14.04.1 column.

  • Ubuntu 12.04:

    • kernel Linux 3.13.0-xx-generic (HWE stack Trusty), look at the 14.04.1 column.

    • kernel Linux 3.2.0-xx-generic, look at the 12.04.1 column.

IconsPage/info.png

To know which version of the Linux kernel you have installed, type this text in a terminal window:  uname -r 

IconsPage/info.png

In Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with the 3.2.0-xx-generic Linux kernel, you might encounter overheating problems of the graphics card, which are caused by the too old Radeon driver installed in Ubuntu. In this case, you can install the Trusty Hardware Enablement Stack, which brings new versions of Linux kernel and Radeon driver. This generally solves the problem.


Chipset

Graphics cards

12.04.1

14.04.1

15.10

RS400/RS480

Radeon XPRESS 200(M)/1100 IGP

(./)

(./)

(./)

R300

Radeon 9700PRO/9700/9500PRO/9500/9600TX, FireGL X1/Z1

(./)

(./)

(./)

R350

Radeon 9800PRO/9800SE/9800, FireGL X2

(./)

(./)

(./)

R360

Radeon 9800XT

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV350

Radeon 9600PRO/9600SE/9600/9550, M10/M11, FireGL T2

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV360

Radeon 9600XT

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV370

Radeon X300, M22

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV380

Radeon X600, M24

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV410

Radeon X700, M26 PCIE

(./)

(./)

(./)

R420

Radeon X800 AGP

(./)

(./)

(./)

R423/R430

Radeon X800, M28 PCIE

(./)

(./)

(./)

R480/R481

Radeon X850 PCIE/AGP

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV505/RV515/RV516/RV550

Radeon X1300/X1400/X1500/X1550/X2300

(./)

(./)

(./)

R520

Radeon X1800

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV530/RV560

Radeon X1600/X1650/X1700

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV570/R580

Radeon X1900/X1950

(./)

(./)

(./)

RS600/RS690/RS740

Radeon X1200/X1250/X2100

(./)

(./)

(./)

R600

Radeon HD 2900

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV610/RV630

Radeon HD 2400/2600/2700/4200/4225/4250

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV620/RV635

Radeon HD 3410/3430/3450/3470/3650/3670

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV670

Radeon HD 3690/3850/3870

(./)

(./)

(./)

RS780/RS880

Radeon HD 3100/3200/3300/4100/4200/4250/4290

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV710/RV730

Radeon HD 4330/4350/4550/4650/4670/5145/5165/530v/545v/560v/565v

(./)

(./)

(./)

RV740/RV770/RV790

Radeon HD 4770/4730/4830/4850/4860/4870/4890

(./)

(./)

(./)

CEDAR

Radeon HD 5430/5450/6330/6350/6370

(./)

(./)

(./)

REDWOOD

Radeon HD 5550/5570/5650/5670/5730/5750/5770/6530/6550/6570

(./)

(./)

(./)

JUNIPER

Radeon HD 5750/5770/5830/5850/5870/6750/6770/6830/6850/6870

(./)

(./)

(./)

CYPRESS

Radeon HD 5830/5850/5870

(./)

(./)

(./)

HEMLOCK

Radeon HD 5970

(./)

(./)

(./)

PALM

Radeon HD 6310/6250

(./)

(./)

(./)

SUMO/SUMO2

Radeon HD 6370/6380/6410/6480/6520/6530/6550/6620

(./)

(./)

(./)

BARTS

Radeon HD 6790/6850/6870/6950/6970/6990

(./)

(./)

(./)

TURKS

Radeon HD 6570/6630/6650/6670/6730/6750/6770

(./)

(./)

(./)

CAICOS

Radeon HD 6430/6450/6470/6490

(./)

(./)

(./)

CAYMAN

Radeon HD 6950/6970/6990

(./)

(./)

(./)

ARUBA

Radeon HD 7000 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

TAHITI

Radeon HD 7900 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

PITCAIRN

Radeon HD 7800 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

VERDE

Radeon HD 7700 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

OLAND

Radeon HD 8000 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

HAINAN

Radeon HD 8800 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

BONAIRE

Radeon HD 7790 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

KAVERI

KAVERI APUs

(X)

(./)

(./)

KABINI

KABINI APUs

(X)

(./)

(./)

HAWAII

Radeon R9 series

(X)

(./)

(./)

MULLINS

MULLINS APUs

(X)

(X)

(./)

Testing the driver

To look for boot messages/errors, check

dmesg | egrep 'drm|radeon'

To see your OpenGL information, you can run the commands below. Make sure your OpenGL renderer string does not say "software rasterizer" or "llvmpipe" because that would mean you have no 3D hardware acceleration:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils
LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose glxinfo

Removing the proprietary fglrx driver

If you've previously installed the ATI binary/proprietary driver (a.k.a Catalyst/fglrx), you need to make sure it's fully purged before trying to use the open-source ati/radeon driver. See this page

Recommended configuration for X.org

No configuration is necessary for ATI driver in the modern versions of Ubuntu. You can safely take away your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and your computer should run fine.

Check the manpage of the Radeon driver for advanced options.

man radeon

HDMI audio

  • Ubuntu 14.04 and newer: HDMI audio should work automatically.

  • Ubuntu 12.04: users have to enable HDMI audio manually by passing the radeon.audio=1 kernel parameter. It can be done with the following command:

echo "options radeon audio=1" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/radeon.conf

Ubuntu Precise/12.04 users should also note that they may need a newer kernel (>= 3.5.x) to enable HDMI audio on later cards.

Power Management

Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS (Linux kernel 3.13.0), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and later

For the most recent ATI/AMD graphic cards supported by the Radeon driver, DPM (Dynamic Power Management) should work automatically without additional steps.

Instead if you notice overheating problems and/or you have an old Radeon HD graphic card, you can enable DPM by adding a boot parameter. This should greatly help power consumption, especially when idle. To do so, edit /etc/default/grub and add the 'radeon.dpm=1' to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line, so it would look something like:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash radeon.dpm=1"

After you save/quit the text editor, update grub:

sudo update-grub

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Linux kernel 3.2.0)

Power management was one of the weak spots of the open-source driver prior to kernel 3.11.x. If you have a laptop that's getting too hot, try setting the power management profile to low.

sudo bash -c "echo \"profile\" > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method"
sudo bash -c "echo \"low\" > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile"

See Also

BinaryDriverHowto/AMD - The Wiki page for the proprietary AMD/ATI driver "fglrx" which also offers 3D acceleration, and works on newer cards than the "radeon" driver. Since it's closed-source, only AMD can work on it and give efficient support, and the open-source community can generally not help you with problems.

Arch Linux ati driver documentation - includes TV-out information

RadeonFeature - Radeon feature table


CategoryHardware

RadeonDriver (last edited 2016-06-22 07:19:44 by vipri-alessandro)