Thursday 22 May 2008

Fedora 9 and ATI Catalyst 8.5

ATI released the Catalyst 8.5 driver for linux on May 21st. I was hoping that the new driver had resolved all the previous problems with Fedora 9, but unfortunately it is still broken. They have managed to fix the issue with Kernel 2.6.25, but it still doesn't support the Xorg 1.5 ABI. The worst part is that it looks as if the developers didn't even take a few minutes to actually test the driver in a Fedora 9 machine. Running the installer results in the following output:
./ --buildpkg Fedora/F9
Generating package: Fedora/F9
Package build failed!
Package build utility output:
error: %changelog entries must start with *

This sounds like a problem in the SPEC file, so I extracted the sources and checked packages/Fedora/ATI-fglrx.spec-tmpl.
./ --extract ati_src
grep "changelog" ati_src/packages/Fedora/*

The first line in the changelog section of the spec file doesn't start with a * character and this causes the package generator to halt with the above error. Since the line seems to be a todo line to remind the developers ("- Add compat-libstdc++ as a required dependency"), I deleted it and ran the installer again.
cd ati_src
./ 8.493 --buildpkg Fedora/F9

This time the installer stops with the error:
error: Installed (but unpackaged) file(s) found:

This stems from a new rpmbuild setting. To disable it, add the lines
%define _unpackaged_files_terminate_build 0
%define _missing_doc_files_terminate_build 0
to packages/Fedora/ATI-fglrx.spec-tmpl and run the installer again. This time the drivers will compile without a problem.

If anyone is interested in getting the ATI drivers to compile on a Fedora 9 machine, grab my patch at . It makes the necessary changes to the spec file to enable it to compile.
./ --extract ati_src
patch -p1 < ati-8-5.patch
sudo sh ati_src/ 8.493 --install

However, ATI still doesn't seem to support the new Xorg 1.5 ABI and the driver crashes on X server restart. So the only way to get the driver to work is to downgrade the X server. I don't have a dire need to get the ATI driver working because the current radeon driver is working quite well for me, so I leave things at that. However, I am a bit miffed at the way ATI is handling the Xorg 1.5 support. After all, Fedora 9 has been available for over 2 months now, so they do have a testbed to test it.

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