In case someone hasn’t noticed yet, fglrx has been removed from Xenial. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, the driver did not support XServer 1.18 which we wanted to get in for 16.04. But more importantly, AMD asked us earlier this year to migrate to the open driver stack since fglrx would not be supported in 16.04. With this move we will have the shared core of AMD’s new driver stack in place and ready for adding the proprietary pieces of their hybrid stack, once they have been released later this year.
What does this mean in practice?
- machines currently running fglrx will be automatically migrated to the open source driver stack (kernel, mesa, X) after an upgrade to 16.04 – fglrx package will be removed and xorg configuration moved aside so that the OSS driver can run
- users relying on pro/workstation class features (latest OpenGL, OpenCL, ..) probably should stay on a supported release until the hybrid stack is available
We’re trying to make the transition as painless as possible. Alberto Milone has already backported basically every amdgpu kernel driver commit from 4.5 to the xenial kernel. So even the latest AMD GPU’s should be working fine with modesetting, power management etc. We’re also tracking changes to the Xserver to make sure any fixes applied to master also get in the 1.18.x branch for next point release, especially changes to the glamor acceleration library which newer radeons use for speeding up 2D graphics on Xorg. And there’s also a feature-freeze exception filed for Mesa 11.2… So I’d say we’re as well prepared as we humanly can!
One thing that needs some more thought is what happens when users on 14.04.[2,3,4] get migrated to 14.04.5 with supported HWE stack from 16.04. We’ll discuss this with AMD and hopefully come up with something so that in August when 14.04.5 is released things work as good as or even better than before 🙂