Installing AMD Catalyst in Fedora 20

Recently I did a fresh install of the Fedora 20 KDE spin. One of the things that I did not realize when installing Fedora 20 was that the AMD Catalyst package is no longer supported. What am I supposed to do? It seems the last available support in any rpm repos was for F19. Browsing the forums I could see a lot of people doing some editing and hacking attempting to get the older packages to work. Seeing all this, the old engineering adage came to mind, “if you’re trying too hard it’s because you are doing it wrong”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would love to have the open source Radeon driver running on my box, but it simply doesn’t compare to the proprietary driver right now. My machine runs cooler with the proprietary driver and I have better video and graphics performance. So how do I get my ATI card working on my Fedora 20 install you ask? Here are the details:

Installing AMD Catalyst on Fedora 20:

For starters, you will need to have some prerequisite packages installed to get the driver working:

# yum install gcc binutils make kernel-devel kernel-headers

Secondly, you will want to grab AMD Catalyst 13.11 beta from AMD, unzip it and make it executable:

wget –-referer=’http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Linux+x86′ http://www2.ati.com/drivers/beta/amd-catalyst-13.11-betav9.95-linux-x86.x86_64.zip

# unzip amd-catalyst-13.11-betav9.95-linux-x86.x86_64.zip

# chmod a+x amd-catalyst-13.11-betaV9.95-linux-x86.x86_64.run

Within your root terminal, navigate to your package and run the .run file:

# ./amd-catalyst-13.11-betaV9.95-linux-x86.x86_64.run

You should be installing the driver with no hitch now. (If running Gnome, see possible caveats below). After you have rebooted, check it went okay with this command $ fglrxinfo, though I can visually discern the driver is working because my screen resolution is correct and much, much better looking.

Here is some sample output from my box:

[demux@localhost ~]$ fglrxinfo
 display: :0  screen: 0
 OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
 OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 5670
 OpenGL version string: 4.3.12615 Compatibility Profile Context 13.25.18

Possible Caveats:

There are always caveats right? I only know of this working on XFCE and KDE, though it should work with others. However, there are reports that Gnome installs may run into some problems. This is apparently because Gnome has made provisions in their code to embrace the Wayland display server. The code within that is reported to conflict with the ATI code.

Also, you may have to re-install Catalyst after a kernel update. Though so far, I have not needed to. But it is possible. Dkms might allow the kernel to automatically incorporate the drive in new kernels, but I have not tested this or needed it thus far. If worse comes to worse, you will need to re-run the .run file. This method of install should work for future versions of Fedora as well and is really a general method of install for the proprietary driver.

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