Friday, July 20, 2012

Update: ArchLinux + ATi Catalyst issue

After doing some more reading about the ATi Catalyst 12.6 driver release and upgrade information, I realized that the my hardware, Radeon HD 6250, was indeed supported. The "Unsupported Hardware" watermark was probably a bug that will hopefully be fixed in one of the future releases, whenever that might be. I did find a resolution for the time being that removes the watermark on the ArchLinux Wiki page for ATi Catalyst.

It involves running this following script:

for x in $(objdump -d $DRIVER|awk '/call/&&/EnableLogo/{print "\\x"$2"\\x"$3"\\x"$4"\\x"$5"\\x"$6}'); do
 sed -i "s/$x/\x90\x90\x90\x90\x90/g" $DRIVER

Once this script is run, and the X server is restarted, the watermark disappears. All other functionality, especially OpenGL rendering etc, seems to be intact. Good enough for me.

However, this highlights the problem of having closed source, proprietary hardware drivers. Had the drivers been open, this issue would have been fixed not too long after the drivers get released. Hopefully the open source "radeon" will catch up in performance and features with the proprietary drivers and we won't have to worry about these kinds of issues in the future.

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