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KDE KWin May Drop Support For AMD Catalyst Drivers

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the my-radeon-9100-is-displeased dept.

KDE 148

An anonymous reader writes "The KWin window manager maintainer for KDE is looking at removing the legacy OpenGL 1.0 renderer from the KWin code-base due to the costs of supporting legacy hardware. This means dropping support for non-GL2+ graphics cards, which are all over six years old, but in the process would mean that for now there is no longer any support for the AMD Catalyst driver on the KDE desktop. Due to driver bugs, AMD's proprietary Catalyst software only works well with the GL1 renderer even though their latest hardware supports OpenGL 4."

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It's the right move, unfortuntately (5, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125717)

Six years is a long time in the graphics world and AMD / ATI have had plenty of time to fix their broken stuff.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125789)

in the mean time , i have a radion 300 chipset, looks like I'm switching to Awesome window manager.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125989)

No need to switch. KDE will work fine, you just won't have all the fancy effects you may have become accustomed to.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127901)

No need to switch. KDE will work fine, you just won't have all the fancy effects you may have become accustomed to.

That depends. I have a R250 chipset in my laptop (no ability to change it there). It just means I'll have to switch from the hardware OpenGL support to a software OpenGL support. Wait? I may have done that already....all effects still working.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (2)

Sipper (462582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128645)

No need to switch. KDE will work fine, you just won't have all the fancy effects you may have become accustomed to.

Don't make that pronouncement so fast; Qt5 has a requrement for OpenGL (ES) 2.0 or above, and KDE4 is now being developed using Qt5.

http://labs.qt.nokia.com/2011/05/09/thoughts-about-qt-5/ [nokia.com]

The current "compilation requirements" are listed for KDE 4.4 but not for any version newer than that, but it is very likely that KDE4 will eventually have a baserequirement of OpenGL (ES) 2.0 due to that being a requirement for Qt5.

http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules [kde.org]

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126005)

Why?

KWin works just fine with OpenGL 2.0 on the Gallium R300 driver. I'm using it right now. Just don't activate Blur or Wobbly Windows, those are slow and buggy.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (2)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127221)

in the mean time , i have a radion 300 chipset, looks like I'm switching to Awesome window manager.

Is the "Radion 300 chipset" that you have some sort of cheap, Chinese knockoff version of the real thing?

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125797)

Time, but not incentive. Linux's share of the desktop market is still rather tiny, and no-one really cares about graphics acceleration on servers.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126339)

I'll bet Linux' share of the "7 year old desktop computer market" (if you can even call it a market) is larger than Linux' share of the desktop market overall. The top-grossing game of 2005 (7 years ago) was World of Warcraft, so it's not like a computer from 2005 is crap. The XBox 360 was also released in 2005, so there are a great many people playing on 2005-era 3d capabilities.

That said, a 3d-accelerated desktop is not a necessity; really not an advantage at all. fvwm and fluxbox don't need any version of openGL and work just fine.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127253)

I'd bet that you have a nice idea, but it's quite hard to say if it's accurate or not - as in, not even remotely.

Have any studies been done on how far back people are relying on stable releases of distros?

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39129137)

You are right, I don't have that data. The link I suspect between linux and old hardware is first the low cost, and second the lack of suitability for gaming and third poor linux support for the latest hardware.

But who knows, probably linux is used more by computer enthusiasts, and computer enthusiasts may tend to have newer hardware. (Although I think enthusiasts are marked more by their ability to nurse old hardware. I mean, if you see somebody driving a nice new Lexus, it could be a car enthusiast, but is probably a real estate agent. If somebody is driving a '67 mustang, they're an enthusiast).

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (2)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126455)

Actually, times a'changin' there. I work on a product that crunches a CAD model into part thumbnails for realtime viewing on the server.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (0)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128711)

no-one cares about graphics acceleration on servers but there is a lot of noise about using the graphics card for some data processing tasks. Even Microsoft has release its AMP and there's OpenCL (not to mention CUDA). These things are flavour-of-the-month at the moment, so if Linux dropped support for the AMD gfx card, they'd effectively be dropping support for AMD gpus too. That would hurt.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

Beavertank (1178717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125829)

Maybe this will push them to finally fix it.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126047)

6 years is not a terribly long time in computing anymore. My primary laptop is over 6 years old, and has an ATI graphics card. It's old enough that it's not supported by the Catalyst drivers anymore, but it's still plenty capable for me.

But fortunately, this is less about excluding older stuff than it is about ostrasizing AMD for not keeping their drivers up to date.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (4, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126193)

If they don't hurry, all those Linux gamers will switch to nVidia instead!

Oh, wait...

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (2)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126651)

But, actually, if you do any gaming in Linux, as limited as it is, you pretty much need a nVidia card.
Yeah, binary blob and stuff, kernel taint, whatever, but it does the work for me.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126849)

Yeah, I think that was the joke.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126939)

Argh, some day I will understand that kind of stuff. Let me blame the language barrier... yes, that'll do.

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

wolf1oo (1732258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127007)

I've actually been using the ATI drivers with a 4 year old, but still very reliable, ATI HD3850. I've had no complaints, besides the fact that horrendous screen tearing occurs if you don't have a composition manager like xcompmgr running. I still agree though, they are making the right move. If ATI can't maintain their code or care to improve it, so be it. I do know the next card I'm getting is nVidia for sure. But honestly, I run a lot of games both through wine and natively, and they all run with on average top fps, with highest settings.

Nowadays I wouldn't quite refer to linux gaming as limited, you just can't quite play the latest and greatest games. Although Skyrim worked (almost) right out of the box, and after about 6 months of a game being out there are usually ways of making it work decently :)

Re:It's the right move, unfortuntately (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127359)

It's good to know that Linux isn't being left too far behind. The games I usually play aren't too demanding on video cards made in the last 5-7 years so I tend not to notice but the high end gaming community is important and the more of them we can attract, the better for Linux overall.

Losing the old PC advantage (3, Interesting)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125787)

Wont this result in Linux losing out on the "old PC" use case?
6 year old PC's can still run XP, and once XP support is withdrawn, they will have to either sell off those PC's or move to Linux
By withdrawing support for old PC's, they are losing out on a decent amount of the already tiny marketshare Linux has in the PC market

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39125823)

or they could just use a different window manager... all the fancy stuff in KDE 4 is slow anyway

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (2)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128909)

or they could just use a different window manager... all the fancy stuff in KDE 4 is slow anyway

Yes indeed, Anonymous Grasshopper. This is a chance for KDE/Radeon users to gain Enlightenment.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1, Flamebait)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125841)

i dont know how you run KDE 4.x on old hardware

its a massive peice of bloat IMHO

gnome2/MATE or xfce will simply run faster

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39125985)

Did you try running KDE 4.8?
It was running perfectly on minimal hardware when I tried it.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage - Specs.... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126797)

...or it didn't happen.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126831)

The last I tried KDE was 4.6 on a netbook. And it was unbearably slow. I might have gave it a try otherwise, but it was slow.

But if 4.8 is better I might actually check it out.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126993)

It is not, don't lose your time

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127027)

Been using it on my eeepc 1000H since I got it, not a problem, I run fedora.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39128873)

Instead of basing your opinion on preconceptions, give it an actual try. Then come back here and say that again with a straight face.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128905)

It's the machine I posted the post from... running kde 4.6 at present, haven't updated in a bit

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

celle (906675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127501)

"It was running perfectly on minimal hardware when I tried it."

    And what's the definition of minimal on the planet you live on?

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (4, Informative)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125865)

I don't remember XP having compositing window manager. They'll still be able to use KDE and Kwin, just not OpenGL compositing.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (2)

gshegosh (1587463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125903)

6 year old PCs can still run XP (which is unsupported since 2009) OR KDE 4.8 which will probably be supported for a few years coming.
Why do you compare latest KDE to old XP? Does Windows 7 work well on old PCs?

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125975)

XP SP3 is still supported until June 2014 - Microsoft extended support when it became apparent that nobody was migrating to Vista and they needed time to get them to switch to Windows 7.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126585)

It wasn't just the lack of people moving to Vista, that problem was starting to go away as people began to buy new machines with it pre-installed (removing the hardware compatibility issues which is one of the things stopping existing XP installs being changed over to Vista) and the major post roll-out problems were addressed (in the first service pack on MS's part, and with 3rd party software being fixed or replacements developed/found for other issues).

The key reason for the support extension was netbooks: XP barely ran on the second and third batches of models with 512Mb RAM and small drives, when netbook sales were heading to their peak, and while a 7 install is less RAM hungry than Vista it wasn't nearly close enough to release and they had no other alternative. While Vista would operate (the word "run" would be incorrect in this context, a one legged tortoise could move faster) on such machines with enough drive space it wouldn't even fit on the 8Gb SSDs that were fairly standard issue at that point.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39125977)

If you're considering 6 years old an "old PC"? Then yes, Win7 does just fine on an 8 year old PC I own.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126353)

Either that "PC" was a $3000 workstation when it was new, or you have a funny definition of "just fine".

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126627)

I have a 7 year old laptop that cost me $1800 back when I bought it new. It has 2 gigs of RAM, an ATI Mobile Radeon 9700, and an AMD64 Mobile 2800+. It loaded webpages and Word very quickly back then, and it still does even after upgrading it to Windows 7. One of the first games I installed on it was World of Warcraft. Never really got into the game, but it ran it great.

If it was "just fine" back then and I'm doing the exact same tasks now, it's still "just fine". No need to buy into this disposable market. You're smarter than that.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127605)

That's a pretty high-end machine! A typical laptop back then probably was around $500, and came with nowhere near 2GB. I just maxed out my mother-in-law's machine with 2GB and it is a 2004 machine. I think it was $1200 new, which was at the high end of what you could get at CompUSA at the time. Still has XP, though. It would probably run 7 "acceptably", but then again, she was running with 256MB of RAM for the first 7 years that she had it! It hurt... so... bad.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126739)

it runs just as fine as xp, if not finer.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127631)

Certainly memory requirements have gone up. I can't say anything about raw speed, since I haven't compared two installs on the same machine, but my general impression of 7 is that it is not faster than XP. Heck, it feels a little pokier on much newer hardware to me - but that's purely subjective.

Most benchmarks I've seen seem to put Windows 7 at a pretty good position compared to XP (and very good compared to Vista), but that's on good fairly modern hardware.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39125981)

How many of those old PC's are using the vendor-specific closed-source AMD catalyst driver? According to the article, the open source ati/radeon drivers will continue to work fine for just about anything but 3D gaming.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (2)

armanox (826486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126019)

KDE and GNOME aren't competing against XP - they've blown XP's UI out of the water years ago. OS X and Windows 7 are the UI's they're competing against.

Also, Linux really doesn't market to the "old PC" crowd anymore anyways.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126555)

Sorta. I like KDE3/Gnome2 's interface better than XP. I prefer XP over GNOME3/KDE4. There's just too much crap going on, those OSes are starting to get in the way of getting things done.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126641)

I'm not a fan of GNOME3, and still prefer KDE3 over KDE4, but they all provide a lot of features that XP doesn't support. Now, if they are useful or not is another story.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126721)

Since when Linux doesn't market to the "old PC"? Almost everyone I know uses Linux as desktops just because of that - they want modern browsers, messengers, office tools and they can't get that on 10-15 year old PC's. Or at least they can't get it with processor power and as little RAM as it was normal at the time, and nowdays it's hard to find decent big RAM sticks that aren't used by someone else.

OK, it's true that those people don't use latest KDE or GNOME, but other WM's are enough for their needs.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126361)

Not really, it will still WORK with the older PC, just graphics accelleration will not be available (no fancy games). Most people who want to play games expect to have to maintain the latest&greatest hardward, and would not expect an older PC to play much of anything. The system will still be able to browse the web and create word documents which (i would imagine) is what most people would want to do with an older PC in these cases. In any case, i do hope ATI will finally fix their drivers because of this. I am a Nvidia fan because their shit works, but would love to have more options and ATI could be a great competitor on the linux desktop if they got their shit togeather!

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126425)

"6 year old PC's can still run XP, and once XP support is withdrawn, they will have to either sell off those PC's or move to Linux"

People who run Windows on old PCs don't care about "support".

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126477)

Last I saw, Xfce is still kicking around.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126545)

as if kde is the only solution...
I run a window manager which uses 1mb of memory...

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126659)

The "Old PC" use case really is for hardware that's 2-5 years old, not much older than that. Even Linux can't make an ancient piece of crap responsive under modern application and rendering loads. You can use that older hardware for office work like editing documents, but if you have to deal with modern media, a 5+ year old machine is starting to have a hard time keeping up.

Sad, but true.

Only geeks running file servers and firewalls want the really old hardware, and they don't even want a GUI running on those dedicated servers because it's a waste of memory and CPU when your normal modus operandi is to SSH into the box to configure it.

Regrettably, that includes my Logitech trackball, which hasn't worked with ANY Linux release I tried that came out post Ubuntu 10.04.1. I love my trackball, but after a decade of solid service, I'm going to have to switch. *sigh*

The sad thing is I can't imagine what they did to the kernel to make it hate what is, in essence, just a USB mouse.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127625)

That sounds suspiciously like a *buntu problem, unless you've got failing hardware. I've got one here too, one of those "marble" ones. Never had a problem with it, been using it for years with opensuse.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128471)

It's not a *buntu problem or a problem in general. "Modern" media is not something that requires a lot of resources or a particularly "modern" machine so long as you've got good driver support.

Nvidia has that. ATI does not.

Re:Losing the old PC advantage (1)

Xolve (2527602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126935)

But KWin will run without effects and that's fine for a "buggy" hardware/driver.

The "Year of the Linux Desktop" (-1, Troll)

clonehappy (655530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125873)

So, we've pretty much just given up on that, huh?

Graphics on Linux (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125881)

I haven't heavily used Linux since I was in highschool. What's up with the graphics situation on it? I always hear/see problems with it, and I find it confusing because it's such a fundamental thing

That said, the loss of Catalyst is not a big one.. I recently had to uninstall it on my Win7 machine because it caused constant blue screens.. after analyzing the memory dumps, it was the culprit..

Re:Graphics on Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126199)

Long story short:

Graphics aren't the problem on Linux. If you want flat and 2D display, you can throw any graphics card into a Linux workstation and get a decent display. If, on the other hand, you want decent 3D acceleration you pretty much have to rely on the 3rd party drivers from the major graphics card chipsets (ATI and NVidia). The NVidia drivers are not bad, since they're used heavily in the super-computer market (think Tesla cards); NVidia has a large investment to keep the super-computer market happy. ATI treats their closed-source Linux binary drivers like the retarded little cousin that everyone knows about but no one likes to talk about (the ATI closed-source drivers still don't work with the 7900 series of cards, for example).

Re:Graphics on Linux (2)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126351)

I haven't heavily used Linux since I was in highschool. What's up with the graphics situation on it? I always hear/see problems with it, and I find it confusing because it's such a fundamental thing

I think it's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. Accelerated 3D on Linux is hit-and-miss. Therefore, people don't often use it for things that require that. Therefore, there isn't that much of an incentive to improve things.

On the other hand, both nVidia and Intel actually support Linux, and have done so for years. AMD and Via have paid lip service for years, but their drivers don't work very well in practice. Then there are the drivers developed by the community, which tend to lack features and performance for newer hardware. The gap in features and performance is closing, but the definition of "newer hardware" keeps shifting so that, pretty, much you will get severely degraded performance compared to the state of the art, either because the drivers aren't fast, or because the hardware isn't fast. There seem to simply not be enough knowledgeable hackers to make the community drivers keep up with developments in hardware land.

From my perspective, part of the problem is that everything is a moving target. Graphics hardware is a moving target, because the hardware interface changes in incompatible ways. OpenGL is a moving target, both the core and the extensions. Linux is a moving target. And on top of that, the *AA are trying to stuff in Digital Restrictions Management, too.

I think if you look at the history of graphics on Linux, things come in waves. At some point, there used to be good support for common SVGA cards. Then there was an explosion of new graphics hardware, and Linux couldn't keep up. There wasn't even a VESA driver, which would have worked on all of them. Then, the graphics card market consolidated, and things became better. 2D would pretty much work. Xv would often work, too. 3D became the next battle. nVidia quickly decided to conquer the Linux and FreeBSD market, and have dominated pretty much since that time. But their drivers aren't open source. Intel decided some years ago to fill that gap. Their hardware wasn't all that fast, but is getting better all the time. ATI has gone back and forth; at some point, their cards were preferred, because the specs were available and there were good open source drivers. Alas, since the R600 / HD2000 or so, the hardware interface is different, and the open source drivers haven't caught up. ATI's closed source drivers have always been pretty bad. They're fast if they work, but usually have problems.

Re:Graphics on Linux (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126409)

While the graphics situation on Windows is far better, it has actually slid back a bit from the user's (or at least the gamer's) point of view over the last 12 months or so.

I went for years with XP and Vista machines, never having to think about graphics drivers. I'd stick the latest set on when I bought the machine, and then they'd "just work" until I was ready for a new machine. But recently, there's been a real trend towards graphics drivers optimised towards particular games - which may give performance or even stability issues in other games. Suddenly, as a PC gamer, I'm back in the situation I was last in back around 2002 or so, of actually having to think and care about graphics drivers.

Not a positive development - and one which is seemingly being driven by ego-fuelled feuds between a few specific developers.

Re:Graphics on Linux (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126511)

Oh I agree with you completely there. I used to have an nVidia geForce 8800GTS (yes it's old, but it worked great), but I was unable to update my nVidia drivers to the latest. In fact, I had to stick with a 2 year old version (I forget the version # exactly), otherwise I had random blue screens. Recently though, I bought BF3, and it crashed with the old drivers.. so then I was really fucked.

Ended up with ATI radeon to avoid nVidia completely, but like I said originally Catalyst started crashing my computer.. now though, after 3 months of dicking with it, it's working pretty well. But this is indeed very reminiscent of the 2002 shit video driver days.

KDE, Gnome (3, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125883)

I remember when they first started out. Their gui-system would replace windows, but better. With less bloath and more freedom for users. Those days are long gone. I do hope the guys at kde understand that this will mean a new (and probably) big lost of users. AMD should get their drivers straightened out, but I can't help but have the feeling this will bite KDE in the butt and not AMD. Still a shame those gui's became so bloathed and slooowwww. And thank God for fluxbox and the likes.

Re:KDE, Gnome (3, Insightful)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126237)

Still a shame those gui's became so bloathed and slooowwww. And thank God for fluxbox and the likes.

If this is how you feel, then you'd use Kwin with effects off, and wouldn't care about lack of OpenGL compositing. So I don't see your point.

The point is just beyond your grasp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126449)

Actually, a long way beyond, but hey.

You see moving the desktop compositing on to the GPU removes load off the CPU, therefore making the entire system faster.

With newer GUIs, there's more work, therefore, despite a GPU being able to help in theory, in practice, they're not being allowed. See subject of thread.

Even without effects, the speed will be LESS than it would otherwise be unless you buy a newer card.

And the opportunity to keep with a lighter version of KDE is precluded by dropping the earlier versions.

Re:The point is just beyond your grasp. (1)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127421)

Actually, a long way beyond, but hey.

You see moving the desktop compositing on to the GPU removes load off the CPU, therefore making the entire system faster.

So does turning off compositing.

Re:The point is just beyond your grasp. (1)

bmcage (785177) | more than 2 years ago | (#39129149)

doesn't the open source driver do opengl 2 on those cards that support it? The catalyst driver does use less power hower, but then, perhaps that is because only opengl 1 is send to it with linux :-)

Re:KDE, Gnome (1)

Sipper (462582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128781)

Still a shame those gui's became so bloathed and slooowwww. And thank God for fluxbox and the likes.

If this is how you feel, then you'd use Kwin with effects off, and wouldn't care about lack of OpenGL compositing. So I don't see your point.

Temporarily, right now, that works. However the newer versions of KDE4 are being based on Qt5, which has a base requirement of OpenGL (ES) 2.0 or above. http://labs.qt.nokia.com/2011/05/09/thoughts-about-qt-5/ [nokia.com] This means presumably KDE4 will have the same base requirement. :-/

Re:KDE, Gnome (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126509)

"better than windows" and "thank god for fluxbox". In the same paragraph.

Are you a troll or an idiot? a window manager is not the same thing as a desktop environment. The WM is a tiny, tiny part of that. And even as a standalone WM, kwin is really, really good.

Some of us think that using the CPU to calculate stuff that can be done by the GPU is dumb. Idiots would buy amazingly expensive gigs with GPUs with many texture units and then deactivate textures because they had the illusion it made their games run faster. Same thing here I guess: it does nothing, therefore, it must be going faster, right?

I don't want my software to waste cycles because you made stupid hardware choices and want to be accommodated.

Re:KDE, Gnome (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126975)

Come on fanboi... If you like KDE by all means, use it. No need at all to respond like this, with personal attacks and a child-like manner of expression. Love to hear about the stupid hardware choices I made btw.

Re:KDE, Gnome (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127697)

You are comparing fluxbox to a DE. If this had been about GNOME, I would have responded the same way.

Free software developers do what they do out of love. Because of that, it is sometimes somewhat incomplete, but also typically very well though out at the conceptual level -- at least for projects that survive. Idiots like you only serve to demotivate the devs. I don't like it when people get attacked from ignorance. I like it even less when people get attacked from ignorance as they are doing things for the good of everyone.

Your comment makes you a terrible human.

Re:KDE, Gnome (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128619)

Now it's getting interesting and I sure as hell hope you don't use xorg's xserver to boot that nice KDE of yours. If you do, you are using the code of a terrible human being! (at least, parts of it)... Now, grow up, kid.

Re:KDE, Gnome (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128769)

Seriously? You code for xorg, and you cannot tell the difference between a DE and a WM? That explains a lot...

You still are a terrible human being for attacking people: as you apparently are qualified, you are not an ignorant jerk, but a troll. I am not sure this is better.

Re:KDE, Gnome (1)

wolf1oo (1732258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127035)

I completely agree with you, I used KDE 3.5 for some time, but about 3 years ago I happily switched to fluxbox and have never been dissatisfied about my switch. Lightweight, simple, and easily configurable. That's all I could want from a window manager.

Re:KDE, Gnome (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128791)

Not really related, but for me kde 3.5 was the time I switched all stations to flux. Before I used flux on my older hardware and KDE on my main-pc. It looked good, worked good. Had all I need and lots more. KDE 3.5 was a complete new experience. Getting shit done seemed to be less important than getting shit look good. And I look good from myself, by nature. So I only need to get shit done. KDE 3.5 and above and the new Gnome got in the way of that. At least for me. But they look great, I have to give them that. The eyecandy is great.

Teh sky, it's falling!!111 (5, Informative)

joib (70841) | more than 2 years ago | (#39125893)

To recap, KWin currently supports:
  • No compositing
  • Compositing using the 2D XRender interface
  • Compositing using OpenGL 1.x

  • Compositing using OpenGL 2.x
  • Compositing using OpenGL ES 2 (code mostly shared with the OpenGL 2.x codepath)

So what is suggested here is to delete support for compositing using OpenGL 1.x.

Personally, I can hardly blame the developer for wanting to prune that list a bit.

And, if you don't want to see this feature deleted, now is your opportunity to step up to the plate and contribute!

Re:Teh sky, it's falling!!111 (2)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126375)

Exactly.

Also, if for some reason, this makes you not want to use KWin anymore, no problem! Just use one of the many other window managers. You can even do that and still use KDE.

Re:Teh sky, it's falling!!111 (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127935)

It's not so much KDE pruning the list, as Qt. The OpenGL 1.x support is very difficult to maintain in Qt; and they changed things quite a bit for 2.x. KDE adopting Qt5 (to be released later this year) will mean an EOL on OpenGL 1.x support. So they're kind of forced along.

However, if your graphics chip can't quite chop it; then you just have to switch to a software OpenGL renderer that can support it. So you're not SOL; it just might be a little bit slower.

So what? (5, Interesting)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126083)

I had more than my share of problems with the Catalyst driver. Switched to the radeonhd driver in its infancy, and got better results, albeit more crashes. It quickly matured. Later I switched to the radeon driver, once it had reasonably mature support for my HD3870 or whatever it is. The performance is great, the stability is great, and I expect that compositing will continue to work.

Basically, AMD has helped the open-source community to develop this driver sufficiently for it to take over as far as I'm concerned.

When it comes to ATI drivers..... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126289)

I really could care less because I already determined that suicidal thoughts decrease significantly when you just don't even bother trying to use AMD/ATI graphics on Linux.

How much could you care less? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126705)

Because it sounds like you care at least a little bit, else your position couldn't be one that cared less if you didn't like it a little bit, which would be phrased in the active mode with: I COULDN'T care less. Your version you care a bit, maybe a lot, but definitely more than nil.

Re:When it comes to ATI drivers..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126709)

I really could care less...

So why *do* you care?

Because you said you do, you said you really do.

News that matters (0)

Lac (135355) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126327)

I am trying to imagine a world-view in which this is "news that matters," and somehow, it is just not coming to me. How this got posted is beyond me.

No good choices here. (4, Interesting)

SalsaDoom (14830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126457)

The problem comes in with the fact that the open source drivers don't support everything. I seem to be in a real minority -- I really use Linux for all my desktop stuff, except playing the odd game. All my music, movies, everything I do from my linux laptop generally. The open source drivers won't allow me to do all the stuff that I do -- mainly, I won't be able to watch high def movies -- no hardware decoding support. There probably never will be either, without using catalyst. Do not also forget that since I'm on a laptop, I've got concerns regarding my power usage too on occasion, and the open source drivers consume a lot more juice. So the open source drivers *I would much rather use otherwise* don't support all the features that I use frequently. So this is bad for me, at least. My laptop isn't old, either -- its video card is a Mobility Radeon 5870, still pretty spiffy if you ask me.

Also, the desktop effects do more than just look pretty, a number of handy features for organizing windows and seeing what apps you have running require it.

So yeah, I just can't see this making AMD finally bring their drivers into the last century. Speaking as a Militant Linux Zealot who aggressively hates and seeks the destruction of everyone who doesn't wholly agree with me -- The linux desktop numbers are fairly low, I personally think they are higher than most people think -- but thats still a low number. Then cut that into a third or so which is the KDE desktop people. Thats one third of a small number ... I doubt AMD gives a shit. I see what the developer is saying here, but it seems that his choices are 1) Irritate a lot of users who use AMD graphics, probably lose a number of them who use the catalyst features, 2) Continue to support code for the sake of AMD being kind of a shit company.

I'd rather not get screwed by this, so I hope he continues to support GL1 for now, and maybe we can find another way to push AMD into updating their drivers because I don't think he'll get the response from them that he thinks he will.

Re:No good choices here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126717)

Just turn off OpenGL effects? Not much is changing, most people already turn off the effects cause they are a performance drain.

Re:No good choices here. (1)

Rashkae (59673) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126795)

If you aren't playing games, the Open source ati drivers should not only do everything you need, they are arguable better than the ATI catalyst, (with the exception of the power management. that would require manual configuration tweaking.)

As far as High Def video, that workload is moving to the cpu, which, assuming you have more than 1 core on this rig, should be just fine for any high def video. (More videos are being encoded 10-bit now anyway, which doesn't have video card support on *any* platform.) It may seem wasteful not use a dedicated chip for video decoding, but assuming the history of mpeg2 repeats itself, that's probably the way thins will go anyhow.

Re:No good choices here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127285)

GPUs aren't just for graphics anymore. They are co-processors for computation too. None of the open source drivers supports this usage yet. (And yes I know about the Gallium3D effort. I am faithfully monitoring it but not holding my breath for a release any time soon.)

Re:No good choices here. (3)

SalsaDoom (14830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127665)

Actually. Your right. I'm running ArchLinux here..

I removed the catalyst drivers and installed the radeon driver... a few desktop effects don't work (such as wobbly windows) but the important ones that I actually care about work just fine. Video seems to play fine. Interesting! I had to tweak my monitor detection script a bit (xrandr seems to call displays differently according to the driver) but it all works fine. The KMS looks much better with my bootsplash too.

Maybe this doesn't matter? :)

Re:No good choices here. (1)

Rashkae (59673) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127873)

The catalyst drivers have never been able to play video without tearing (they are completely unable to do Vsync with XV or even gl video output). That should work out of the box with the Radeon driver. It takes more cpu time, but that's why I say that the Radeon driver is superior for high def video.

Re:No good choices here. (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39129233)

It can even be disabled with driconf and/or doing export vblank_mode=0; pay attention to the lowercase. I've found the open source drivers to be far far far better than the catalyst drivers for stability. I hate the power management (I can only get it down to about 40W total usage for my laptop compared to 30W with the catalyst drivers), but it has been getting better and better. I've actually been running the development builds recently and they seem to be very stable still.

Re:No good choices here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127023)

The open source drivers won't allow me to do all the stuff that I do -- mainly, I won't be able to watch high def movies -- no hardware decoding support.

If you have a decent CPU there really shouldn't be a problem there. Sure, my i5 480M is pretty strong, but I am able to watch the 1080p Big Buck Bunny 6 times in 6 different players at the same time - fluently.

 

There probably never will be either, without using catalyst.

There is already working decoding support for mpeg1 and mpeg2 via vdpau in mesa. It really works. People are already working on h.264 and webm I guess. True, it isn't there yet, but it will in the not too far future.

Do not also forget that since I'm on a laptop, I've got concerns regarding my power usage too on occasion, and the open source drivers consume a lot more juice.

What is "a lot"? On my HD 6550M it uses noticeable more power on the "mid" profile, but it's still not so much that it would heat up the laptop unusually or make the fan spin louder.
But it needs improvement, that I would agree to.

Yes, the Open Source radeon driver is not nearly as good as it should be, but it isn't as bad either.

Re:No good choices here. (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128015)

Why would a "Militant Linux Zealot" buy a laptop with AMD graphics? Support for AMD graphics has always been poor and even the most basic research when buying a machine would turn up this fact. I agree that you are "in a real minority" but, not because you use linux for everything (hell, my parents do that) but because you use linux for everything and purchased the worst possible graphics platform for doing that.

A window manager tied to DRIVERS??? (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126707)

Why , does a window manager to be tied to DRIVERS? Give me a break! I would recommend just dropping KDE and using XFCE, or even FVWM, its fast, it doesnt use much RAM and it actually follows good X design philosophy.

Another question, why not just allow Kwin to use an OpenGL software renderer (Mesa) if there isn no hardware support. OpenGL is an A P I, that means that you should be able to drop in a software renderer as a backup if there is not adequate hardware rendering. Whats so hard about this for this dolts to figure out?

Re:A window manager tied to DRIVERS??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126987)

Because all the various compositing bits requires making OpenGL API calls, and they have a minimum level of support in mind, like multitexturing or NPOT textures or shaders. Mesa's software shaders are slow to the point of simply not usable. What they're dropping support for is the crippled broken OpenGL implementation in AMD's Catalyst drivers on Linux. Turn off compositing and it'll be just fine.

Re:A window manager tied to DRIVERS??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39128611)

With most people having 8 or 16gb of RAM, does "doesn't use much RAM" really mean much for picking a DE?

The problem is KWin, not Catalyst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127389)

When Unigine, with all it's impressive features, can run just fine on the Catalyst drivers, but KWin can't draw a couple windows without crashing, where do you think the problem is?

http://unigine.com/products/heaven/

Can someone explain this (1)

Bananas (156733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127563)

<rant on>

Why the hell is everyone whining about the Catalyst drivers, when the existing Xorg ports work, are stable, and really should be the center of our attention with regard to effort/coding/bug-reporting.

It irritates me to no end to see STOO-PID-ass reports of "AMD/ATI is suxxor because of Catalyst, use proprietary NoVideo bullshit-bullshit"...when I know better to begin with.

Stop loading crappy-ass binary drivers, start feeding back bug reports to the Xorg devs, and maybe you'll get something that's better than "I clicky-clicked the proprietary driver in Urbunghole Maya Calendar 2012.9997 Edition, and it loaded but now suxxors my system".

</rant off>

Seriously, I want to hear a list of why the Catalyst drivers are even needed. Give me good reasons why I absolutely positively MUST install Catalyst & Co. when the existing efforts are working.

Bonus points if you can tell me why I can decode AND PLAY 1920x1080 HD just fine with Xorg drivers, but shouldn't be able to.

Re:Can someone explain this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39128969)

#1 For Google Earth, WebGL, or other 3D work, Catalyst is still MUCH better in terms of framerates and supported features.
#2 Power consumption / heat output. On my laptop, Catalyst can keep it so it doesn't burn my genitals off and the fans are not maxed the whole time, so that is nice.

This is just perfect :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127679)

After spending all night R-ingTFM and finally installing ATI Catalyst on my Arch with KDE, this is the love I get!!!

Confusing Post (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127951)

would mean that for now there is no longer any support for the AMD Catalyst driver on the KDE desktop. Due to driver bugs, AMD's proprietary Catalyst software only works well with the GL1 renderer even though their latest hardware supports OpenGL 4

Doesn't that kind of contradict its-self? Even if AMD's software is buggy with newer GL, buggy doesn't equal "no longer any support".

It sounds to me like the cards would be supported, and might finally get some attention and bug fixes if the desktop were actually using the newer library and thus tripping on the bugs.

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