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AMD 13.3 Beta for kernal 3.7/3.8
efi360
Status: Interested
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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will sgfxi get the new AMD 13.3 beta graphics driver? I read on phoronix it is supposed support latest kernal 3.7/3.8

as per this news feed:
www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTMyOTU
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techAdmin
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 4076
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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I looked at the beta stuff, but the problem is that amd, in their typical fashion, have found a way to do betas badly. They have each beta numbered, like 13.3-beta3 and so to track that I would have to constantly update sgfxi, and I'm frankly not willing to do that for what I consider an inferior driver from a bad company, that I do not use.

Nvidia, of course, does their betas exactly right, they release one, then maybe rarely one more, then the final stable is released, ALL USING numbers that ordered logically, like: 313.09 is the beta, then 313.10 or whatever is the stable.

The way amd does it is just too stupid to track in my opinion, though I did add in the logic to sgfxi to do that, before I realized they had an additional numbering string on the beta driver. I can handle that, but I basically do not want to, it's just an annoyance in terms of them once again finding the worst way to do it, then using that way. Someday, in the far off future, amd/ati may be fixed and their bad programming decisions may be replaced, from the top, with good ones, but I so far have seen no sign of it, so I keep my involvement with amd/ati to the bare minimum required for sgfxi to support it, but no more.

I can add in the varying beta number support, say beta 1 through beta 6 on the 13.3 driver, which is I believe roughly how many their last beta had, but really, at some point that company needs to start learning how to do things right.
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efi360
Status: Interested
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Posts: 20
Location: San Antonio, TX
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OK I understand, You do a a lot of work on making and supporting the script and we donít want you to have to do more work than you need to. I for one am very grateful to have sgfxi script to begin with saves me a lot of work. Thank you for it.

What do you suggest ? just wait till driver comes out of beta ?

I unfortunately updated my Ubuntu 12.10 to 13.04 but forgot about AMD supporting newer kernel and their driver model time frames. driver 13.1 with sgfxi no longer worked and am assuming cause of 3.8 kernel which ubunto 13.04 runs on. I put in in my old standby Nvidia GT 9600 and all is good for the moment but am chomping at the bit to use my new 7870 again, I just received it as a gift. to bad it was not a new Nvidia GTX 680 oh well ! .... but a gift is a gift :-)
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techAdmin
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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you can run the past branch liquorix, which currently is 3.4 kernel I guess. Don't know how ubuntu does ppa for older kernels.

You can also just download and run the latest fglrx beta .run file I guess.

I really am disappointed by how badly amd/ati handles simple things like numbering of versions, their method creates the silly situation where say, 12.12 beta was more advanced than 13.1 by the beta6 release.

Likewise to not just having a simple redirect that points beta to beta[actual current number] on download to make it easy. but this kind of thinking is what defines good programming groups, so there's not a lot of point to being sad that amd/ati, when confronted with a way of doing something, picked the worst way, that's sadly typical for them.
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efi360
Status: Interested
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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I know ( BAD LOGIC ) that seems the norm these days and the way many corporations think ........ Including Congress

Well No Worries and Thanks again for the reply !
I may just try to install it from AMD directly ( crosses Fingers ) lol !!!
Then again could just wait till it all settles out. The actual Ubuntu 13.04 is due April 25 I am on actualy on Kubuntu 13.04 beta. I would think graphic driver stuff should be sorted by then. I have my trusty GT 9600 to fall back on if all goes wrong :-)
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techAdmin
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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I may add amd/ati beta support but only if it becomes apparent that they are not going to randomly change their method to something else, their previous method was making people sign an nda and having no public betas at all. This current method is a slight improvement over that method, but, as I noted, it was implemented in the worst way, but itself was forced by their inane idea of releasing a driver a month, totally ignoring if the driver actually was ready or not, etc. This becomes obvious when you see nvidia do their beta of a series, say 313, while maintaining the stable branch, say, 310, then doing a new stable release for 313, and pinning an earlier stable branch, say, 304, to support what are now legacy cards. This is clear and coherent and easy to understand, and leads to no confusion, if you are running say some future 313.35 driver, you know it's a beta or prerelease, and the stable will have a higher number once the driver goes out of beta. You also know that it is a higher number than the legacy branch 304, and that therefore it will not work with your older card, for example. Weird how people can make easy stuff so complicated by bad decision making, but amd/ati has brought this to a high art over the years with their incoherent decision making and naming conventions.

the longer I do this, the more I see why doing things clearly and logically allow you as a group to maintain clear predictable methods and conventions, that do not require constant changing and tweaking, and which fit in naturally with good programming practices, ie, nvidia and how they manage to support not only linux, but the freebsds, year in and year out, because their core architecture is clearly better from the ground up. As is their installer, and their programmers as a group. It's my guess that you can rest fairly sure that when it comes to hiring the best and brightest to do device drivers, nvidia gets first pick of the crop and everyone else gets what is left over.
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efi360
Status: Interested
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Posts: 20
Location: San Antonio, TX
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This is the first AMD/ATI card I have ever owned I have always bought Nvidia so its all a new learning curve for me. I need to get to know how they work release schedule and all. I can see why you prefer Nvidia over other .... and honestly so do I but as mentioned before this was a gift so am going to ride the rough road for a while I guess lol. By the way I did download driver from AMD web site and was able to get it to install, everything works good so far only small annoyance is there is a small inch x inch size transparent square in the right hand lower section of my screen that says AMD testing use only. I figured because this is a beta driver it has this, I donít know if thatís normal for AMD beta's since I never used one of their cards before

One quick question about sgfxi does the script automatically pick up the newer regular drivers (non Beta) from AMD, in other words does it scan their repositoryís or do you personally have to insert it after seeing whatís new or being notified by users ?
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techAdmin
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amd/ati always puts in that silly beta logo thing. Nvidia doesn't, you can run an nvidia beta exactly the same as if it were a stable one. That's why I offer full nvidia beta support. On the driver splash screen, after x starts, nvidia does put 'beta' in the screen, but that only appears for a second as the driver starts to run.

Because as I noted, nvidia basically does this right, which then translates: easier for me to track, I actually have a feature where sgfxi will scan the nvidia location for current betas that are newer or different than the sgfxi beta, but for current stable drivers, it's not possible to have sgfxi do that automatically because a lot of tests and conditions have to be done, ie, supports kernel 3.8, does not support it, supports xorg 1.14, does not support it, apply patch(es) for kernel 3.8 but not 3.6, and so on.

I can also make safe assumptions about nvidia betas based on their base version numbers, for example, a 313 beta is going to support 3.8 and xorg 1.14 without any patch, because the current stable does. So I can safely allow all 313 drivers even if I do not know them technically. AMD does not permit such actions, I believe for example, even their 13.3 beta did not yet support 3.7/3.8 kernels but a later 13.3 beta does, m aking version tracking and testing a nightmare. Sadly typical however, at the same time.

So sgfxi relies on some remote scripts to alert me to changed fglrx/nvidia drivers, but the update is done manually by me each time.

None of this, of course, would be required if xorg/linux kernels would maintain stable interfaces, but that is not part of our reality nor will it ever be, so sgfxi does what it can, as do I.

If I can find a way to parse out the beta driver version from the download page I could maybe have that either automated in sgfxi, or in the driver version data that notifies me about updates, but I'm not hugely into the notion of having to update sgfxi manually for beta drivers 6 times in a month, for instance. But we'll see, if amd keeps doing public betas, decides on a file name format and sticks to it, haha, that will never happen, but if they do, I might add the feature to actively support amd betas, we'll see.

There's a reason nvidia support is much more flexible and full featured in sgfxi however, it's because nvidia programmers make it possible for me to do that without going insane, because they are good.
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techAdmin
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There's also the issue that sgfxi itself does not expect a driver, say, 13.3, to have multiple versions, that's a result of the numbering convention amd sometime ago decided to go to, they used to use the internal actual driver number, like 800.43 which made this all fairly easy to track.

So to support the beta6 type driver syntax, sgfxi would need even more logic in there, just to try to catch a moment of amd's indecision process, one with an uncertain future at best.
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techAdmin
Status: Site Admin
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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4.20.37 sgfxi now should support beta fglrx, first one is 13.3.

Also updates itself by checking an smxi data file to see if there is a later version of the beta driver for that month.

This should in theory work, however, do note that 13.3 does not support xorg 1.14, only 1.13.

sgfxi -B

should use it if available.

I tested the download / file name testing logic, and that all works, package downloads, extracts, and should install, but the install was not tested.
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