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AMD/ATI Open Source Drivers (radeon, r128, mach64)

This page describes use of the open source display drivers for ATI/AMD graphics hardware on Debian systems. For information on the proprietary driver, see ATIProprietary.

Identification

The AMD/ATI graphics processing unit (GPU) series/codename of an installed video card can usually be identified using the lspci command. For example:

See HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI for more information.

Drivers

Support for AMD (nee ATI) graphics hardware is provided by the xserver-xorg-video-ati driver wrapper package, which depends on three hardware-specific driver packages:

The ati wrapper driver autodetects whether your hardware has a Radeon, Rage 128, or Mach64 or earlier chip and load the radeon, r128, or mach64 xorg video driver as appropriate.

Supported Devices

The radeon driver in Debian 8 "Jessie" supports R100 to Hawaii (Radeon 7000 - Radeon R9 290) GPUs. See the radeon(4) manual page and the radeon page on the X wiki for more information.

Firmware

Proprietary, binary-only firmware (aka microcode) was removed from the Debian kernel's radeon DRM driver in linux-2.6 2.6.29-1, to resolve Debian bug 494009. The firmware can be provided by installing the firmware-linux-nonfree package.

Without this package installed, poor 2D/3D performance in the radeon driver is commonly experienced. Some GPUs may require firmware to operate the X Window System.

Installation

The following procedure will install the open source display driver packages, DRI modules (for 3D acceleration) and driver firmware/microcode:

  1. Add "contrib" and "non-free" components to /etc/apt/sources.list, for example:

    # Debian 8 "Jessie"
    deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
  2. Update the list of available packages:

    # apt-get update
  3. Install the firmware-linux-nonfree, libgl1-mesa-dri and xserver-xorg-video-ati packages:

    # apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree libgl1-mesa-dri xserver-xorg-video-ati
  4. Restart your system to load GPU device firmware.

Troubleshooting

Configuration

In most cases, manual configuration for the open source display drivers is not required, as the Xorg X server automatically detects and configures available hardware.


The following optional configuration can be used to increase 3D performance. See the xorg.conf(5) and radeon(4) manual pages for more information.

See Also