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18 October 2008, 08:02

Kernel Log: new Catalyst drivers, resolves cause of e1000e problem

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AMD has released version 8.10 of its proprietary x86-32 and x86-64 Linux graphics drivers. The release notes for the latest version of the driver, also known as Catalyst or fglrx, are still missing. According to the ATI RSS feed, the new version supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.7 and contains libraries for AMD's CAL (Computer Abstraction Layer) designed for stream computing.

In contrast to speculation on internet, the new version does not support X Server 1.5, which is part of 7.4. Xorg 7.4's driver ABI (Application Binary Interface) is incompatible with that of previous X Servers. Some distributions have already started to supply X Server 1.5 – Fedora 9 contained a pre-release version in May, which made the AMD drivers inoperable for Fedora users. According to a report by Phoronix, the users of Ubuntu 8.10, which is due for release in a fortnight, will be spared such problems, because the Ubuntu developers recently co-operated with AMD to integrate a pre-release version of the Catalyst 8.11 driver, expected next month, into the package repositories of the 7.4 based distribution.

New 2.6.27 variant

Greg Kroah-Hartman has released Linux version The only difference between it and version 2.6.27, which was released last week, is a patch which marks the DYNAMIC_FTRACE kernel configuration option as "broken" and disables this new function in 2.6.27.

The rather lengthy commit notes explain the background in detail. According to the notes, the Ftrace code activated through this configuration option is strongly suspected to be responsible for the accidental overwriting of the non-volatile memory (NVM) in Intel networking chips, among other things. This rendered Intel's networking chips inoperable on some boards with recent Intel southbridges; a modification integrated just before the completion of 2.6.27, is already designed to prevent the accidental overwriting of the non-volatile memory.

In brief

  • After the discussions sparked by Linus Torvalds around a new naming scheme several weeks ago fizzled out rather quickly by LKML standards, Greg Kroah-Hartman has now tried to revive them with a new proposal.

Further background and information about developments in the Linux kernel and its environment can also be found in previous issues of the kernel log at heise open:

Older Kernel logs can be found in the archives or by using the search function at heise open. (thl/c't)


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