[linux-elitists] ATI Radeon support

D. Joe Anderson deejoe@raccoon.com
Mon Dec 13 20:00:46 PST 2004

On Tue, Dec 14, 2004 at 01:37:53PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> On 13-Dec-2004, Etienne Goyer wrote:
> > Ben Finney wrote:
> > >ATI has already released free software 3D drivers, why can't they
> > >continue to do so?
> > 
> > Which driver are you talking about ?
> I'm not sure.  My impression, based on past beatings of this drum, was
> that some ATI cards had free software drivers for 3D, but later cards do
> not.  I may be mistaken in thinking they released the drivers themselves
> under a free software license.

ATI released specs up through the 9200 series.[0]

So, provided you're able and willing to navigate the product
nomeclature morass and increasingly convoluted supply situation,
you can get cards that might run free DRI drivers, depending on
what the rest of your hardware is.

In practice, that leaves folks running, for instance, PyMOL[1],
choosing between nVidia's closed-source stuff or Aqua as the
least amongst the lesser evils (provided, that is, they can be
bothered to see proprietary software as a suboptimal situation
in the first place [2]).

And if you want to do anything really cool, like a GeoWall,
forget about it:  nVidia is what you get if you hope to run much
in the way of free software[3].


[0] http://dri.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/moin.cgi/ATI

[1] http://pymol.sourceforge.net

[2] For another example, this time using the "academically
    licensed" but stil proprietary program O, see

[3] http://www.geowall.org

[4] (MM)^2 memorial footnote

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