Comment 92 for bug 121653

Timo Jyrinki (timo-jyrinki) wrote :

Mark Hatton, to clear some issues that seem to confuse some people:
> 1) Compiz *is* enabled out of the box and becomes active once fglrx is installed, and so people with
> ATI cards will encounter this suspend/hibernate bug without any prior warning. If this is the situation,
> then surely the Gutsy release should be held until the problem is either fixed by ATI or a workaround
> is made available and documented.
>
> 2) Compiz actually isn't enabled out of the box, in which case whoever writes the introduction page
> (currently http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/710rc for Gutsy) should perhaps amend the wording to
> reflect that fact

Compiz is enabled by default, and _works with the default, free/open source ATI driver_ that Ubuntu uses for most ATI cards ranging from 7500 to X850, except for some specific models with known problems where the driver is used but 3D is disabled by default (can be enabled). For example, on my Radeon X800 works fluently out of the box with Compiz in Ubuntu 7.10, with the open source drivers.

The closed, separetly installable fglrx drivers _do not support currently Compiz at all_, and those should not be used by users wishing to use 3D desktop. The newest released fglrx drivers, apart from the X2000-series-only release, support 3D on cards from 9500 to X1950, covering the extra X1000 range the open source driver does not yet support. However, most people see less 3D with fglrx anyway since the Compiz Desktop Effects do not work.

I understand that if your Mobility Radeon X300 is currently blacklisted in the open source driver for 3D (which would explain your writings), you'd want fglrx to work. However, the point is to get the open source driver work on all cards instead of trying to spend lots of times trying to workaround problems with the closed binary driver. It's not about punishing non-FLOSS users, it's the reality of open source drivers being more beneficial to work for, and from my point of view I'd say ATI's fglrx drivers have always had severe problems, lagging behind X.org and kernel releases, so they are really a poor example of even a closed source driver.

I personally waited 3 years for the fglrx drivers to fix my issues which still aren't fixed by ATI, and amazingly found it easier to bite the bullet and find out why the open source driver did not provide full 3D support for my card. I managed to find the culprit(s) during Ubuntu 6.10 and from 7.04 onwards my range of cards (X800) seem to have full 3D support and a lot less problems than what I had with the fglrx drivers.

I wrote this mainly because most people shouldn't think they _need_ to install fglrx driver for their ATI card. X1000-series need it for proper 2D acceleration, that is given, but so it was with Ubuntu 7.04 so there is no regression. For the Ubuntu 8.04, there will be open source support for both X1000 and X2000 series.

Thank you for listening.