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#1 2017-11-25 01:00:08

Monti
Member
Registered: 2017-09-25
Posts: 27

Which AMD/ATI radeon firmware is being used....? RV710/M92

Hi guys!

When I check out the Synaptic Package Manager I see that both firmware-linux-nonfree 0.43 and xserver-xorg-video-radeon 1:7.5.0-1 are installed.

Hardware is RV710/M92 [Mobility Radeon HD 4530/4570/545v]

When checking out the package content of firmware-linux-nonfree 0.43 firmware for RV710 is included. So I am wondering which firmware is being used here? The 'nonfree' or xorg?


I would like it to be the xorg version, and it would have been nice to learn how it is configured on Devuan.


Thanks

Last edited by Monti (2017-11-25 01:01:29)

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#2 2017-11-25 13:37:22

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 665

Re: Which AMD/ATI radeon firmware is being used....? RV710/M92

To see what driver is in use, look in /var/log/Xorg.0.log or run 'lspci -k'.
To select which driver to use, create /etc/X11/xorg.conf with a Device section, where you list which driver to use.

For detailed instructions on configuration, look at debian. It's done the same way in devuan.

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#3 2017-11-29 18:27:25

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 16

Re: Which AMD/ATI radeon firmware is being used....? RV710/M92

Monti wrote:

When checking out the package content of firmware-linux-nonfree 0.43 firmware for RV710 is included. So I am wondering which firmware is being used here? The 'nonfree' or xorg?

xorg does not contain firmware, that is part of the external firmware-linux-nonfree package since its propriority contents.

Regards, Rolf

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#4 2017-11-29 21:50:48

cynwulf
Member
Registered: 2017-10-09
Posts: 139

Re: Which AMD/ATI radeon firmware is being used....? RV710/M92

The firmware is non executable code which runs on the device itself.  It's not a Linux binary (or even a Windows binary).  For some devices, the firmware is loaded onto the device rather than already residing on the device (e.g. hard disk controllers, system BIOS, most ethernet adapters, etc).

For those devices requiring userspace loading of the firmware (very commonly USB devices), the firmware has to be available or the device simply will not start and will be unusable.

x86/amd64 hardware (and some ARM evaluation boards such as Raspberry Pi) is already a mess of firmware (the biggest messes being UEFI and Intel and AMD microcode to name just a few) so just focusing on these bits of proprietary firmware and claiming a particular OS or Linux distribution is "free" because it omits them is what amounts to snake oil salesmanship.

firmware-linux-nonfree package contains an assortment of this for various hardware, including firmware for the various AMD GPUs.  Without the firmware you certainly won't get hardware accelerated direct rendering and probably not any form of power management either.

The package xserver-xorg-video-radeon (-ati) is the xorg driver.  It is the kernel mode setting driver (part of the kernel) which usually initiates the loading of the device firmware.

The short version is that if you want to use your hardware, you'll need to keep the firmware installed.

If you object to the firmware, because it's proprietary, then you probably need to abandon x86 and look at the (few and expensive) open hardware alternatives.

Last edited by cynwulf (2017-11-29 22:44:49)

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