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Not so Red and Rosy in Open-Source Land: RX 6800 problems on Linux?

Summary:

Youtuber Linux For Everyone has published a video outlying his experience getting the RX 6800 GPUs running on Linux, and to say it hasn't been positive would be an understatement.

Quote

I could not get these cards to run properly under Linux, and I had help from AMD [...] and I had help from the head of graphics at Red Hat.

While reviewers were supplied with instructions on how to install the reviewer drivers for Linux, it appears that not everyone has been able to get them working, even when using popular distributions like Ubuntu - one of the distros that AMD officially supports. After struggling for a while L4E got assistance from people at AMD, who provided even simpler step-by-step instructions for Ubuntu installation, and yet the cards still would not work properly - despite working flawlessly on Windows.

 

While getting help from people at Red Hat, it became clear that nobody at Red Hat got cards early. A quote from a Red Hat employee is the following:

Quote

We normally recieve pre-production hardware from vendors like AMD under NDA. Not sure why the cards are coming so late this time. [....] right now no-one can tell you if RX6800 will work with [Fedora] because none of us have been able to try.

L4E apparently isn't alone with having troubles with 6800 cards on Linux, with Schykle (creator working at University of Arizona) also having similar issues. However this does contrast with Wendell's experience over at Level1Techs, who seemed to have a pretty much flawless experience on Linux.

 

My thoughts:

With Wendell having such a good experience, my guess would be that it's a driver/hardware compatability issue, which is kind of understandable given how broad the PC hardware space is. But it still seems silly to me that AMD have been prioritising getting these cards into the hands of reviewers, rather than in the hands of OS developers like Red Hat. If I were going to get one of these cards for Linux, I would probably hold off for a few weeks and see if anything comes of this, although given the stock issues it's not like there's a choice on that one.

 

Source:

 

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Let be honest linux users are a small portion of the market so companies invest less into ensuring proper support for it compared to windows. They will probably be fixing this later as it likely wasn't caught because it worked for amd like it did for Wendel.

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What a shame. Isnt Linux the only reason people buy graphics cards?

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3 hours ago, huilun02 said:

What a shame. Isnt Linux the only reason people buy graphics cards?

You might want to add a sarcasm tag to that. Someone's bound to think you're being serious.

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Well Linux also not being priority as Windows though. It would really need to grow a lot, it's barely on radar vs Windows userbase and programs support. 

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AMD have always been a shit show on GNU/Linux so I'm not surprised. 

Nvidia's official drivers may be closed source, but they are leagues ahead of anything you can get for AMD GPUs. 

 

Anyway, it's not like you can even get a hold of the 6000 series GPUs right now anyway. By the time people start getting a hold of these cards most of the major issues will probably be fixed. 

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This is odd, given that Wendell and Michael of phoronix aka the man that most scrutinizes hardware on linux got the working flawless to the point of saying that it's the best launch for linux compatibility of AMD graphics. It's amusing that not even with the help of red hat engineers he had issue with the card

 

It could be that his card were borked though that would mean they shouldn't work in windows guessing he did that since I haven't watched the video

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wait, Level1tech hadn't a lot of problems with Linux drivers

And Red Hat, hadn't AMD cut supporting non professional lvl of cards from it like 9 years ago? 

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9 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

AMD have always been a shit show on GNU/Linux so I'm not surprised. 

Nvidia's official drivers may be closed source, but they are leagues ahead of anything you can get for AMD GPUs. 

and yet i've personally experienced the exact opposite.

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He might have a bad vBIOS that Windows is able to still initialize but that Linux is having issues with?

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While this sucks. I'm happy the drivers for windows are actually decent (let's be honest, day 1 drivers from AMD were almost always awful).

And with Wendell having no issues it does look like the drivers for Linux aren't completely hopeless so there is hope!

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I did not watch the video, but AMDGPU's support for the latest AMD cards is on mainstream already, but most distros haven't updated/backported such patches yet, so that's probably why he didn't get it to work.

 

In fact, AMD is working in trying to bring bits of their linux driver to windows, since it less of a mess and goes without the tons of legacy code they previously had.

 

Also, you don't need to install anything (drivers or programs) to get AMD working on linux, the drivers are already built into the kernel.

 

13 hours ago, gabrielcarvfer said:

The open-source unofficial drivers are better than the official one, and they didn't have access to the hardware to test.

 

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd-rx6800-linux&num=2

There's no "unofficial" driver, AMDGPU is open sorce and has been developed with help from AMD themselves.

 

6 hours ago, LAwLz said:

AMD have always been a shit show on GNU/Linux so I'm not surprised. 

Nvidia's official drivers may be closed source, but they are leagues ahead of anything you can get for AMD GPUs. 

 

Anyway, it's not like you can even get a hold of the 6000 series GPUs right now anyway. By the time people start getting a hold of these cards most of the major issues will probably be fixed. 

AMD has top notch linux support since 2016 or so, it's pretty much plug and play. The only problem is that they usually send patches for the latests products outside of merge windows for the actual product launch, so you need to wait a week or two for everything to work.

 

As a nvidia user, it indeed works fine, just as fine as AMD's, but they are not free of issues either. Their latest driver didn't work on linux 5.9 until last week, so I had to uphold any kernel updates if I still wanted to use my GPU.

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1 hour ago, igormp said:

I did not watch the video, but AMDGPU's support for the latest AMD cards is on mainstream already, but most distros haven't updated/backported such patches yet, so that's probably why he didn't get it to work.

Not the issue. He was given instructions on how to update this manually as a reviewer.

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ASUS GTX 1060 6GB

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1 hour ago, tim0901 said:

Not the issue. He was given instructions on how to update this manually as a reviewer.

Just saw the video, and that he tried with a rolling release distro (Rawhide). Well, in this case it surely is weird, but I honestly believe that's not due to drivers, otherwise we wouldn't have tons of other people already with cards working under linux.

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I summon the one and only Linus Torvalds for his obligatory once-per-decade opinion piece on GPU manufacturers and their driver support 

 

I shall be offering free virtual popcorn in case he actually heeds my call

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There's gonna be 40 really unhappy people. 

 

 

😔

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14 minutes ago, dizmo said:

There's gonna be 40 really unhappy people. 

 

 

😔

I find this funnier than I should 🤣 🤦‍♂️

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