Almost two decades later, the ATI Radeon R300 Linux driver is occasionally improved

While AMD shifted its focus to the Radeon software drivers earlier this year in order to only support Polaris / GCN 1.4 and newer, there is still occasional activity on the ATI Radeon in support of open source drivers on Linux R300 days go back from almost two decades ago.

The ATI R300 GPUs were first introduced in 2002 and eventually spanned the legendary Radeon 9000 series through to the X300 / X500 / X600 series. (Plus, the R300 Gallium3D driver also supports through the ATI Radeon X1000 series.) While AMD’s open source Linux developers haven’t relied on this R300g driver for a long time, or even the R600g driver for that matter in the rest of the before -GCN-GPUs, thanks to their open source nature, the community is able to occasionally improve this legacy hardware support.


The R300g driver has aged much better than the box designs from back then.

Merged that Friday night, some missing cases for various textures were implemented using TGSI, the intermediate rendering used by R300g and other older Gallium3D drivers. This in turn fixes some Piglit OpenGL regression tests now in 2021.

This is also not the first R300 Gallium3D commit of 2021, but now the 14th of the year. Granted, most of the commits related to this nearly twenty year old GPU driver support relate to simple typos and other mostly mundane fixes. Here’s a look at the R300 Gallium3D driver activity lately. The R600g driver continues to see occasional improvements to support the Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series and open source on Linux.

Either way, it’s fun to see this vintage open source ATI / AMD Radeon graphics support keep improving for those who care about those aging graphics cards. The R300g wasn’t the official ATI / AMD Linux driver for the hardware, but through that reverse engineering and crafting, some of these open source developers turned to AMD and continued to work on their more modern drivers for the company.

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