Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Fedora 12 provides "out of the box" support for kernel mode-setting with ATI R600/700 series graphics hardware, but it does not provide 3D acceleration by default. However, Red Hat's X developers have made it very easy to enable this 3D support for the ATI Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series hardware by just installing a special Mesa package from yum. In this article we are taking a quick look at where the R600/700 3D support is at in Fedora 12.
The necessary DRM code for kernel mode-setting and 3D support for the ATI R600/700 ASICs has landed in the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, but that has been back-ported into Fedora's 2.6.31 kernel. The Mesa code for the Radeon DRI driver that has the R600/700 3D support has been in Mesa's master Git repository for some time, but that is not enabled by default in Mesa 7.6. To enable the open-source R600/700 3D support under Fedora 12 one must simply run yum install mesa-dri-drivers-experimental and then reboot their system. This experimental DRI drivers package is derived from the Mesa 7.6 branch. For our testing we had done a clean installation of Fedora 12 Beta and then installed mesa-dri-drivers-experimental. The ATI Radeon hardware we used for testing included a Radeon HD 4870, Radeon HD 4650, and a Radeon HD 3870.
First off, we would like to note that the ATI kernel mode-setting support by default in Fedora 12 has been working quite well from our testing. The first game that was tested using this experimental R600/700 Mesa 3D support in Fedora 12 was Nexuiz.