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I have an AMD Radeon HD 4850 graphics card, with the latest AMD Catalyst drivers installed.I would like to better understand how things work. What do the terminologies related to AMD graphics cards and Ubuntu mean?

What do, FGLRX and RandR mean?

Related to the Catalyst driver, why in the info section of the control centre it says Catalyst version is 12.6, but Catalyst control centre is 2.14? What is the difference between Catalyst and Catalyst control centre? Also, why is the Driver packaging version 8.98 while the Driver package says 12.6? As well as in the installer, what is the difference between choosing "Install Driver 8.98 on X.Org 6.9 or later" and "Generate Distribution Specific Driver Package"?

I would like to understand what these things mean. Hopefully others can learn from this and better understand their graphics cards and Ubuntu.

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closed as not constructive by Ringtail, mikewhatever, RolandiXor, Anwar Shah, Uri Herrera Sep 26 '12 at 6:17

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please ask a separate questions. – Uri Herrera Sep 26 '12 at 2:18
why to annoy people, im expectuing a gamer to come and explain all – Nick Bailuc Sep 26 '12 at 2:21
Because the Site works better if you ask 1 issue per question. – Uri Herrera Sep 26 '12 at 2:23
why complicate things? – Nick Bailuc Sep 26 '12 at 2:52
It's for your own benefit really. If you show up with many questions, the people with experience won't bother reading through them all to figure out what you want. If you ask one clear and precise question, you will get a clear and precise answer, which will probably answer any other smaller questions you have. – Dominic Jordan Hasford Sep 26 '12 at 4:02
up vote 1 down vote accepted

As stated before, be more precise with your questions, it helps us all :) From what I understand, you aren't having any problems, right? You are just curious to better understand how things work and what certain things are in relation to AMD graphics cards and drivers. You could easily find a great amount of documentation online, but I will try to answer your questions.

A number in a box like this ex: {1} means to go look at that point.

  1. What is

    Xorg is basically the X window system used in linux. What is the X Window System? It's the base of the graphical environment for your computer. In simple terms, it's what draws your Windows, menus and icons, and controls their placement.

  2. What is FGLRX?

    FGLRX is the name of the AMD Catalyst driver used on Linux. It is special because it contains parts that are open source and parts that are proprietary (made by the community and made by AMD). So FGLRX stands for "FireGL and Radeon for X". As you can see, it is designed for X Window System {1}. As we learned above, X Window system (or for short X.Org) draws the Windows and menus and all. FGLRX is the driver that allows your graphics card to communicate with, giving it better and faster performance. A driver is a piece of software that allows you're OS (Ubuntu or Windows) to communicate with it's hardware (printers, graphics cards, webcams, etc.)

  3. What is RandR?

    The X Resize, Rotate and Reflect Extension (RandR) is a {1} extension, which serves to dynamically change X screens, so as to resize and rotate windows on screen. In simple terms, allows for smooth resizing and moving windows.

  4. What is the difference between Catalyst and Catalyst control centre?

    Catalyst is the name of the graphics card driver {2}, FGLRX is also called as AMD Catalyst Linux. On Windows OS, it is simply called AMD Catalyst. It is the name of the AMD graphics driver. Catalyst Control Centre is the name of the application used to change the settings of your AMD graphics card and driver. It's where you change the settings for the Catalyst graphics driver.

  5. Why is the Driver packaging version 8.98 while the Driver package says 12.6?

    I am not exactly sure what you mean by this. The current Catalyst driver version is 12.6. The 8.98 could be the version of the program you are using to install it.

  6. What is the difference between choosing "Install Driver 8.98 on X.Org 6.9 or later" and "Generate Distribution Specific Driver Package"?

    I believe that "Install Driver 8.98 on X.Org 6.9 or later", means to install the driver that is included in the installer on to the version of{1} you have installed. The second option, "Generate Distribution Specific Driver Package", means that the installer will try to install the driver including in Ubuntu's packages instead.

I hope my long explanation has helped you better understand the basics of how the graphics system works in Ubuntu in relation to AMD graphics cards. It is basically the same with other graphics cards, with different names but the same terms. All this information was readily available in the Ubuntu forums and on Amd's website.Add stars and up vote my answer, thank you :)

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5. That's the number of the current version of the 3D driver. 12.6 is the version of the Catalyst Control Center. – Uri Herrera Sep 26 '12 at 6:20
Thank you so much for taking your time on explaining this. Now I fully understand this system :) – Nick Bailuc Sep 27 '12 at 3:14

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