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I have installed Ubuntu 16.04 (first serious attempt with Linux) but I'm having trouble finding the right graphics drivers. My system has an AMD Radeon HD 8470d graphics card on an AMD A4-7300 APU. Looking on the AMD site, their driver only supports up to Ubuntu 14.04

Currently there doesn't seem to be any graphics driver installed. I tried:

lshw -c video

but it doesn't list any drivers installed. Same with:

lspci 0nnk | grep -i vga -A3 

just lists "Kernel modules: radeon" but no driver.

In some programs my graphics driver is being listed as VMware Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe. I googled this and it's a software renderer, so it looks like my poor CPU is handling the graphics for now which explains the terrible performance all round.

When I look at Additional Drivers it just finds one unknown device and gives two options:

-Using Processor microcode firmware for AMD CPUs from amd64-microcode (proprietary)
-Do not use the device

Doesn't seem to make much difference which of these I select. Neither breaks the computer, but neither fixes the problems or seems to improve performance in any way, shape or form.

Is there some solution to this within 16.04? Or should I just re-install with 14.04 so that I can use the official drivers?

EDIT:

I looked into installing the Radeon Opensource Driver as suggested. I found this page: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RadeonDriver and since my card isn't listed in the supported chipsets I ran the recommended test command:

dmesg | egrep 'drm|radeon'

It returned the following:

[ 1.331659] [drm] Initialized drm 1.1.0 20060810
[ 1.367284] [drm] VGACON disable radeon kernel modesetting.
[ 1.367306] [drm:radeon_init [radeon]] ERROR No UMS support in radeon module!
[ 7.918783] [drm] VGACON disable radeon kernel modesetting.
[ 7.918805] [drm:radeon_init [radeon]] ERROR No UMS support in radeon module!

I might give the open source driver a go anyway before I roll back to 14.04. But I'll wait and see if there are any more suggestions first.

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The proprietary driver fglrx is no longer supported by amd and you can't use it in ubuntu 16.04 (due to xorg and kernel versions). The alternative is the amdgpu opensource driver which your system will use it automatically if your gpu supported it. Since it doesn't seem to support it you only have the radeon opensource driver. If you need fglrx then yes, the only solution is installing ubuntu 14.04.
Some links to verify this (suggested by @Mark Kirby via comment) are here:

https://linux.slashdot.org/story/16/03/09/2049232/ubuntu-drops-support-for-amds-catalyst-gpu-driver

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/03/ubuntu-drops-amd-catalyst-fglrx-driver-16-04

  • Would be good to add some sources to this, to stop people claiming you are wrong, here are some for you linux.slashdot.org/story/16/03/09/2049232/… omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/03/… – Mark Kirby Jun 5 '16 at 10:01
  • Good point! I didn't believe it either at first :P – Thanos Apostolou Jun 5 '16 at 10:02
  • Edit them in to your answer and I will vote it up. – Mark Kirby Jun 5 '16 at 10:04
  • Ok, I've looked into the radeon opensource driver here: help.ubuntu.com/community/RadeonDriver Not sure if my card supports this either. I ran dmesg | egrep 'drm|radeon' and it returned: [ 1.331659] [drm] Initialized drm 1.1.0 20060810 [ 1.367284] [drm] VGACON disable radeon kernel modesetting. [ 1.367306] [drm:radeon_init [radeon]] ERROR No UMS support in radeon module! [ 7.918783] [drm] VGACON disable radeon kernel modesetting. [ 7.918805] [drm:radeon_init [radeon]] ERROR No UMS support in radeon module! – mhutton26 Jun 5 '16 at 10:14
  • According to your link your card is supported (its the oland radeon hd 8000 series if you search for 8470d at this link en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_HD_8000_series). So there's something else wrong, wait for a better answer... – Thanos Apostolou Jun 5 '16 at 14:29
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As the others said, fglrx is no longer present with Ubuntu 16.04. The radeon driver with the Mesa part should be more than enough to handle your card. But there really seems to be some error on your system, as Mesa isn't using the proper one for your card. You could try reinstalling and reconfiguring xorg. Maybe try Live mode and see if it is the same there.

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I have a Radeon HD 8470D on AMD A6-6400K APU and just encountered the same problem you had (half a year ago). I had the same log outputs you described and was able to get the radeon driver running on Ubuntu 16.04.1 with the following steps

  • install kernel 4.7 and start it
  • disable the nomodeset kernel parameter in /etc/default/grub which seems to be active since you get VGACON disable radeon kernel modesetting. I also needed this parameter to prevent immediate reboot

It seems to me that the default Kernel 4.4 of Ubuntu 16.04.1 does not support the graphics card yet (and will probably never do).

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