I am really confused about the state of AMD drivers on 16.04

My question is six-fold.


  1. What is the difference between
    • The amdgpu driver,
    • The radeon driver, and
    • The amdgpu-pro driver?

  1. When would each of those drivers be used?

  2. Are they all open-source?

  3. Can you switch between them?

  4. Which GPUs are supported?

  5. Is AMD working on an fglrx replacement for 16.04?


As I do not have an AMD card, I am unable to experiment.

I understand this is a broad question, but I want this to be a canonical question :)

closed as too broad by Mark Kirby, Pilot6, Anwar, Eric Carvalho, Luís de Sousa Aug 11 '16 at 6:39

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    A community wiki answer might be good so that we don't end up with a ton of answers. – Android Dev Jul 7 '16 at 17:08
  • 3. yes open source. 6. no they abandoned fglrx and are focusing on open source. version 15.x.x was the last closed source amd driver featuring the fglrx. -- also, i agree a good wiki that answers it all would be very helpful about this. the information on much of this is scattered everywhere in no particular place. – David Jul 7 '16 at 17:11
  • "I understand this is a broad question, but I want this to be a canonical question :)" Then you need to update the answer, it does not even answer all your questions or include anything about usage or installation of the drivers or what chips they support. If you want to make it a Canonical question, it must include all relevant information. i am voting to close this as too broad, I don't know why it is still open. i suggest you update it a lot before it is reviewed. – Mark Kirby Aug 9 '16 at 12:27
  • @MarkKirby - I know it needs work. And I will get to it eventually... – Android Dev Aug 9 '16 at 22:32

Here's what I've been able to find so far:

    • A: The amdgpu driver, pre-installed in 16.04, is used for AMD's newest graphics cards. 3

    • B: The radeon driver, also pre-installed in 16.041, is a replacement for the fglrx driver1, and is used for older AMD cards that amdgpu doesn't support.

    • C: amdgpu-pro is not its own driver, but rather an overlay on top of amdgpu2. It is optimized for gaming2.

  1. I think Ubuntu decides automatically. Although the amdgpu-pro driver has to be downloaded manually.

    • The amdgpu driver is completely open-source
    • The radeon driver is completely open-source
    • The amdgpu-pro driver is partially open-source
  2. I have no idea. Probably not.

  3. Still have to do more research....

  4. amdgpu-pro is the replacement for fglrx.

  • amdgpu-pro is not installed in Ubuntu. It is a new proprietary driver that can be downloaded from AMD site. – Pilot6 Jul 28 '16 at 18:27
  • @Pilot6 - I didn't say it was. – Android Dev Jul 28 '16 at 18:28
  • You said that Ubuntu "decides automatically". And in general it looks like the driver is installed. – Pilot6 Jul 28 '16 at 18:31
  • @Pilot6 - Edited. – Android Dev Jul 28 '16 at 18:33

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