Linux DOOM 3 and ATI Cards

October 28th, 2004 by Crusader

Although id Software’s Linux DOOM 3 page mentions that the game will not run correctly with ATI’s Linux driver, a reader sent in word that he was able to get the game running using the latest versions of the Direct Rendering Interface, Mesa, and He mentions that there are still some glitches (such as the flashlight), and it’s slower than a NVIDIA card on the same machine, but it is playable.

As mentioned in the Linux DOOM 3 FAQ, please don’t send in bug reports about issues with ATI cards to id, as they’re already aware of the problems and are awaiting an updated driver release from ATI.

Edit – Thursday Oct 28 14:21:07 2004 – As a reader pointed out in the comments below, this method will only work for ATI Radeon 9200’s and below; R300-class cards and above are unsupported by DRI at this time.

Edit – Thursday Oct 28 17:03:15 2004 – Despite the DRI ATI Wiki page stating that cards above 9200 are unsupported, a reader has reported getting DOOM 3 running on a 9700 card, so YMMV. Feel free to report successes/failures in the comments (with caveats/issues if possible).

14 Responses to “Linux DOOM 3 and ATI Cards”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Can’t believe it’s been almost a month since this game was release and because of ATi I still can’t play it. The life of a ATi customer. :-<

  2. sth Says:

    Please note that this works with the OpenSource drivers only, which only support cards up to radeon 9200.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Xorg got support for r300 and later. How far they are, I don’t know – but they do got some 3D working.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve runned the DOOM3 demo on my Linux box equipped with an ATI 9200SE with 128Mb on board and using the 3.14.1 drivers for XFree 4.3. It worked, not fast, but the thing I’d hated most was that sometimes the game freezed or the polygons started became messy until everything slows down and freeze!
    I’ve still reported some freeze-related troubles (and a messy 640×480 resolution) but it seems that nothing has -almost- changed.

  5. shaunkreider Says:

    ATI’s latest drivers work for me, i’m running mandrake 10.1 community edition with a 9700.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I’m guessing ATI closed their drivers because they were dissatisfied with the work of the open source drivers? Or did they close the drivers so their linux drivers could not be criticized?

    The thing that amazes me is that whenever I ran gentoo with the nvidia drivers on a geforce2 I recieved better performance, at a better quality than in Windows….even running counterstrike through wine, which you’d think would have made it much slower.

    Why then are their drivers so much slower? Have they slowed their drivers on purpose to promote MS Windows? I guess we will never know because we can’t see the source code, but either way it just makes me uncomfortable.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    When I sent the mail to LG, i added that there might be a problem with flashlight. After playing a bit, I found that the flashlight is working fine.
    One thing is that the game is very dark, you have to disable TCL with driconf tool (see ) to be able to see something :)
    With my 1.2Ghz/Radeon 8500, I think I have an average of 7fps with the demo. As ID software wrote on the game box “1.3Ghz is required”, I thing that with a good CPU, game would be really playable (of course, I use lowest graph quality). Does someone know what I could expect with this config in Windows?


  8. TTimo Says:

    FYI, if you are able to get Doom3 running with the DRI drivers, you will be using the ARB path, which is the path with the least rendering features of the 3 that are possible in this case ( ARB2, R200, ARB ).

  9. idr Says:

    Part of the reason the open-source drivers are so slow is that portions of the documentation were never made available. For example, all of the neat HyperZ features and the vertex program hardware are undocumented and unsupported.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    does anyone know what gl extensions the ati “driver”

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I have a friend who is considering a Dell, but the model he wants only comes with an ATI mobillity 9700 128 (nvidia is only sold 64 mb, and not on his model)… Has ATI started supporting the mobillity yet, or not?

    What about the Open Source Drivers? Are they viable yet?

  12. Hunter555 Says:

    I have a Athlon XP 2400+ running at 2.2 gig with 768 meg of ddr ram and a 9700 ati card with 128 meg ddr. I run this machine as a duel boot with Gentoo as my primary OS and windows xp as the backup one (for playing new games I can’t get to run under gentoo).

    I have the game running under gentoo but it does crash sometimes for no good reason. I’m using the 2.6.9 kernel with gentoo enhancements, xorg and I’m not sure what the vid drivers are (I just did an emerge ati-drivers and it worked).

    Appart from the crashes, performance under gentoo was amazing. In windows the thing slowed down to about 2 fps sometimes using 800×600 res and medium quality. Under gentoo it was very smooth at 1024×768 on high quality. However I didn’t notice any difference in quality between the different quality settings. Is it possible that some of these commands are being bypassed by the driver?

    Anyway I’m very happy with the way it performs and I hope the occasional crash will be fixed by the next driver update.

  13. pitrz Says:

    I have a 9800pro on nforce2 motherboard, the distro is debian testing, latest fglrx and it is working to a certain level, everything is fine but after some time characters disagree and then after few seconds the app segfaults. Seems like a memory leak to me. Also i noticed that the game runs horribly slow on low details, while on high it seems a little bit faster the on my winxp, i haven’t benchmarked it anyway.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I have a 9800pro, amd 64 2800+ with 512 ram. I have the latest ati drivers and my game runs faster then my windows xp partition for about a minute and a half and then all of a sudden artifacts are all over the place and i cant see anything. The farthest ive gotten in game play was the part where you view your pda. The game seems to slow down at that part and then when i try to escape from thge pda menu everything turns in to artifacts again…

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