Any chance for ATI Radeon 8470 HD graphics ?

Manish Jain bourne.identity at
Wed Aug 17 01:49:18 UTC 2016

On Sun, Aug 14, 2016 at 6:37 AM, Matthew Macy <mmacy at> wrote:
It's certainly worth a try. And it's most likely to work if driven by someone with a dog in that fight.

I have never a run a mail server or a web server, but am willing to get my hands dirty to get a mailing list and hardware compatibility website running for freebsd.

As for your idea about trying PC-BSD, it was a good idea. I tried it, but PC-BSD is still not in sync with FreeBSD to the extent I could have stayed with it.  I had serious problems with pkg - hundreds of warnings crop up when trying to install packages, because some packages want version 1.6.1 while, some others want 1.6.4, while FreeBSD version of pkg is 1.8.7. It looks to me like PC-BSD packages are fairly downstream, probably from FreeBSD 10.0. I was even willing to delete everything with pkg delete -a, and build everything from sources if needed. But one final straw remained - radeon driver under PC-BSD is essentially as downstream as FreeBSD. Gnome craps out entirely with streaks and missing text/icons. But KDE mostly works (except for glitches under thunderbird , chrome and KDE special effects called desktop effects). Video playback under KDE smplayer is perfect.

That gave me this idea - return to FreeBSD with dual desktop environments. I now run Gnome under the vesa driver, and when I need to play videos, I reboot into KDE with the radeon driver. This works like a charm. Under Gnome, I can even run virtaulbox with graphics running smoothly under my Windows XP (32 bit) vm. All in all, I have managed to achieve what I set out as a target - only FreeBSD as the physical machine.

For the same of experimentation, I copied out PC-BSD's /boot/kernel/radeon* driver files, and replaced my FreeBSD files with those. This does not have any positive/adverse effect.

I am left with one more reinstallation task. When FreeBSD radeon becomes upstream, I will reinstall FreeBSD. Would a fresh installation be absolutely essential, or can I try just replacing /boot/kernel/radeon* files ? If you/someone can give me an experimental version of an upstream radeon driver, I can try out those and report back results.

Thanks for your help.
Manish Jain

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