How To Install AMD GPU Drivers in Ubuntu

In the past, Linux users usually cannot make the most of their discrete graphics card due to the lack of drivers and support. Nowadays, more manufacturers have been adding major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or AMD into their official supported list. AMDGPU is the open source graphics driver officially released for AMD Radeon graphics card which comes from GCN (Graphics Core Next) family.

In this article, we will show you how to install AMD GPU Drivers on Ubuntu. The guide is applicable to older versions of Ubuntu and many as well as Linux distros based on Ubuntu, such as Linux Mint or Pop! OS.

AMDGPU vs AMDGPU-PRO

If you do further research on AMD website, you will find that they offer two separate driver for Linux : AMDGPU and AMDGPU-PRO. You may wonder what's the difference between the two? Read on to find the answer.

AMDGPU is the open source driver for AMD Radeon graphics cards based on Graphics Core Next architecture. It's a result of intense coordination with the open source community, so compatibility is ensured across distributions.

AMDGPU-PRO is the same open source driver, but with a proprietary overlay developed by AMD themselves. According to claims made by the company, AMDGPU-PRO proprietary components enable better intensive 3D application support.

But despite having better support, benchmark shows that AMDGPU sometimes perform slightly better than its PRO counterpart.

AMDGPU driver supports these GPUs (non-exhaustive list) : CARRIZO APU, Radeon R9 Nano/Fury/FuryX, STONEY APU, Radeon R9 285/380/380X/M295X/M390X/M395X/M485X, Radeon R5 M315, Radeon R7 M260/M265/M340/M360/M445/M460, Radeon RX 470/480, Radeon RX 460, Radeon RX 550/560/570/580, Radeon RX Vega 56/64, Radeon VII, Radeon RX 5600/5600XT/5700/5700XT, Radeon RX 5300/5300XT/5500/5500XT, Radeon RX 6800/6800XT/6900XT, Radeon RX 6700XT, Radeon RX 6600/6600XT.

Detect current graphics card

The first thing you need to do is to take a look at your VGA card model and driver in use. You can do this by running the following command:

$ sudo lshw -c video
  *-display                 
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Ellesmere [Radeon RX 470/480/570/570X/580/580X/590]
       vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
       physical id: 0
       bus info: [email protected]:01:00.0
       version: e1
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm pciexpress msi vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=amdgpu latency=0
       resources: irq:38 memory:e0000000-efffffff memory:f0000000-f01fffff ioport:e000(size=256) memory:f7e00000-f7e3ffff memory:c0000-dffff

It is clear from the output that the AMD Radeon driver amdgpu is already installed and in use. This means that all modules are loaded by the kernel and currently in charge of communicating with the GPU. We can confirm this by running :

$ lsmod | grep amd

Install AMDGPU driver from official package

AMD provides their official driver along with an installer in the website. You can either go to AMD Download page and select the correspinding driver or go straight to a release page in which you can directly grab the .tar.xz archive. In this case, we'll demonstrate the steps using AMDGPU version 21.20. Run the following command to download the driver.

wget https://drivers.amd.com/drivers/linux/amdgpu-pro-21.20-1271047-ubuntu-20.04.tar.xz

Once the download completes, extract it.

tar -xf amdgpu-pro-21.20-1271047-ubuntu-20.04.tar.xz

Navigate to the newly extracted directory, you can see a ./amdgpu-install file. Run the commands below to set permissions and execute the script:

cd amdgpu-pro-21.20-1271047-ubuntu-20.04
chmod +x ./amdgpu-install
./amdgpu-install

If you prefer AMDGPUPRO, run the ./amdgpu-pro-install installer instead :

cd amdgpu-pro-21.20-1271047-ubuntu-20.04
chmod +x ./amdgpu-pro-install
./amdgpu-pro-install

We hope that the information above helped you successfully install AMD GPU Drivers on your Ubuntu system. We've also covered other software installation for Linux, such as How to install Chromium browser in Debian, How to install CMake, Airflow and ADB/fastboot on Ubuntu, in case you're interested. If you have any suggestion, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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