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Most of the recent Linux and Solaris distributions include open source driver support for all of the GPUs which were in production before the distro release locked down. In some cases newer driver packages are available from the distro packagers; if not, you may need to build the drivers from publiclyl available source code.
This page was created Aug 5/09, work in progress.
XVideo: accelerated and tear free, stable
More 3D information at DRI wiki: ATIRadeon. See also RadeonFeature and RadeonProgram for feature and supported program lists. And R300 Portal for some older stuff. All of these pages would need combining to a more coherent resource where all could point at.
A number of programming guides and register specs are available at http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/
Please see the pages for each of the individual drivers. If you are building the drm driver as well as other drivers, the drm driver should be built and installed first.