Install AMD Radeaon Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04

The objective of this tutorial is to install AMD drivers on Ubuntu 20.04. AMD graphic cards are well supported on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. The default open source AMD Radeon Driver is installed and enabled by default out of the box. However, since the Ubuntu 20.04 is a long term support (LTS) release the AMD Radeon graphic card users have few AMD Radeon driver installation options to their disposal. To get the most bleeding edge AMD driver, you will also see how to install the proprietary driver.

For avid PC gamers or those that need to squeeze every bit of performance out of their AMD Radeaon graphics card, it will be beneficial to download the proprietary driver to ensure access to the latest features and performance tweaks released by the developer. In most other cases, the default built-in driver should suffice.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to check current AMD Radeon driver version
  • How to install AMD Radeon from PPA repository
  • How to install the official AMD Radeon AMDGPU-PRO driver
  • How to test the performance your AMD Radeon Graphic card


AMD Radeon Ubuntu 20.04 Driver Installation

AMD Radeon Ubuntu 20.04 Driver Installation

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Installed or upgraded Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
Software AMD graphics driver
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Install AMD Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 step by step instructions

Here we assume that you have already downloaded and installed Ubuntu 20.04 or simply upgraded your Ubuntu 20.04 system. Furthermore, your AMD Radeon Graphics card is already part of your system.

Let’s start by gathering some information about your system and current state of the AMD Radeon driver. First check your VGA graphic card model and driver in use. To do so execute the following command:

$ sudo lshw -c video
       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: pci@0000:01:00.0
       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

From the above command output we can see the graphics card model and that the AMD Radeon driver amdgpu is already installed and in use. This means that all modules are already loaded and in use:

$ lsmod | grep amd
amdgpu               4575232  11
amd_iommu_v2           20480  1 amdgpu
gpu_sched              32768  1 amdgpu
ttm                   106496  1 amdgpu
drm_kms_helper        184320  1 amdgpu
drm                   487424  7 gpu_sched,drm_kms_helper,amdgpu,ttm
i2c_algo_bit           16384  1 amdgpu

Lastly, check boot messages for more information about the graphics card driver in use:

$ dmesg | grep -i amdgpu

Check AMD Radeon VGA driver version by using the glxinfo command on Ubuntu 20.04

Check AMD Radeon VGA driver version by using the glxinfo -B command on Ubuntu 20.04

Next, let’s explore the three options you have as an AMD Radeon VGA graphics card in term of different type of driver installations.

  1. Install Open Source AMD Radeon Drivers on Ubuntu 20.04

    The Open Source AMD Radeon Ubuntu Driver is already installed on your system by default and out of the box. They’re integrated into Mesa and the Linux kernel. There is nothing further you need to do in order to start using your AMD Radeon card. In this scenario you may not be on the bleeding edge in terms of the latest AMD Radeon driver version, but your system will benefit from an increased stability and painless automatic driver updates.
  2. Install AMD drivers on Ubuntu 20.04 from PPA third-party repository

    If you absolutely insist to have the latest AMD Radeon driver version you may use the PPA third-party repository which might be always ahead of the stable default opensource driver coming with your Ubuntu 20.04 system as default. To install the PPA third-party repository drivers execute the following commands:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers

    The above will add the PPA AMD Radeon driver repository to your system. The following command will upgrade your current AMD Radeon driver to the latest version:

    $ sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade

    In case you need to revert back to your original Ubuntu AMD Radeon drivers you can remove the PPA driver installation using the below commands:

    $ sudo apt install ppa-purge
    $ sudo ppa-purge ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers
  3. Proprietary AMDGPU-PRO drivers

    In order to get the drivers, you need to go to the AMD Download Page, and grab the latest version of the drivers that matches your card. The release should come in the form of a tarball. Either extract the tarball automatically with your GUI archive manager through your browser or let it download and extract it using tar from the command line.

    $ tar -xf amdgpu-pro_*.tar.xz

    A directory containing all of the necessary packages will be created based on the version of the drivers. cd into that directory.

    $ cd amdgpu-pro-XX.XX-XXXXXX

    Don’t worry about installing all of those packages individually. There’s an installer script that will handle everything for you. Run the script as a regular user. It will ask you for your password to use sudo. If you want to be lazy, add the -y flag to answer “Yes” to every question.

    $ ./amdgpu-pro-install -y

    Let the script run and install all of your packages. It’ll take a bit of time, but once it’s done, your system will be ready. Just restart, and you can start using your new drivers.

    In case you need to uninstall the previously installed Proprietary AMDGPU-PRO drivers execute the following command:

    $ amdgpu-pro-uninstall

Benchmark your AMD Radeon card

Optionally install Phoronix Test Suite and benchmark your system’s graphical performance using the Unigine benchmarks and Steam games.

run AMD Radeon graphic card test

After the driver installation, optionally run AMD Radeon graphic card test by following our Benchmark Your Graphics Card On Linux guide.

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we saw how to install AMD drivers on Ubuntu 20.04. This included the open source Ubuntu driver, PPA repository driver, and the proprietary AMDGPU-PRO driver. The main difference between the open source Ubuntu driver and the propriety driver is that the latter will be more up to date. Don’t forget to benchmark your graphics card to check its performance after installation.