Debian Installation Guide

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2007-11, see

As of November 2005, ATI's drivers are in the non-free area of Debian. Make sure your /etc/apt/sources.list contains "contrib non-free" as well as main. You will, however, have to build your own kernel modules.

Warning: do not mix the non-free packages with the packages created by the installer as they will conflict in non-obvious ways. Before switching from one method to another, completely remove all fglrx-related packages. Never do upgrade from one method to another directly!


Compile the kernel driver

Before do this, MAKE SURE you have deleted /usr/src/fglrx-kernel*.deb maybe generated by another installation. In Debian lenny this is unnecessary - it just compiles and installs the most recent fglrx*.deb package. I would assume this is the case with most up-to-date distributions but to play on the safe side you could remove any leftovers of previous builds.

sudo module-assistant prepare
sudo module-assistant update
sudo module-assistant a-i fglrx

Observed error messages


What does this error message below refer to ? It is unclear where to follow-up for this error 2/Fehler 2 message.

                     |  dh_testdir                                                                │
                     │ /usr/bin/make -C /lib/modules/2.6.11/source SUBDIRS=/usr/src/modules/fglrx │
                     │ /bin/sh: /usr/src/linux-2.6.11/scripts/ Datei oder Verzeich │
                     │ make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-2.6.11'                        │
                     │ make[2]: scripts/ Datei oder Verzeichnis nicht gefunden     │
                     │ make[2]: *** Keine Regel, um »scripts/« zu erstellen.  Schlu │
                     │ make[1]: *** [_module_/usr/src/modules/fglrx] Fehler 2                     │
                     │ make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-2.6.11'                         │
                     │ make: *** [build] Fehler 2                     
(II) LoadModule: "fglrx"
(II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/
dlopen: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
(EE) Failed to load /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/
(II) UnloadModule: "fglrx"
(EE) Failed to load module "fglrx" (loader failed, 7)

Solution: Install a newer C library and recompile the kernel:

sudo apt-get install libstdc++5


In Debian Lenny the compiling process might fail. This occurs because Debian downloads another version 1:8-5-1 as opposed to the newest version from ATI 8.501-1 (1/07/2008). This messes up the compiling process. If you must know this occurs because the command m-a a-i automatically does m-a prepare, get, build, install. If you do m-a prepare, build, install fglr , without get this will not happen and you can skip the solution below.

Solution: Disable your repositories temporarily just for the compiling bit. Compile the source using module assistant. Then do:

$ aptitude hold fglrx-amdcccle fglrx-driver fglrx-kernel-src

You can do the latter in ncurses by doing the following in order: type, as root, aptitude and press enter; pres "/" and type fglrx; you will see 3 packages select each with the mouse or using the arrow keys and pres "=" or alternatively press package from the menu and select hold. Finally enable your repositories once again.

Update the xorg.conf file (Configuration)

sudo aticonfig --initial

Now restart X, or reboot for the driver changes to take effect.

Confirm that it worked

$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: MOBILITY RADEON 9700 Generic
OpenGL version string: 1.3.5461 (X4.3.0-8.19.10)

If it didn't work, you may need to run:

# mkdir -p /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri
# ln -s /usr/lib/dri/ /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri

Thanks to Maciej Matysiak for the clear debug here and solution here.

If it's still not working, try:

# rm /usr/lib/*
# rm /usr/X11R6/lib/*
# cd /usr/X11R6/lib
# cp /usr/lib/fglrx/diversions/lib/ .
# ln -s
# ldconfig

and confirm that 'ldd /usr/bin/fglrxinfo' is pointing to the right one.

People seem to be experiencing a broken after installing 8.41 on Debian/etch. If `amdcccle` complains that does't exist, DONT DELETE /usr/lib/ LIKE IT SAYS ABOVE. Make symbolic link to (which is included in fglrx package - 14 megs in size):

# cd /usr/lib
# ln -s

This work fine for ATI mobility radeon 1400

(make backup the olds xorg.* files in your folder)

$ cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /home/username/corg.conf.old
$ cp /var/log/Xorg.0.log /home/username/Xorg.0.log.old

(add contrib non-free in repositories)

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install module-assistant build-essential fakeroot dh-make debconf bzip2

(from download the courent version of driver for your ATI)

$ sh ./ --buildpkg Debian/lenny
$ apt-get install fglrx-amdcccle_8.40.4-1_i386.deb
$ apt-get install fglrx-driver-_8.40.4-1_i386.deb
$ apt-get install fglrx-driver-dev_8.40.4-1_i386.deb
$ apt-get install fglrx-kernel-src_8.40.4-1_i386.deb
$ apt-get -f upgrade
$ apt-get update

$ module-assistant prepare
$ module-assistant update
$ module-assistant a-i fglrx
$ aticonfig --initial

(reboot computer)

$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: MOBILITY RADEON 9700 Generic
OpenGL version string: 1.3.5461 (X4.3.0-8.19.10)