Slackware: external SlackBuild (ENG)

Revision as of 08:11, 28 October 2010 by Spina (talk | contribs) (Aggiornati link al

What it does

Starting with version 8.37.6, ATI proprietary drivers are able to create Slackware packages through an internal SlackBuild. To use this SlackBuild just run the driver's installer, the .run file that is possible to download from ATI's official website, with the option:

--buildpkg Slackware/All

The page you're visiting is about the “twin” version of SlackBuild, which in the official wiki (ITA) is called external SlackBuild.

This SlackBuild deals with building Slackware packages of the ATI proprietary drivers, both versions before 8.37.6, in which the internal SlackBuild does not exist, and next versions, working just like internal SlackBuild, with the advantage that it is usually more powerful than his “brother”. In fact, many patches to drivers are discovered only after the official release, this means that the internal SlackBuild may not apply them while the external, which is updated very often and whenever is needed, can do that.

NOTE: since Catalyst 8.11 the external SlackBuild is't deprecated in favor to patch for internal SlackBuild.

How it works

The use of the external SlackBuild is very easy, once downloaded and installed using the installpkg utility, simply run the ATI's installer driver with the following option:

--buildpkg custom-package/All

What happens is exactly the same as the internal SlackBuild, and It's described in the official wiki (ITA).


Currently the external SlackBuild is able to create Slackware packages for driver version <8.37.6 applying the patch for the new kernel series 2.6.2x. The ATI drivers version <8.37.6 weren't designed to run on these kernel and therefore they require a small patch that is applied by external SlackBuild.

  • 16/01/08: added new mantainers' names, Ezio and Federico (See Contacts)
  • 12/01/08: file amdpcsdb.default inserted in /etc/ati, file needed for next driver version.
  • 21/11/07: Small update to reflect the next official driver version.
  • 03/08/07: Small update to reflect the next official driver version. /etc/ati/fglrxprofiles.csv and /etc/ati/fglrxrc are no longer distributed.
  • 28/07/07:
    • Fixed permissions in the fglrx driver configuration file, in /etc/ati directory. In addition, some files in this directory are considered administrator's “personal” configuration, and for these files has been created a .new file, which is created only if the original (the one without .new extension) does not exist. If the source exists and is equal to .new, the .new file is removed to avoid redundancy.
    • The README file is moved from /etc/ati to /etc/ati/custom-package.
  • 27/07/07: Fixed bug in driver version 8.39.4 showing a logo in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • 07/09/07:
    • Added links to libraries like .so.
    • Based on users' reports, I have applied a driver patch in order to cancel the “error”: line xxx: [: =: unary operator expected

when It compiles the fglrx kernel module (which is part of the fglrx-module package). I would like to underline that “bugs” isn't in SlackBuild, but into ATI's drivers. I submitted the bug to ATI also sending the small patches to solve it, but... I'm waiting yet :).


The latest SlackBuild version released is 1.1.9.


Here are some patches that can be applied to the external SlackBuild, these patches are considered illegal and therefore are not issued in the official version. I do not take any responsibility about the use of these patches, I have written them only for culture and put online for the same reason, I do not use them and I discourage their use. To apply the patch just copy them in /etc/ati/custom-package/patch directory, while in order to uninstall them just remove them.

  • ati_to_gpl.patch.This patch modifies the ATI drivers in order to have a GPL license so to be able to use drivers with a kernel that has the para virtualization active. The preferable alternative is to disable the kernel para virtualization as explained here (ITA).


I would like to thank all the Italian Slackware Community users for their feedback and support, especially (in alphabetical order, not certainly for importance):

  • Ezio (alias ekxius),author, of an interesting wiki (ITA) about installation and configuration of ATI drivers (open and proprietary).
  • Federico (alias stan), always ready to give me advice and letting me believe more and more on the importance of the project.


Original author:

Emanuele Tomasi < tomasiATcliDOTdiDOTunipiDOTit >