Ubuntu Edgy Installation Guide

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The latest fglrx driver supports Radeon 9500+ and the X-series cards up to X1900.

Pre-Installation Checks

Enable "restricted" Repository

To do this in GNOME, go to your System Menu > Administration > Software Sources. Place a check next to "Proprietary drivers for devices (restricted)," click Close, click Reload, and let the application update the package list.

To do this in XFCE, go to your Applications > System > Software Sources. Place a check next to "Proprietary drivers for devices (restricted)," click Close, click Reload, and let the application update the package list.

If you use KDE, go to K > System > Adept Manager Manage Packages. Enter your password. Go to Adept > Manage Repositories. Right Click everything that starts with deb or deb-src and select enable. Select fetch updates and you are good to go!

Disable Composite Extension

In Ubuntu Edgy the Composite extension is enabled by default, however, fglrx does not yet support Composite with DRI. In order to disable Composite you have to edit the xorg.conf file:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and add these lines at the end of the file:

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Extensions"
        Option  "Composite" "Disable"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
        Option  "AIGLX" "off"
EndSection
  • Note: Xubuntu does not have gedit. The default text editor in Xubuntu is called mousepad.
  • Note: Kubuntu does not have gedit. The default text editor in Kubuntu is called kate.
  • Another option is to use nano (or vim).

Installation

Method 1: Install the 8.28.8 Driver the Ubuntu Way

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-$(uname -r) #Okay if it is already installed
sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

Continue to "Configure the Driver" below.

Method 2: Install the 8.34.8 Driver Manually

  • Note: This is just an alternative installation method for the section above. It might help if you still get 'DRI missing' errors.

Download the ATI driver installer: ati-driver-installer-8.34.8-x86.x86_64.run(this installer is for 32bit and 64bit systems), taking care of which version needs for your device.

Change to the download directory. Make sure that you have the universe and multiverse repositories enabled in /etc/apt/sources.list before doing these steps.

Install necessary tools:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install module-assistant build-essential fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++5 linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Create .deb packages:

bash ati-driver-installer-8.34.8-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/edgy

Blacklist old fglrx module from linux-restricted-modules:

  • Note: You only need to do this if you've installed the driver from Method 1 above.

As ubuntu's linux-restricted-modules package includes the fglrx module from an old driver version (8.28.8), we have to blacklist this module to make sure the new kernel module which is needed by the new driver will be used instead.

sudo gedit /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common

Add "fglrx" to the line "DISABLED_MODULES"

File: /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common
DISABLED_MODULES="fglrx"

Install .deb packages:

sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_8.34.8-1*.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-kernel-source_8.34.8-1*.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-control_8.34.8-1*.deb

Remove any old fglrx debs from /usr/src/:

sudo rm /usr/src/fglrx-kernel*.deb

Fix broken dependencies

  • Note: You only need to do this if you have installed previous versions of these drivers using this method before.
sudo apt-get -f install

Compile the kernel module:

sudo module-assistant prepare
sudo module-assistant update
sudo module-assistant build fglrx
sudo module-assistant install fglrx
sudo depmod -a

IMPORTANT: You have to recompile the kernel module after each kernel update! NOTE: the fglrx source code requires Linux 2.6.19 or lower. It is not yet prepared for 2.6.20.

Configure the Driver

sudo aticonfig --initial
  • Note: An alternative to the aticonfig --initial command is to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and replace the string "ati" with "fglrx" in the "Device" section. This way you won't lose your old "Screen" and "Monitor" settings. Afterwards you can use aticonfig for setting overlay etc.
sudo aticonfig --overlay-type=Xv

Finish the Installation

Now save any open document and reboot your system:

sudo shutdown -r now
  • Note: An alternative to rebooting is to restart the X Server by pressing your CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE keys. If you do not reboot, you must remove any old kernel modules such as "drm" "radeon" or "fglrx" using the "rmmod" command. Example: rmmod fglrx
    If this sounds difficult, or you don't know which modules are "Modules such as..." then stick to rebooting ;)


Post-Installation Checks

Verifying

Run the following command to check its output to ensure the fglrx driver is installed properly:

$fglrxinfo
display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: MOBILITY RADEON 9700
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6334 (8.34.8)

If you do not see ATI as your vendor, then there are ways to troubleshoot installation.

Additional configure with aticonfig tool

You can even more configure the driver with the aticonfig tool, more information can be found at Configuring.

For example:

  • use powerplay option to switch power state for battery friendly or performance mode
  • use dual head or one big desktop mode
  • turn second monitor on/off on the fly


Ubuntu-specific Issues

Revert to Xorg driver

If (for any reason) the fglrx install fails, you can revert to the Xorg driver by executing

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

and selecting the "ati" driver, or simply restoring the previous /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, if you made a backup.

You also need to remove the xorg-driver-fglrx or your manually installed drivers to get the 3D acceleration back, since it is provided by file /usr/lib/libGL.so.1.2 which belongs to libgl1-mesa package and which is moved to backup and replaced at the installation of xorg-driver-fglrx (or the manually built) package. In case the removal of the fglrx drivers fails to restore the file from libgl1-mesa, you have to reinstall the package by running:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall libgl1-mesa

If suspend and hibernate not working

If after fglrx installation suspend and hibernate stop working. I mean it suspends and hibernates but does not start and just gives black screen. Then put POST_VIDEO to false:

File: /etc/default/acpi-support
# Should we attempt to warm-boot the video hardware on resume?
POST_VIDEO=false


See Also


Distribution Neutral Steps

Verifying | Configuring | Troubleshooting