Ubuntu Feisty 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

Make sure the restricted repository is enabled in /etc/apt/sources.list or this guide will not work!

Disable Composite Extension

In Ubuntu Feisty 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
  • 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.

Installation

Method 1: Install the Driver the Ubuntu Way

IMPORTANT: This method will not work with 2.6.20.* kernels.

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
sudo depmod -a

Method 2: Install the Driver Manually

  • Note: This is an alternative installation method for the section above that works for 2.6.20.* kernels.
  • Note: 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
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) wget

Download the ATI driver installer:

cd ~/
wget https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206/0/www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/ati-driver-installer-8.34.8-x86.x86_64.run
  • Note: This installer is for 32bit and 64bit systems), taking care of which version needs for your device.

Delete any old fglrx packages in your home directory

sudo rm xorg-driver-fglrx*.deb
sudo rm fglrx-kernel-source*.deb
sudo rm fglrx-control*.deb

Create .deb packages:

sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.34.8-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/edgy
  • Note: --buildpkg Ubuntu/feisty doesn't work for now, don't try.

Install .deb packages:

sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx*.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-kernel-source*.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-control*.deb

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

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

Patch for 2.6.20.* kernels

cd ~/
wget http://darcs.frugalware.org/repos/frugalware-current/source/x11-extra/fglrx/fglrx-2.6.20.patch
cd /usr/src
sudo cp fglrx.tar.bz2 fglrx.tar.bz2-original
sudo tar -xvjf fglrx.tar.bz2
cd /usr/src/modules/fglrx
sudo patch < ~/fglrx-2.6.20.patch
cd /usr/src
sudo tar -cvjf fglrx.tar.bz2 modules/fglrx

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
  • The patch should work, but I have not tested it properly. The patch was successfully installed on my dv8000. Hopefully someone can clean up what I wrote (if it needs revised).

IMPORTANT: You have to recompile the kernel module after each kernel update!

Configure the Driver

  • 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. I suggest that you do it the manual way if you patched the module, aticonfig --initial didn't work for me.
sudo aticonfig --initial

Then:

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. You must remove any old kernel modules such as "drm" "radeon" or "fglrx" using the "rmmod" command. Example: rmmod fglrx


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 Generic
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6286 (8.33.6)

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 is not working

If after fglrx installation suspend stops working, meaning it suspends not start and just gives black screen. Then changing a few options is reported to work (Bug 84991 ).


For ATI X700:

File: /etc/default/acpi-support
SAVE_VBE_STATE=false
POST_VIDEO=true
USE_DPMS=false

For ATI X1300 and above:

File: /etc/default/acpi-support
POST_VIDEO=false

See Also


Distribution Neutral Steps

Verifying | Configuring | Troubleshooting