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!

System > Administration > Software Sources. Check "Proprietary Drivers for Devices (Restricted)" box.

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"

Section "ServerFlags"
        Option  "AIGLX" "off"
  • Note: Xubuntu does not have gedit. The default text editor in Xubuntu is called mousepad.
sudo mousepad /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  • Note: Kubuntu does not have gedit. The default text editor in Kubuntu is called Kate. Another option is to use nano.
sudo kate /etc/X11/xorg.conf


Method 1: Install the 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
sudo depmod -a

If the system complains about dependencies, use your preferred package manager to download python2.4 and, if necessary, its dependencies.

Method 2: Install the 8.36.5 Driver Manually

  • Note: This is just an alternative installation method for the section above. It might help if you still get 'DRI missing' errors.
  • NOTE: This driver is now prepared for 2.6.20 kernels!

Download the ATI driver installer: ati-driver-installer-8.36.5-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.

There is a detailed manual with screenshots at Ubuntu Wiki.

By default, Ubuntu does not enable the Universe and Multiverse repositories. But they include some important programs and codecs, so it is highly recommended to activate them.

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:

sudo bash ati-driver-installer-8.36.5-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/feisty

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

Install .deb packages:

sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_8.36.5-1*.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-kernel-source_8.36.5-1*.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-amdcccle_8.36.5-1*.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 now prepared for 2.6.20.

NOTE: After this step I needed to create a link for the module to work: "sudo ln -s /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/misc/fglrx.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/volatile/fglrx.ko". (I'm using Kubuntu Feisty)

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. Another alternative is aticonfig --initial --force
sudo aticonfig --initial


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: sudo rmmod fglrx

Post-Installation Checks


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

display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: MOBILITY RADEON 9700 Generic
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6458 (8.36.5)

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 for some hardware (Bug 84991 ).

For ATI X700:

File: /etc/default/acpi-support

For ATI X1300 and the ATI X1400 on a Dell Inspiron 9400 (using install methode 2):

File: /etc/default/acpi-support

See Also

Distribution Neutral Steps

Verifying | Configuring | Troubleshooting