Ubuntu Hardy Installation Guide

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For most users it won't be necessary to go into installation and configuration details of the driver. Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy) provides a notification saying that there are restricted drivers available. You just have to go there (Restricted Drivers Manager) and enable the "ATI accelerated graphics driver". Ubuntu will then install and configure the driver for you. If this does not provide the optimal solution you were looking for, please read ahead.

After installation, in GNOME or Kubuntu, turn off visual effects or you will notice a flicker in OpenGL.


Method 1: Install the driver the Ubuntu Way

This will install the current driver in Ubuntu's repository. It is older than the one AMD has released, but will be supported by the Ubuntu people. Catalyst 8.3 is in the repositories.

Terminal Command

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-generic restricted-manager

$ sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

$ sudo depmod -a

The second line may not be necessary as you may already have restricted modules installed. Run it just in case. If the third line fails, you probably don't have the restricted repository enabled. See Pre-Installation.

After this, you may need to edit Xorg.conf:

Terminal Command

$ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

In the device section, if it is not already there add:

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Driver "fglrx"

Then to make sure Xorg is set up correctly, you'll have to let aticonfig "initialize" it:

Terminal Command

$ sudo aticonfig --initial -f

After this you should be able to restart your computer and have the driver working. To test type

Terminal Command

$ fglrxinfo

into a terminal. If the vendor string is not ATI, but Mesa, check #Removing Mesa drivers

Post-Installation Tweaks

To enable hardware accelerated video on pre-R500 cards, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to include the following lines without [...]

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Device"

[...]
Driver "fglrx"
Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"
[...]

EndSection

Note that when Visual Effects (Compiz) are active, flickering and artifacts may occur in OpenGL applications and hardware accelerated video windows (particularly with R300 chipset). To prevent this, disable Visual Effects.

On newer cards the options below enables Visual Effects and video to be played without flicker. The Textured video option can be turned on, but this can cause flicker or diagonal artifacts when playing videos.

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Device"

[...]
Driver "fglrx"
Option "VideoOverlay" "off"
Option "OpenGLOverlay" "on"
Option "TexturedVideo" "off"
[...]

EndSection

Method 2: Manual Install Method

Make sure universe and multiverse are enabled in your repository sources.

1. Install necessary build tools and libraries

Terminal Command

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

# If you are using the x86_64 architecture (64 bit, earlier known as amd64), install ia32-libs as well:

$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

2. Download the latest Catalyst package.

Download page: Catalyst 14.4. This package contains both the 32-bit and 64-bit driver.

Open a terminal window and switch to the directory you downloaded the installer to.

For example:
cd Desktop

or just use wget:

Terminal Command

$ wget http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/amd-catalyst-14-4-linux-x86.x86_64.run

Most help articles on the web are incacuatre or incoherent. Not this!

4. Add driver to kernel module blacklist.

NOTE: This step is no longer necessary with fglrx 8.10 or 8.12. Just jump to step 5 in that case.

The ATI driver must be added to the kernel module blacklist so that the new ATI driver will be used. If it is not blacklisted, the official Ubuntu repository version of the ATI driver will be loaded instead.

Terminal Command

$ 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"

Please note that after the modification above, the "Restricted Driver Manager" will signal "ATI accelerated graphics driver" not enabled (unticked). This is perfectly correct. At the end of the installation procedure it will signal in Status: "in use" (green light), but NOT enabled. It simply means that the fglrx module contained in the linux-restricted-modules package is not enabled, but another fglrx module (14.4) is in use.

You may also need to edit the file(s) (if they exist):

Terminal Command

$ sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-restricted

$ sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-local

Put a # in front of the line "blacklist fglrx", if it is present. Otherwise, the kernel module will not load automatically, and you will not get 3D acceleration.

5. Install .debs.

For 32 Bits

Terminal Command

$ sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_8.593-0ubuntu1_i386.deb fglrx-kernel-source_8.593-0ubuntu1_i386.deb fglrx-amdcccle_8.593-0ubuntu1_i386.deb

Using tab completion can make this command easier.

Starting Catalyst version 8.10, installing the following package ensures compatibility with restricted drivers' manager:

Terminal Command

$ sudo dpkg -i fglrx-modaliases_8.593-0ubuntu1_i386.deb

64 bit systems should have the same behaviour.

Terminal Command

sudo dpkg -i fglrx-modaliases_8.593-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb

For 64 Bits

Terminal Command

$ sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_8.593-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb fglrx-kernel-source_8.593-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb fglrx-amdcccle_8.593-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb

Using tab completion can make this command easier.

Additional 64-bit instructions

If you have a 64 bit install, the above dpkg command may complain that "Errors were encountered while processing: fglrx-amdcccle". This is because of a dependency of the amdccle package on 32 bit libraries. If you receive this error, issue the following command after the above dpkg command, which will force the installation of all of the 32 bit dependencies, and then the amdccle package:

Terminal Command

$ sudo apt-get install -f

Catalyst 14.4 on 64-bit systems requires the --force-overwrite command in the above dpkg command:

Terminal Command

$ sudo dpkg -i --force-overwrite xorg-driver-fglrx_8.593*.deb fglrx-kernel-source_8.593-0*.deb fglrx-amdcccle_8.593-0*.deb

When installing the packages, if xorg-driver-fglrx_8.593 fails to install due to a diverted file conflict, you can fix the package with this procedure.

Fix for an error:

If you are having this error:

dpkg-shlibdeps: failure: couldn't find library libfglrx_gamma.so.1 needed by debian/xorg-driver-fglrx/usr/bin/fglrx_xgamma (its RPATH is '').

Fix it by doing the following:

Terminal Command

$ sudo sh amd-catalyst-14-4-linux-x86.x86_64.run --extract driver
$ cd driver/arch/x86_64/usr/X11R6/lib64
$ sudo ln -s libfglrx_gamma.so.1.0 libfglrx_gamma.so.1
$ cd ../../../../../
$ sudo sh ati-installer.sh -- --buildpkg Ubuntu/hardy

If you get this error from modprobe fglrx:

ERROR: firegl_stub_register failed

Fix it by doing:

Terminal Command

$ sudo rmmod radeon
$ sudo rmmod drm
$ sudo modprobe fglrx

Finishing the Install: Configuration

If you've used fglrx previously, you will not need to do this. Run

sudo aticonfig --initial -f

Now you'll likely have to edit your xorg.conf (even if just to confirm the above command added the apropriate fglrx line):

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and add the following line to the Device section (if it does not already exist). Include the following lines without [...]:

Section "Device"
	[...]
	Driver		"fglrx"
	[...]
EndSection

Make the appropriate changes to "TexturedVideo" and "Overlay", etc., as described above in the "automatic section". Save and exit, then in a terminal. If it does not error you should be fine.

Some people find that changes to xorg.conf don't get used by the driver. To force the ati driver to adopt changes made to xorg.conf, type the following command:

sudo aticonfig --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf --tls=1

Finally, reboot the computer and type

fglrxinfo

into the terminal. If the vendor string contains ATI, you have installed the driver successfully. Release 8.8 looks like:

display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: Radeon X1950 Series
OpenGL version string: 2.1.7873 Release


Please note: Depending on the particular ATI card that you own, you may or may not automatically have all of the relevant driver features enabled. R500 and R600 cards (X1xxx, HD series, and newer) in particular will need TexturedVideo enabled in Xorg.conf (rather than the traditional VideoOverlay) in order to support Xv accelerated video playback.

Tip top stuff. I'll excpet more now.

Specific Issues

Segmentation Fault with glxinfo/fglrxinfo

If you experience such errors (and have glxinfo report "Direct rendering" as No despite following the whole procedure without any errors) you may want to have a look at the Specific Issues chapter of the Ubuntu Gutsy Installation Guide [[1]] as this may be due to missing links or wrong permissions.

Hang at logout

If you experience hangs when logging out (of X) it is probably due to the /etc/ati/authatieventsd.sh script looking for X authorisation files in the wrong place when it starts up. You can kill the hanging authatieventsd.sh processes from a console tty to allow the shutdown of the X server. This can be fixed permanently with:

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/xdm/authdir
sudo ln -s /var/run/xauth /var/lib/xdm/authdir/authfiles

If that doesn't work then you can disable atieventsd with this command:

sudo /usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f atieventsd remove

Suspend/Hibernation

Suspend hibernation works with the latest driver.

For ATI X1400, to get the laptop to wake up from suspend, I had to change the following in /etc/default/acpi-support:

SAVE_VBE_STATE=false

POST_VIDEO=false 

ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE=false


For Radeon 3200, to wake up from suspend, I had to add the following lines to /etc/X11/xorg.conf: (This settings is not good option, if you are using compiz-fusion or any other transparency-based thingie. Not working for HD 3850)

Section "Extensions"
        Option        "Composite"        "Disable"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
       Option  "AIGLX" "off" 
EndSection

Resume from suspend failed when using dual monitor configuration in xorg.conf. E.g. when using

aticonfig --initial=dual-head --screen-layout=right

Switching back to a single monitor configuration and restarting the xserver (though not beautiful) solves this.

Error! This module/version combo is already installed

Simply uninstall the previous version before installing the new one with

sudo dkms remove -m fglrx -v 8.522 --all