Ubuntu Natty Installation Guide
- 1 The Options
- 2 Updated Open Source Driver PPA's
- 3 Installing Proprietary Drivers a.k.a. Catalyst/fglrx
- 3.1 Restricted Drivers Manager
- 3.2 Installing the drivers manually
- 3.2.1 Before you start
- 3.2.2 Download the latest Catalyst package.
- 3.2.3 Create .deb packages.
- 3.2.4 Install .debs.
- 3.2.5 Generate a new /etc/X11/xorg.conf file
- 3.2.6 Force use of the new xorg.conf (if necessary)
- 3.2.7 Test your installation
- 3.2.8 Just in case
- 4 Hardware Video Decode Acceleration (EXPERIMENTAL)
- 5 Updating Catalyst/fglrx
- 6 Removing Catalyst/fglrx
Users with ATI cards have the following driver options:
- vesa - very basic, lacks 2D/3D acceleration, and focuses on compatibility with all VESA-compliant graphics cards. It is good for starting the GUI environment when no accelerated driver is available/working and little else.
- ati - actually a thin wrapper that will invoke the radeon driver (or another ati open-source driver for pre-Radeon cards).
- radeon - open source driver supporting all Radeon cards. This driver has excellent 2D acceleration and compatibility with the Linux graphics stack. 3D acceleration is sufficient for desktop effects and a nice set of native Linux games. Power management is now comparable to the Catalyst driver.
- radeonhd - an alternate driver supporting R520-R7x0 hardware. This driver is now officially deprecated in favor of radeon. If you still want to try it, see: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RadeonHD
- Catalyst (a.k.a fglrx) a proprietary "blob" (closed source binary) driver designed by ATI, with 3D code based off of their Windows driver. Only RadeonHD chips are supported on recent Linux distros.
Updated Open Source Driver PPA's
- "Ubuntu-X" : This PPA offers the latest stable releases of video driver-related components. Follow the instructions at: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-x-swat/+archive/x-updates
- Xorg-edgers: This bleeding-edge PPA offers video driver-related components straight from their code (git) repositories. Follow the instructions at: https://launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers/+archive/ppa
Installing Proprietary Drivers a.k.a. Catalyst/fglrx
- PLEASE READ FIRST!
Which cards are no longer supported by ATI? The ATI Radeon 9500-9800, Xpress200-1250, 690G, 740G, X300-X2500 (including Mobility RadeonHD 2300, since it is really a DirectX 9 part). See the complete list here. If your card is on that list, you are limited to open-source drivers on Ubuntu Lucid/10.04 (and later). If you really need the proprietary Catalyst/fglrx driver, you will have to use an older Linux distribution, such as Debian Lenny/5.0.x or Ubuntu Hardy/8.04.x.
|ATTENTION RADEON USERS|
NOTE: If you enter your card information on AMD/ATI's driver page, it will offer you the Catalyst 9-3 driver to download. However, the Catalyst 9-3 driver doesn't support X servers past 1.5, and it will not work with Natty! !!!SO BE CAREFUL!!! If you tried to install Catalyst on a system with one of these cards, see the 'Removing the Driver' section to restore the default/pre-installed drivers.
Restricted Drivers Manager
NOTE: You must have the restricted repository enabled in Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center -> Edit -> Software Sources... for this to work. You must also have the fglrx-modaliases and jockey-gtk (or jockey-kde for Kubuntu) packages installed. You will be limited to the drivers for your version of Ubuntu that Canonical deems stable. This may not give you the latest drivers, but should be safest. On Ubuntu Natty, this will install Catalyst 8.840, which is roughly equivalent to a prerelease of Catalyst 11-4. Go to the Additional Drivers Manager (System -> Administration -> Additional Drivers) and activate the "ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver" (or double-click the "available driver" notification icon). Ubuntu will then install and configure the driver for you.
Installing the drivers manually
I recommend copying and pasting the commands (do not include the leading '$') to ensure there are no typing mistakes and speed up the install process. Remember to use Ctrl + Shift + V or Shift + Insert to paste into the terminal (or go to the terminals menu, select edit and click paste).
Before you start
If you have previously attempted installing Catalyst, remove any leftover files by following the Removing the Driver section. Make sure universe and multiverse are enabled in your repository sources (System -> Administration -> Software Sources). or Applications->Ubuntu Software Center->Edit->Software sources->Other software: check canonical partners.
Install the prerequisite packages:
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 dh-modaliases
If you are using the x86_64 architecture (64 bit), be sure to install "ia32-libs" before proceeding!
$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
Download the latest Catalyst package.
This package contains both the 32-bit and 64-bit driver.
$ cd ~/; mkdir catalyst15.12; cd catalyst15.12/ $ wget http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/amd-driver-installer-15-12-x86.x86_64.run
Create .deb packages.
$ sh ./amd-driver-installer-15-12-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/natty
$ sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb
Generate a new /etc/X11/xorg.conf file
Unfortunately, there is no sure way to generate the ATI version of the Xorg.conf file. It is entirely dependent on your configuration. The following subsections will attempt to address possible (and tested) variations for their respective configurations.
This will work for most people:
$ sudo amdconfig --initial -f
A very basic /etc/X11/xorg.conf file might be what you need if you have a new card that's not fully supported by amdconfig. Here follows the entirety of a minimal xorg.conf file for the Radeon 6870:
Section "Device" Identifier "ATI radeon 6870" Driver "fglrx" EndSection
X2/Dual GPU Cards
If you have an X2 card (e.g. 4870X2 or 5970), use... !!Do not use for two separate cards in crossfire!!
$ sudo amdconfig --initial -f --adapter=all
If you have a dual monitor display (also known as "Big Desktop"), use:
$ sudo amdconfig --initial -f $ sudo amdconfig --set-pcs-str="DDX,EnableRandR12,FALSE"
This was confirmed in http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18553.
Force use of the new xorg.conf (if necessary)
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, use the following command:
$ sudo amdconfig --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf --tls=1
Test your installation
NOTE: if you don't reboot first, fglrxinfo gives an error message. Reboot the computer and type
into the terminal. If the vendor string contains ATI, you have installed the driver successfully. Using fglrxinfo on a system with Catalyst 11-4 and a RadeonHD 4250 returns:
display: :0.0 screen: 0 OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc. OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 4200 Series (This line may be different depending on what graphics card you are using.) OpenGL version string: 3.3.10665 Compatibility Profile Context (This line may be different depending on what graphics card and Catalyst version you are using.)
If you experience issues or a hang, you may need to disable fast TLS.
$ sudo amdconfig --tls=0
Just in case
Write down or remember this series of Alt+PrntScr key combinations, just in case your screen should go black and Ctrl+Alt+F1 and Ctrl+Alt+Backspace doesn't work.
Alt+PrntScr+r, Alt+PrntScr+s, Alt+PrntScr+e, Alt+PrntScr+i, Alt+PrntScr+n, Alt+PrntScr+u, Alt+PrntScr+b
These key-presses will reboot the system safely. To remember the key-presses, remember this nonsensical phrase: "Raising Skinny Elephants Is Never Utterly Boring".
An alternative would be to hold down Ctrl+Alt+SysRq (SysRq is usually the same key as PrintScreen) and type very slowly R E I S U B. A way to remember this is by inverting the word: "BUSIER" or remembering a phrase: "Restart Even If System Utterly Broken". This would also safely shutdown the system.
Hardware Video Decode Acceleration (EXPERIMENTAL)
This is confirmed to work for newer RadeonHD GPU's (those with UVD2). If you have a RadeonHD 4000 series or newer, you have UVD2. To see the complete list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Video_Decoder#UVD_enabled_GPUs
For acceleration to work, you will need libva from this PPA: https://launchpad.net/~dtl131/+archive/catalysthacks and the xvba va-api backend from: http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauchesne/xvba-video/ With those installed, you can get acceleration from any video player that uses VA-API. A compatible version of VLC is available in the aforementioned PPA.
DO NOT try to install a new version over an old one. Follow the 'Removing Catalyst/fglrx' section below to remove your existing driver, and then you can start at 'Downloading the latest Catalyst' to install the new one.
The uninstall script in the first command will only exist if you downloaded the drivers and installed the directly (rather than building packages as this guide does). Skip the first command if it does not exist.
$ sudo sh /usr/share/ati/fglrx-uninstall.sh $ sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx fglrx_* fglrx-amdcccle* fglrx-dev* xorg-driver-fglrx
If you plan on using open-source drivers, you will need to reinstall some packages because Catalyst overwrites or diverts some key 3D libraries with proprietary versions. For more information on this issue, see this Ubuntu wiki page
$ sudo apt-get remove --purge xserver-xorg-video-ati xserver-xorg-video-radeon $ sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-ati $ sudo apt-get install --reinstall libgl1-mesa-glx libgl1-mesa-dri xserver-xorg-core $ sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup
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