Distribution Neutral Steps

Verifying | Configuring | Troubleshooting


Since version 8.18.6 the fglrx driver includes the aticonfig tool which simplifies xorg.conf editing. Here are some useful commands this tool offers (for a complete list see aticonfig --help).

Changes taking effect on startup

Changes will change the config file!

Initial setup (creates device section using fglrx)
sudo aticonfig --initial
Enable Video acceleration (Xv Overlay)
sudo aticonfig -overlay-type=Xv
Force fglrx to use kernel's AGP driver instead of own implementation (only use when internal agpgart doesn't work)
sudo aticonfig --internal-agp=off
  • Note: Newer fglrx driver versions do not include an internal AGPGART so the kernel agpgart is used no matter what.
Use extended desktop with two monitors (dual-head and big desktop)

Assuming you successfully completed the 'Ubuntu Gutsy Installation Guide' with two monitors connected:

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

This command will generate a dual head configuration file with the second screen located to the right of the first screen.

sudo aticonfig --dtop=horizontal --overlay-on=1

This command will set up big desktop to horizontal and set overlay on the secondary display.

sudo aticonfig --set-pcs-val=MCIL,DigitalHDTVDefaultUnderscan,0

This command will disable underscan and saves the option until next driver update. Needed to remove black borders on some LCD displays by default.

If black borders doesn't remove try this :

aticonfig --query-monitor # to see monitors
aticonfig --query-dispattrib=tmds2 #to see supported values
aticonfig --set-dispattrib=tmds2,sizeX:1920 # to set X resolution
aticonfig --set-dispattrib=tmds2,sizey:1080 # to set Y resolution 
aticonfig --set-dispattrib=tmds2,positionX:0 # to set X position to 0
aticonfig --set-dispattrib=tmds2,positionY:0 # to set Y position to 0

If you receive and error in regards to tmds2 not being valid, please see this post on the possible alternative display types.

Now, black borders is really gone.

Changes taking effect immediately

Changes will not change the config file.

Print information about power states.
aticonfig --list-powerstates

Or, for us lazy folk, the shorter version is aticonfig --lsp

Set a power state to the lowest (battery friendly)
aticonfig --set-powerstate=1
  • Note: check out available power states using aticonfig --list-powerstates
  • Note: this option does not work when an external monitor is connected

Print information about connected and enabled monitors
aticonfig --query-monitor
deprecated by RandR

Examples how to enable two monitors on the fly
  • Assume you have two monitors already setup correctly (Dual monitor support at Ubuntuforums)
  • This example enable laptop internal monitor (lvds) and external monitor (crt1)
aticonfig --enable-monitor=lvds,crt1 --effective=now
  • Note: aticonfig --enable-monitor=STRING,STRING where STRING can be one of the following set, separated by commas: none,crt1,crt2,lvds,tv,tmds1,tmds2,auto.

Only 2 displays can be enabled at the same time. Any displays that are not on the list will be disabled.

  • Note: check out connected and enabled monitors using aticonfig --query-monitor

Turn off the second monitor on the fly and start to use only laptop internal monitor (lvds)
aticonfig --enable-monitor=lvds --effective=now

Swap monitors on the fly when using big desktop mode
aticonfig --swap-monitor --effective=now
  • Note: This only works for big desktop setup. This will swap the contents on the two monitors.


Still not working? Go to the Troubleshooting page.

Graphical Configuration

When instaling the propietary Ati linux driver, it also can install the Ati Catalyst Control Center. With this tool you can configure Ati's driver more easily.

Distribution Neutral Steps

Verifying | Configuring | Troubleshooting