Ubuntu Breezy Installation Guide

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Method 1: Installing Breezy's Included Driver (8.16.20)

The fglrx driver supports Radeon 8500+ and the X-series cards (see release notes). When running the dpkg-reconfigure commands you can accept the defaults whenever you aren't sure.

Installing the driver

All Platforms:

sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx
sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-$(uname -r) #Okay if it is already installed
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg #Select the fglrx driver and 64-bit users should deselect int10a

64-bit users:

You have to downgrade to an older version of libdri.a due to an incompatilbity with the ATI drivers. Download it here

Change to download directory:

gunzip libdri.a.gz
sudo cp /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/extensions/libdri.a libdri.a.old
sudo cp libdri.a /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/extensions/

If you wish to revert to any non-fglrx driver you will need to copy the libdri.a.old file back over the fglrx version.

All platforms: Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to restart your desktop.

Confirm that it works

$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: MOBILITY RADEON 9700 Generic
OpenGL version string: 1.3.5272 (X4.3.0-8.16.20)


If you have a widescreen LCD display that is stuck at 1024x768 then it is probably the bug in the 8.16.20 driver that was fixed in 8.18.X (see the next section).

The output of dmesg | grep fglrx and /var/log/Xorg.0.log are most useful when looking for errors.

Method 2: Generating/Installing Ubuntu packages for the newer 8.28.8 drivers in Breezy Badger

Important Warning: Installation of this driver requires removing the restricted-modules package in order to work. That package includes drivers for madwifi (Atheros wireless cards), nvidia cards, and a handful of other devices. I provide a work-around for the madwifi drivers, but you need to perform it before removing the restricted modules (jump to end of this this post).

When running the dpkg-reconfigure command you should answer the questions that you know and take the defaults for the rest. You might want to say no to the monitor detection--it has caused X-Windows to crash for some people.

Remove existing fglrx driver

Remove Breezy's included drivers if they are installed:

sudo apt-get remove xorg-driver-fglrx
sudo apt-get remove fglrx-control
sudo apt-get remove linux-restricted-modules-$(uname -r)
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg #select the "ati" module


  • Note 1: If after reboot, your system hangs at a black screen before taking you to a graphical login - reboot to 'recovery mode' and edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to use 'vesa' instead of 'ati'. Then continue with the steps below.
  • Note 2: You can change your xorg.conf file to Option "vesa" BEFORE rebooting, so after rebooting you can have usable X (and skip Note 1). Remember that you HAVE to reboot (just restarting X will leave you with unusable X).

Installing the new driver

Download the ATI driver installer: ati-driver-installer-8.28.8.run (this installer is for 32bit and 64bit systems)

This guide refers to the 32bit version of the driver. The installation procedure for 64bit should be the same as for 32bit, except some filenames will differ slightly.

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. Sample sources.list.

Install necessary tools:

sudo apt-get install gcc-3.4 module-assistant build-essential fakeroot dh-make debconf libstdc++5 gcc-3.3-base

Create .deb packages:

bash ati-driver-installer-8.28.8.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/breezy

Install .deb packages:

sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_8.28.8-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-kernel-source_8.28.8-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-control_8.28.8-1_i386.deb

Remove any old fglrx deb's from /usr/src/:

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

Compile the kernel driver:

sudo module-assistant prepare
sudo module-assistant update
sudo module-assistant a-i fglrx

Update the xorg.conf file:

sudo aticonfig --initial
sudo aticonfig --overlay-type=Xv


Confirm that it worked

$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: RADEON 9700 Generic
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6011 (8.28.8)

(renderer string depends on your hardware and may/will be different)



Look for error messages in /var/log/Xorg.0.log and kern.log. If you receive the (EE) No devices detected error message, it is highly possible that you own a Radeon from the 7000-7500 series with the R100 chip, which the proprietary Linux drivers don't support.

Madwifi Drivers in Breezy Badger

In order to continue using the madwifi driver you can do the following before removing the linux-restricted-modules package and rebooting.

sudo cp /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/volatile/ath_hal.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/
sudo depmod -a $(uname -r)