Ubuntu Jaunty Installation Guide

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Revision as of 21:19, 1 September 2012 by (talk) (→‎Issues)

Warning: Does not work for all system combinations at this time

The Options

Users with ATI cards basically have these options:

  1. Standard Open Source Drivers These are stable and nice, but currently have poor 3D performance, if any. If you have a Radeon X1k product or earlier, this is your only option.
  2. Edge Open Source Drivers These drivers have improved 3D performance
  3. The Ubuntu Way Use the restricted-driver management system that comes with Ubuntu to install the proprietary drivers.
  4. Third (Fourth?) Party Installer Use envy/jockey or other installer helper.
  5. Install the drivers manually Using the installer downloaded from AMD's site via either package based install or direct install.

Open Source Drivers

By default, Ubuntu will already try to use one of the open source drivers for your hardware. If the feature set and stability work for you, then you don't need to change anything.

The drivers that may be used are

  • vesa Lowest common denominator across all graphics vendor, not many features.
  • ati Actually a facade that will invoke the radeon driver.
  • radeon Driver support all radeon classes of hardware - with limited 3D for newer cards.
  • radeonhd An alternate driver support R520 hardware and later.

By default there is no configuration file for X anymore, so X will try to do the right thing.

If you run into stability problems with 3D applications using the radeon/radeonhd drivers, consider trying a more recent kernel. mainline- did the trick on a few machines.

There's an ongoing debate about how and if the radeon and radeonhd drivers will be used in the future. For more information, see http://wiki.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature

Installing Open Source Edge Drivers

These drivers are built regularly from the X.Org git repository. So sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. However, they have been stable for me, and are the only drivers that work for me. The fglrx drivers hang my system, and the standard "radeon" driver does not support a 2560x1600 resolution.

To install:

First add the repository https://launchpad.net/~tormodvolden/+archive/ppa. Instructions on how to do that are on that page. Then update your packages using Update Manager, and then add the xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd package. When you log in, you may be using the new driver, but you will probably still be using the radeon driver. To switch to the radeonhd driver, add this to /etc/X11/xorg.conf :

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"Default Device"
	Driver		"radeonhd"

The Ubuntu way to install the Proprietary Drivers

Restricted Drivers Manager

  • Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) provides a notification saying that there are restricted drivers available
  • Go to the Restricted Drivers Manager and enable the "ATI accelerated graphics driver"
  • Ubuntu will then install and configure the driver for you

Note that you will be restricted to the drivers for you version of Ubuntu that Canonical deem as stable. This may not give you the latest drivers, but should be safest. The driver installed this way does not work with Radeon X1300.

Installing the drivers manually


This portion of the guide works, since I have used it myself. I guess the rest of the guide is broken or it may be because the new driver doesn't support any of the older ATI cards anymore.

Which cards does ATI no longer support? The ATI Radeon 9500-9800, X300-X2100, Xpress. See the complete list here. If your card is on that list, you are restricted to the 9.3 driver - however since 9.3 driver doesn't support xorg-xserver 1.6, it will not work with Jaunty! This guide currently is for installing 9.10. !!!SO BE CAREFUL!!!


I recommend using copy and paste. However, you can Ctrl + C in your browser but you cannot Ctrl + V in the terminal. When you have copied something simply use Ctrl + Shift + V or Shift + Insert to paste into the terminal or go to the terminals menu, select edit and click paste. This method will ensure there are no typing mistakes and will greatly speed up the install process.

If you are using the x86_64 architecture (64 bit), be sure to install "ia32-libs" before proceeding!

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

Before you start

Install the necessary programs

Terminal Command

sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++5 dkms libQtGui4

NB in 9.10 (Karmic Koala) libstdc++5 has been superseded by libstdc++6. In some cases, libstdc++5 is still needed; however there is a workaround to this by symlinking libstdc++5 to libstdc++6.

The workaround is as follows:

Terminal Command

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6 /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.5

Then run ldconfig.

Terminal Command

sudo ldconfig

1. Download the latest Catalyst package.

Download page: Catalyst 15.12 -- File: radeon-crimson-15.12-15.302-151217a-297685e.zip. 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. (Example: $ cd Desktop)

Make sure your directory path does not contain spaces

(Errors may be experienced during the creation of the *.deb files for manual install for version 9.12. If so try 9.11 as I tested it myself and had no errors)

2. Create .deb packages.

Terminal Command

sh radeon-crimson-15.12-15.302-151217a-297685e.zip --buildpkg Ubuntu/jaunty

note that if you are following these instructions for karmic to replace Ubuntu/jaunty with Ubuntu/karmic

3. 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 keypresses will reboot the system safely. To remember the keypresses, 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 remebering a phrase: "Restart Even If System Utterly Broken". This would also safely shutdown the system.

4. Install .debs.

Install the debs, depending on if you're on a 32-bit or 64-bit system:

  • For 32-bit systems
Terminal Command

sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_*.deb fglrx-kernel-source_*.deb fglrx-amdcccle_*.deb

(This may fail due to a missing dkms. If so install this first. Also check the version numbers (8.632) against the created debs)

  • For 64-bit systems
Terminal Command

sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_*.deb fglrx-kernel-source_*.deb fglrx-amdcccle_*.deb

Using tab completion can make this command easier.

5. Additional 64-bit instructions

--If you have installed the "ia32-libs" package most likely you will not need to do this step.--

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 amdcccle package:

Terminal Command

sudo apt-get -f install

Catalyst 15.12 on 64-bit systems requires the --force-overwrite command in the above dpkg command:

Terminal Command

sudo dpkg -i --force-overwrite xorg-driver-fglrx_*.deb fglrx-kernel-source_*.deb fglrx-amdcccle_*.deb fglrx-modaliases_*.deb libamdxvba1_*.deb

Using tab completion can make this command easier.

Finishing the Install: Configuration

Now you'll have to edit your xorg.conf

Note: If you've used fglrx previously, skip down to step 6.

For Ubuntu:

Terminal Command

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

For Kubuntu:

Terminal Command

sudo kate /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"

6. Generate a new /etc/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.

Generic Config

This will work for most people:

Terminal Command

sudo aticonfig --initial -f

X2 Cards

If you have an X2 card (e.g. 4870X2), use... !!Do not use for two separate cards in crossfire!!

Terminal Command

sudo aticonfig --initial -f --adapter=all

Dual/Multi Monitors

If you have a dual monitor display (also known as "Big Desktop"), use:

Terminal Command

sudo aticonfig --initial -f --set-pcs-str="DDX,EnableRandR12,FALSE"

This was confirmed in http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18553.

7. Force use of /etc/Xorg.conf file

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:

Terminal Command

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

8. Test your installation

Finally, reboot the computer and type

Terminal Command


into the terminal. If the vendor string contains ATI, you have installed the driver successfully. Release 9.6 looks like:

display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series (This line may be different depending on what graphics card you are using.)
OpenGL version string: 2.1.8673
  • 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.
  • Also note: if you don't reboot, fglrxinfo gives an error message - this threw me for a bit as I didn't read the line above the box very carefully.


To update your driver to a new version (say 9.5 to 9.6) first disable the current driver through Ubuntu's Hardware Manager or use EnvyNG to remove the driver, then go to synaptic and search for "xorg-driver-fglrx" without the quotes and mark it for "Complete removal" and hit "Apply" then reboot your computer. Now simply repeat steps #1, 2, 4 and finally run these commends in a terminal:

Terminal Command

sudo aticonfig --initial -f

in a terminal. If it doesn't give an error you should be good.

If you have an X2 card (e.g. 4870X2), use... !!Do not use for two separate cards in crossfire!!

Terminal Command

sudo aticonfig --initial -f --adapter=all

instead in a terminal to generate the /etc/Xorg.conf file.


Terminal Command

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

then reboot.

It is very important that you COMPLETELY remove the old driver which includes the config files because when upgrading without uninstalling the old driver I noticed even though the new driver installed and worked there were some annoying problems that I experienced but after I completely uninstalled the old driver then installed the new one, it worked perfectly.


To completely remove the driver disable the current driver through Ubuntu's Hardware Manager or use EnvyNG to remove the driver, then go to synaptic and search for "xorg-driver-fglrx" without the quotes and mark it for "Complete removal" and hit "Apply" then reboot your computer.

Alternatively, use the following command from the terminal.

Terminal Command

sudo apt-get remove --purge xorg-driver-fglrx


  1. Add tweaks as needed: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=849422
  2. Restart X, if it doesn't work, you can use the "vesa", "ati", "radeon" or "radeonhd" driver in the mean time, until you make it work.
  3. If you downgraded X to make fglrx work: enter synaptic, make sure all packages with "xorg" and "x11" are locked so that you can update and upgrade without worries.

Done! Now run amdcccle, glxgears, nexuiz, warsow etc :)

Out of curiosities' sake, why didn't you order a Dell with Ubuntu on it and spprouted instead of paying for MS stuff?BTW, can I use your Planet UU button/banner thing? It's slick.