Saturday, January 19, 2008

ATI and AIGLX? Can it be?

Like most ATI users, I needed to use XGL in order to get the pretty eye candy like compiz. And XGL has a reputation of being bloated and really clunky and memory-intensive. However, I was content with that because there was no other choice. ATI didn't give any sorts of drivers to allow AIGLX (Accelerated Indirect GLX) until recently. I chanced upon an announcement in Linux Pro Magazine that ATI released new drivers which enable "preliminary" AIGLX support. If you have an ATI Radeon X1000, X800, X700, X550/X300, or any of the 9800, 9700, 9600, and 9500 series, this driver will be able to help you. I have a Radeon 9550, so I fit in (barely). The article was talking about the release of the Catalyst 7.10 drivers, but ATI has already moved to 8.1, so that's what we'll be dealing with. And this guide will probably keep working as the version numbers go up and up.

Now, the first thing to do is to get the updated driver from AMD's web site. Select Linux and your video card then you should be directed to the driver. Download it, and if you'd like, make a separate folder for it and move it in there after it's done, because we're gonna get kinda messy:
mkdir ~/ati
mv ~/Desktop/ati-driver-installer-8-01-x86.x86_64.run ~/ati
cd ~/ati
Now we follow the steps on the Ubuntu Wiki to install the driver:
chmod +x ati-driver-installer-8-01-x86.x86_64.run
./ati-driver-installer-8-01-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/gutsy
This creates a series of .deb packages which we can now install using dpkg. So, we do that right now:
sudo dpkg -i fglrx-kernel-source_8.452.1-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_8.452.1-1_i386.deb
Now run
sudo aticonfig --initial
to rebuild your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. If it says it didn't do anything, that's fine.

Reboot, and then you should get something like this:
$fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon 9550 / X1050 Series
OpenGL version string: 2.1.7276 Release
This completes the ATI binary installation. Now we move on to AIGLX with compiz. This, I borrowed heavily from CombatWombat, but a lot of his things were kinda unclear to me. So, I hope to clear it up. First thing you do is follow this tutorial on the Ubuntu forums (It's around the bottom by michael37. It has big headline-y letters. You can't miss it), but DO NOT install xserver-xgl. In fact, you should probably uninstall it if you have it. You won't be needing it.

Now, you need to edit the file /usr/bin/compiz using a text editor. There, you need to add fglrx to the whitelist. You do that by finding the line (around line 54) that says WHITELIST= and has a group of keywords. Add fglrx to that group surrounded by whitespaces. So, it should read (or mine reads):
WHITELIST="nvidia intel ati radeon i810 fglrx"
The next thing is to remove your video card from the blacklist which should be right under the whitelist. If you don't know which line is your card, you can figure it out by typing
compiz --replace
in a terminal if you don't have XGL. It should fail and tell you which one is on the blacklist. When you figure that out, comment out the line by placing a "#" without quotes in front of it. Any time you upgrade compiz, you'll have to do this again. But it's not too bad.

So now we've got the compiz script running, now it's time to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. There are two ways of doing this, the way CombatWombat did it (I'm not too sure if it), and the way the Ubuntu Wiki did it. Since the Wiki is pretty self-explanatory, and I'd like to know if CombatWombat's way works, I'll show you how to make his edits. Underneath where it says "Section "Module""... EndSection put
Section "ServerFlags"
Option "AIGLX" "on"
EndSection
Where it says "Section "Device"", add to the end:
Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"
Option "DRI" "true" #
Option "ColorTiling" "on"
Option "EnablePageFlip" "true"
Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" #
Option "RenderAccel" "true"
Option "AGPMode" "4"
Option "AGPFastWrite" "on"
Option "KernelModuleParm" "agplock=0"
Option "UseInternalAGPGART" "no"
Option "EnablePrivateBackZ" "no"
Option "DisableGLXRootClipping" "true"
Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"
Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
Option "mtrr" "on"
The ones with hashes are the ones you REALLY need. The rest are other options I guess. And at the end of the file, where the Section is "Extensions", change the line to
Option "Composite" "Enable"
And at the very end, put this section:
Section "DRI"
Mode 0666
EndSection
And now just restart X and you should be able to enable compiz without XGL. This guide may not be exactly right, because I messed with A LOT of things while troubleshooting, and I tried to trim it down to what is REALLY needed. If you get problems, feel free to leave a comment. If your X dies, from a command line type:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
from the command-line to rebuild the X server so that it works again, and tell me what went wrong, so I can make corrections. If X doesn't die but compiz doesn't work, run
compiz --replace
and post the output. Thank you!

21 comments:

Larry said...

You're welcome! Great howto.

Andrew said...

Hi, I followed your steps but I cannot get Desktop effects (Compiz) to work. Here's my current "compiz --replace" output:

awc@T43p:~$ compiz --replace
Checking for Xgl: not present.
Detected PCI ID for VGA: 01:00.0 0300: 1002:3154 (rev 80) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
Checking for texture_from_pixmap: not present.
Trying again with indirect rendering:
Checking for texture_from_pixmap: present.
Checking for non power of two support: present.
Checking for Composite extension: present.
Comparing resolution (1400x1050) to maximum 3D texture size (2048): Passed.
Checking for nVidia: not present.
Checking for FBConfig: present.
Checking for Xgl: not present.
Starting gtk-window-decorator

(After this, it goes into an infinite loop, repeating the above lines.) I'd much appreciate any advice you could give me! Thank you very much.

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