Sunday, May 18, 2008

Newer ATI driver

It appears that I missed a release, and ATI has released their Catalyst 8.4 driver. Now, since I'm assuming everyone is using Hardy now, I will rewrite the instructions for the new driver. It's a different beast, but I'll write this guide as I do the install. So any obstacles I encounter will be documented. The new guide I'm using is here. All right, here we go!

First, download the driver from the ATI web site. For some reason, when I tried getting the driver, it wouldn't let me go from the start, so using the direct link will guarantee you getting the driver (unless something weird happens, which is unlikely). Now, download it. Next, put your driver in a separate folder called ati so things don't get messy. You don't have to do it, but your $HOME folder will thank you.
mkdir ~/ati
mv Desktop/ati-driver-installer-8-4-x86.x86_64.run ~/ati
cd ~/ati
Make sure you have all of the dependencies. Don't Run the command:
sudo apt-get install build-essential fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++5 dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r)
Now go through Synaptic and COMPLETELY uninstall all of the packages with "fglrx" in their name you might have, for example: xorg-driver-fglrx or fglrx-kernel source. And remove any .deb packages of fglrx you might have by using this command:
sudo rm /usr/src/fglrx-kernel*.deb
After you do that, you can now set up the deb packages. Just run:
sudo ./ati-driver-installer-8-4-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/hardy
This makes the packages. Now you have to tell Ubuntu not to overwrite these packages with the ones in the repositories. So, you need to edit the file:

gksudo gedit /etc/default/linux-restricted-modules-common
Where it says DISABLED_MODULES="", put "fglrx" in the quotes. So you'll get:
DISABLED_MODULES="fglrx"
As another precautionary measure (I didn't need to, but you might), edit the file :
gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-restricted
If it exists. For me, it didn't, so don't be worried if it doesn't for you. If it does exist, you look for the line:
blacklist fglrx
and you comment it out with a #.

Now you can get to the install by using:
sudo dpkg -i xorg-driver-fglrx_8.476*.deb fglrx-kernel-source_8.476-0*.deb fglrx-amdcccle_8.476-0*.deb

which will install all of the packages at the same time.

Once the install goes well, open the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and look for
Section "Device"
[...]
Driver "fglrx"
[...]
EndSection
. If you've already done this, it should be there. If it isn't, then add it (without the bracketed ellipses). Now, run sudo aticonfig --initial -f. If that runs well, restart and see what happens from then on.

After you restart, run "fglrxinfo". If you get something that resembles:
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon 9550 / X1050 Series
OpenGL version string: 2.1.7415 Release
then congratulations, you've made it! Otherwise.... go read the end of the other guide. It addresses it more directly.

2 comments:

Cairnarvon said...

Your assumption that everyone's using Hardy Heron is probably unjustified. Everyone I know who still uses Ubanto switched back to Gutsy the day after they upgraded to Hardy, and with good reason.

cactaur said...

If that's the case, then instead of using the command:
sudo ./ati-driver-installer-8-4-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/hardy

run the command:
sudo ./ati-driver-installer-8-4-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu --autopkg

as referenced in the guide. This might be a version independent way of doing it.

If that turns out not to work, you can use this previous guide I compiled should work for you with the new driver because it was written for gutsy. Hope these work out for you, Cair.