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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) Drivers - I fixed my Broken ATI Driver this way too.

I like to use Krusader to SFTP into my other Machines on my Local Network to Transfer Files. And sometimes I use "root" mode to fix little problems like... A Broken X11 Server (No GUI working due to a Kernel Update). To go back to using the Standard X11 Driver instead of my Ati Radeon or nVidia Drivers, which often get Broken By Fedora Kernel Updates... Usually I can just rename or delete the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. I rename mine, in case I need them later, to something without the ".conf" file extension. Like "xorg-conf-bk-04-28-11" (notice, no file extension, so that I can still open it in a Text Editor, but it will be ignored by the System). I have learned over the years, that Fedora and Debian Linux, will read any file in the "/etc/X11/" folder with the ".conf" extension on it. So, you're backup file will still be read, if it has the ".conf" extension and will still cause you're system to look for the Broken Video Driver which is called for in it and you still wont have any GUI... But After renaming it without a file extension, it will be ignored and a new one will be written Upon Reboot and my X11 GUI is back! And I can Reinstall my Ati or nVidia Driver in the comfort of my GUI Interface. No, muss, no fuss, and no Mucking around in the Command Line!:) For the most part, at least... Still, there are times when you may need to use every tool that you can. Below are a couple of fixes for these problems...

Well, here I am again:O Some update in the 35 or so that I installed yesterday on my Fedora 14 System Broke my ATI Proprietary Video Driver!:O

I try to watch for kernel updates, so that I will know that this may happen and maybe wait on any kernel related updates till I'm ready to fix my broken X11 GUI. But I didn't notice any this time, nor did I the last time this happened a couple of weeks ago... Usually I can just SFTP into my Fedora System form another System, since I have an SSH Server running on it. Then, all I have to do is rename the xorg.conf file to something without any dot's (.) in it, like xorg-conf-bk. I figured out a few years ago, that Fedora can find an xorg.conf file even it is is named xorg.conf-bk and use it. So, you need to get rid of all dots (.) to make sure that the old xorg.cong file doesn't keep getting used by Fedora. Then after renaming xorg.conf so that Fedora had to make a new one on Boot, I Reboot. Then, My X11 GUI us back and working fine again. But not this time:( So, I went to searching for the fix online, again. I can never remember the how too's nor the commands on how to do this. I even installed Putty on this ArtistX System so that I could easily work in the Command Line on my Broken Fedora 14 System from another System in the GUI, so that I can use Krusader and a Graphic Text Editor to edit files more easily. After trying out a few unsuccessful things. I finally found this info. It was a little behind in the version numbers. And I had already downloaded and installed the newest ATI Driver from their Web Site in Putty, but still no GUI. But, after following these instructions. I got mine up and running again:) Here's the info that worked for me... PS. I'm back again reading this post only a couple of weeks after writing it. Cause my Dang X11 GUI Broke Again!:O Looks like I am going to have to Re-Install the ATI Driver again! Hey Fedora, this is getting Old!:O But, at least this time. I have it all here where I can do it again... Well, I Re-Installed the ATI Driver from their Web Site (which I already had downloaded on my Machine) and then went through all of the steps again to make sure everything was right. After a Reboot, I have X11 GUI back up and running again!:)

How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) Drivers

by Kulbir Saini

in AMD, ATI, Drivers, Fedora, Graphics, Hardware, HowTo, Installation, Kernel, Xorg

Note: This How To is valid up to Catalyst Driver version 10.1.

Note: With minor changes this How To may work for other Linux distributions like Mandriva, Suse, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Cent OS etc.

Following the suggestions in comments on my last post about ATI Catalyst (fglrx), I tried to reinstall ATI drivers version 9.8 and finally it worked. I thought of noting down the the process in few simple steps which anyone can follow and get the drivers working on Fedora 11 with latest kernel versions.
Step 1 : Update Kernel, Install kernel-devel

Note: You may need to update the kernel-devel package as well as its needed to compile the fglrx kernel module.

[root@fedora ~]$ yum update kernel

[root@fedora ~]$ yum install kernel-devel

Or You may choose NOT to UPDATE THE KERNEL. Instead stick to whatever kernel version you have. If you have 2.6.30.*, you are unlucky Get a kernel version 2.6.29.* and install the kernel-devel for the same.

Note: With Catalyst Driver version 9.10 you can update kernel to latest version before installing the Drivers.

Step 2 : Download Drivers

Download the ATI Catalyst™ 9.8 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver from ATI/AMD website.
Step 3 : Install Drivers

Install the drivers that you have downloaded using the following command.
[root@fedora ~]$ bash ./

Step 4 : Check Installation Result

Check the /usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log file for result of installation. If there are no errors, proceed to the next step.

Note: You may see lines like this at the end of file

You must change your working directory to /lib/modules/fglrx

and then call ./ in order to install the built module.

- recreating module dependency list

- trying a sample load of the kernel modules


You can ignore these lines happily if they don’t contain any error message. You don’t really need to execute the command mentioned in those lines.
Step 5 : Blacklist radeon and radeonhd kernel modules

Add these lines to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf.
blacklist radeon blacklist radeonhd

Step 6 : Generate initial Xorg configuration file

Note: This step is optional with Catalyst Driver version 9.10, but it wont harm even if you execute this.

You have to generate the initial xorg.conf file which will use fglrx as display device.
[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --initial

Step 7 : Modify xorg.conf

Open your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and add the following line to “Device” section (the one with fglrx as driver)
Option "SWCursor" "true"

Step 8 : Reboot

Reboot your machine. And you’ll have the latest ATI Catalyst drivers working on your Fedora 11
Step 9 : Testing

You can test your newly installed drivers and get the performance benchmarks for your graphics card using the commands below.
[saini@fedora ~]$ glxgears
[saini@fedora ~]$ fgl_glxgears

My (the writer of these instructions) graphics card is ATI Radeon HD 3200 (256MB, Onboard) and I get 1500FPS with glxgears and 300FPS with fgl_glxgears.

In case you mess up things somewhere, you can uninstall the fglrx drivers using the following command

[root@fedora ~]$ /usr/share/ati/

Go there...

Related Posts
News : ATI Catalyst Drivers 10.1 Released. Test them now!
News: Will ATI Catalyst Drivers 9.12 work with Fedora 12?
Info: ATI Drivers 9.8 Doesnt Work with Fedora 11 (2.6.29+)
Info: ATI Drivers 9.7 does not work in Fedora 11 (2.6.29+)
News: ATI Catalyst Display Drivers 9.9 Released

Tagged as: ATI Radeon, Catalyst, fglrx, Graphics Card

The Post Below, was helpful too. But it is from 2008 and I knew I already had been able to install the ATI Driver in the GUI in Fedora 14, without building it from source. So, I just used the commands for checking my Kernel and a couple more that helped me. You may find some of them helpful too..


By mk27

How to install ATI Catalyst drivers on F14

I decided to write this because I had a bit of a hassle, and I am sure other people have too. AFAICT, F14 does not have any formal support right now (no rpms, etc), and there are some pitfalls to using the ATI installer which I am sure have resulted in system re-installs, unhappy faces, and people stuck without a proper driver.*

This is because while the installer seems easy to use, it's unfriendly in so far as it does not check for pre-requisite software first, and when it craps outs, it doesn't tell you anything is wrong, but it will leave your system without a functioning X server.

The first time I ran it, the GUI installer told me everything was complete and that all I needed to do was reboot! When I did, X would not work, and reinstalling the original xorg-ati driver, etc, did not fix it.

Make sure you read ALL this over first BEFORE you start! Also read post #3 below

*I hate proprietary software, but GL 3D cards are pointless without the real drivers and libraries installed. And if you want to use (or write) serious openGL 3D software, you do need such a card.

STEP 1 Get the driver-installer

The download should be a file like "".

STEP 2 Get prereqs from the fedora repos

Here's the nasty pitfall: you'll need to have some fedora packages the installer uses to build the fglrx kernel module, but it does not tell you that, and (even worse) it will wreck your X if you don't have them.

Building kernel modules requires the linux kernel source code, and that needs to be properly installed. I'm a programmer and have built modules, so when I've used an ATI installer before, I had all that stuff there already.

It did not occur to me that if the source were not there, the installer would go ahead and appear to build a module anyway (which is impossible without the kernel source). The fact that it does not crap out with a simple message (eg: "Can't find kernel sources, aborting") is EXTREMELY UNPROFESSIONAL of ATI. This is like repairing someones car and forgetting to torque the head bolts on. Either malicious or seriously stupid.

Anyway, the upshot of that is you must make sure everything is copacetic with the perquisites because not only will the installer not issue a warning, it will keep on trucking and leave you without a functioning X server when it's done.

Fedora's generally awesome yum system has a further pitfall here, unfortunately. We want both the kernel header includes and the source (aka. the "devel" package):

Code:[root@localhost ati]# yum search kernel | grep headers kernel-headers.x86_64 : Header files for the Linux kernel for use by glibc arm-gp2x-linux-kernel-headers.noarch : Kernel headers for Cross Compiling to [root@localhost ati]# yum search kernel | grep devel kernel-debug-devel.x86_64 : Development package for building kernel modules to kernel-devel.x86_64 : Development package for building kernel modules to match crash-devel.i686 : kernel crash analysis utility for live systems, netdump, crash-devel.x86_64 : kernel crash analysis utility for live systems, netdump, ...snip

If you do not have a 64 bit system the suffix will be i686 and not x86_64. Now all we need to do is "yum install", right?

Not quite. If you just installed from a live CD like I did and did not run updates, yum fails to mention at this point that the "kernel-devel" package is for a newer, updated kernel than the one installed by the CD. With most stuff, it would automatically update any prereqs, but it did not do that today with the kernel.

By default, linux will not load a module built for a different kernel version. Also, the C compiler (IMPORTANT: see below*) uses a symbolic link in the running kernel's module directory to find the correct source:

Code:[root@localhost ati]# cd /lib/modules [root@localhost modules]# ls fglrx [root@localhost modules]# uname -r

I should explain this (look up cd and ls if you do not understand them): /lib/modules contains a subdirectory for each kernel. Currently, I have two, and so will you because you will be installing the updated one to match the available source package.

When it comes time to run the ATI driver-installer, first check which kernel you are running with "uname -r". Then enter the corresponding subdirectory in /lib/modules (you can do this now anyway to get the idea):

Code:[root@localhost modules]# cd [root@localhost]# ls -1 build extra kernel modules.alias modules.alias.bin ...snip

Notice "build" at the top. This is a symbolic link to a directory in /usr/src which contains the source tree. Even if that directory does not exist, the symbolic link here will. So you need to check that the link is good:

Code:[root@localhost]# cd build bash: cd: build: No such file or directory

That one is bad. If this is the directory for your running kernel and you now use the ATI driver-installer, no module will be built and the installer will overwrite crucial X libraries, etc, with stuff that cannot work. That was what happened on my second attempt today

Here's what will happen if you have the kernel source correctly installed:

Code:[root@localhost]# cd build [root@localhost build]# ls arch drivers include kernel mm samples sound usr block firmware init lib ...snip

So, to summarize step 2:

a) Make sure you have the latest kernel installed:

Code:[root@localhost build]# yum install kernel.x86_64 Setting up Install Process Package kernel- already installed and latest version Nothing to do

If you did not, the install will also add a new entry to your grub menu for the new kernel and use that one as a default, so reboot.

b) Now install the kernel-headers and kernel-devel package as described above.

c) Finally, check in /lib/modules/ (as above) to make sure that "build" link is good.

Now you're ready to run the ATI driver-installer.

*BTW, if you do not generally build software from source, you will probably need to install the C compiler as well:

Code:[root@localhost ati]# yum search gcc | grep ^gcc gcc-gnat.x86_64 : Ada 95 support for GCC gcc-objc.x86_64 : Objective-C support for GCC gcc-objc++.x86_64 : Objective-C++ support for GCC gccxml.x86_64 : XML output extension to GCC gcc.x86_64 : Various compilers (C, C++, Objective-C, Java, ...) gcc-c++.x86_64 : C++ support for GCC ...snip

You can check first by trying "gcc -v" at the command line (if it's not there, you may then be able to Y/N an automatic install).

STEP 3 Run the installer!

I recommend doing this in console mode, and temporarily setting your default run level to the same. There are 3 reasons for that. First, the GUI installer for Catalyst 11.1 is much more deceptive about it's success. The text mode one will only say it's been successful if it really was. Otherwise, it just ends, and you may see some sinister clues leftover. Unfortunately, either way (GUI or console), the installer will probably have wrecked your X install if something went wrong. Second, if something goes wrong, you will still be able to use the computer after a reboot because it will not need X windows. Third, if something happens to something crucial later (eg, updates can overwrite the ATI stuff), you should know how to re-install without X.

So use a text editor on /etc/inittab, which looks like this:

Code:# inittab is only used by upstart for the default runlevel. # # ADDING OTHER CONFIGURATION HERE WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON YOUR SYSTEM. ...blah blah blah snip # Default runlevel. The runlevels used are: # 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this) # 1 - Single user mode # 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking) # 3 - Full multiuser mode # 4 - unused # 5 - X11 # 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this) # id:5:initdefault:

Change that 5 to a 3. You can change it back later.

The driver-installer file you downloaded is actually a sort of shell script (with a ton of stuff compressed and embedded in it). It needs to be executable, which it may not be:

Code:[root@localhost src]# stat File: `' Size: 125893511 Blocks: 245888 IO Block: 4096 regular file Read More... Device: 802h/2050d Inode: 37716 Links: 1 Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--) Uid: ( 0/ root) Gid: ( 0/ root)

Nope. So:

Code:[root@localhost src]# chmod 700

Does it (look up chmod if you do not understand). Now, if you are sure you have read, understood, and acted on this post, you can run the installer:

Code:[root@localhost src]# ./

It's pretty simple from there. At about 80-85% on the progress bar, the module gets built, which might take a few minutes and will max out a processor (if you only have one, just leave everything alone until it's finished).

Good luck! There is some good news in all this -- for my card at least, the 11.1 driver-installer seems to have corrected some issues evidently in 10.2 (like, I now get a higher max resolution ).

My nifty gtk text and manpage viewer:

Last edited by mk27; 7th February 2011 at 02:51 PM.


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