ATI Installation (for X800)

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ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby irony » 2009-04-25 14:26

This is the method I used to install the restricted driver for my ATI X800 card in Debian 5 derived from;

http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Debian ... tion_Guide

The opensource driver actually works fine for everything on my computer (Blender, Googleearth)... except Openoffice which causes a system wide freeze requiring a hard reboot. Hence I needed the restricted driver.

Onto the method.

First make sure non-free and source repositories are enabled.

Install the Driver

All the commands are done as root.

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su


then;

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apt-get update


then;

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apt-get install module-assistant fglrx-driver fglrx-kernel-src


If you prefer the above commands can all be done graphically via synaptic, i.e. enable the repositories via Synaptic > Settings > Repositories. Then find the module-assistant, fglrx-driver and fglrx-kernel-src and tick them and install them.

Build and Install the Module

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module-assistant auto-install fglrx-kernel-src


I believe this compiles form source the fglrx-kernel as well as the a bunch of other stuff including the fglrx-driver. I noticed also that linux-image-2.6.26-1-486 was downloaded, I assume this is pulling in dependencies as I am running linux-image-2.6.26-2-686.

Update your xorg.conf file (still as root)

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aticonfig --initial


Restart for the changes to take effect. I noted that I could boot into linux-image-2.6.26-1-486 or linux-image-2.6.26-2-686 though only the latter gave me my full 2 Gigs of RAM (so that is the one I boot into).

Confirm the Installation

Now that you have rebooted you can test to see if the restricted driver is enabled by doing (as non-root);

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fglrxinfo


which for me gives;

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display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: RADEON X800 PRO
OpenGL version string: 2.1.8304 Release


And now everything including Openoffice works.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby halitech » 2009-05-25 02:20

Thanks for this, it also works perfect for the X1200 onboard video

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daryl@debian:~$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon X1200 Series
OpenGL version string: 2.1.8304 Release
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby irony » 2009-05-25 10:49

Glad it worked!

Note if you get an update of the kernel from say linux-image-2.6.26-2-686 to linux-image-2.6.26-3-686 it may bork the drivers, which would need uninstalling the drivers and recompiling of the drivers - I am assuming this is so... one of the resident Debian experts would have to answer this.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby halitech » 2009-05-25 11:02

I think you are correct about the updating of the kernel, least I remember seeing that before but it should be just a matter of running the same steps again to fix it.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby irony » 2009-05-25 16:08

Yes, it might be a good idea to do a system back up before doing a kernel upgrade;

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mkfs.ext3 /dev/hdaX

mount /dev/hdaX /mnt/hdaX

init 1

cp -ax /. /mnt/hdaX/.

Ctrl D or exit


Where hdaX is whatever the partition is you want to back up to.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby Tadeas » 2009-05-30 13:06

Note that this method works only for Lenny. The newer versions of fglrx (9.4 and newer I think) doesn't support many, many chips it did support before.
For example I have ATI Radeon X1200 and when I install fglrx this way in Sid, I get an error that no supported chip was detected.

However newer radeonhd versions are really good and support still wider range of cards.
Because let’s face it, the unfortunate aspect of software development is that it involves humans. Mewling, disorganized, miserably analog humans. Sometimes they smell bad.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby halitech » 2009-05-30 13:29

I was thinking about changing to Testing but now I'm glad I didn't just in case Testing doesn't support it either. I put this system together on a budget so didn't bother buying a video card but will be looking long and hard at which card I buy in the future to make sure its supported (and hopefully will stay supported) for awhile
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby irony » 2009-05-30 13:57

If it wasn't for openoffice crashing on the opensource driver I would be quite happy with the opensource driver - hopefully its sorted with the newer opensource driver or else I am stuck when it comes to upgrading. Currently I can't use Ubuntu because the X800 card doesn't seem to be supported and simply crashes with OOo.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby Tadeas » 2009-05-30 14:24

I'd love to know what does graphical driver have to do with OOo.
BTW why should we make a backup when we upgrade a kernel? If anything goes wrong, you have the old kernel preserved, so you can easily boot into it as apt makes an entry in grub for every available kernel, and if you compile it yourself, you can make it manually...
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby irony » 2009-05-30 14:37

I can only say that from my viewpoint as an end user that it used to be that blender and googleearth did not work with the opensource drivers (on my X800 card) so I had to use restricted drivers.

These programs now both work on the opensource drivers but OOo doesn't - why is this? I don't know, I'm not the programmer of these programs so can only say what I see.

As for backing up - I do a full system back-up about once a week; I can only remember once or twice having to use it in the past few years. I'm always amazed when people don't do a full back-up and then scream and cry because they borked up something which they cannot solve.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby KOTAPAKA » 2009-06-13 22:19

I've been busy and hence sorry for not answering this post when you asked it. If you install ati prop. driver from debian's repository then you need to tell it which kernel modules to install i.e.
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aptitude install fglrx-driver fglrx-kernel-src fglrx-modules-2.6.26-2-686
for my kernel for instance. If I omit the last one then it tries to download the 486 version and then to satisfy it it gets the appropriate kernel installed as well and we don't want that.
Debian Lenny "stable"
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby irony » 2009-06-18 15:50

Thanks KOTAPAKA looking through synaptic I can see what you mean - I'll see if I can uninstall and then re-install the driver correctly.
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Re: ATI Installation (for X800)

Postby irony » 2009-06-20 10:37

This is what I did...

Performed a full system backup to an external usb drive;

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su
init 1
cp -ax /. /mnt/usb/.


Then uninstalled via synaptic;

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linux-image-2.6.26-1-486


Which also removed;

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fglrx-modules-2.6.26-1-486


I did a full shutdown then booted up and did;

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fglrxinfo


And the restricted ati driver returned;

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display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: RADEON X800 PRO
OpenGL version string: 2.1.8304 Release


Thus showing the driver was still installed - I guess fglrx-modules-2.6.26-1-486 is actually a program for building the actual driver so uninstalling it doesn't affect the built driver.

So I didn't have to go through a full re-compiling of the restricted driver and my Debian 5 set-up is now nice and clean.

Thus to summarise the thing it seems I should have done in the first place to avoid installing linux-image-2.6.26-1-486 was;

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su
apt-get update
apt-get install module-assistant fglrx-driver fglrx-kernel-src fglrx-modules-2.6.26-2-686
module-assistant auto-install fglrx-kernel-src
aticonfig --initial
fglrxinfo


Where fglrx-modules-2.6.26-2-686 corresponds to linux-image-2.6.26-2-686 which is the image I am currently running.
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