Configuring the fglrx module for ATI graphics chips in Debian 4.0

Author(s)

Bill Giannikos

Introduction

This guide will help you configure the proprietary ATI module under Debian 4.0. I will not be covering the open source radeon module included with Xorg because its configuration is normally handled automatically by most Linux distributions. We also wont be covering the newly released readeonhd driver as these are still in an early stage.

Licensing Issues

ATI provide their own license for their driver. You will need to read and accept this license before proceeding.

Notes

We will be using 'nano' as our text editor of choice but you can use whatever you wish.

While this guide is mainly focused to laptop users there isn't any difference for desktop users.

Prerequisites

You should run a full update for your installation of Debian to ensure you have all the latest packages installed.

Installing the fglrx module

Here are the steps required to install and configure the fglrx module in Debian.

1. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

2. Switch to the root user by entering the command “su -” (without the quotes) and typing in your root password

3. Debian include parts of the fglrx driver in both the 'contrib' and 'non-free' repositories. You will need to enable both of these to install this driver. If you have already done this skip to step 7, otherwise continue on.

4. Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file. With nano you would use:

nano -w /etc/apt/sources.list

5. Append “contrib non-free” to the end every line starting with deb. It should look something like this (except with a different mirror):

deb http://ftp.iinet.net.au/debian/debian/ etch main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.iinet.net.au/debian/debian/ etch main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib non-free

6. Save the file. In nano you press Ctrl-X, answer yes to the “Save modified buffer” question and then press enter on the file name to write.

7. Run the following command:

apt-get update

8. Execute the following commands:

apt-get install build-essential module-assistant fglrx-driver fglrx-kernel-src fglrx-control
m-a update
m-a prepare
m-a a-i fglrx
aticonfig --initial

Some of these command may take a few minutes to complete.

9. Reboot and you will be using the fglrx module.

Troubleshooting

Normally after installing the fglrx module with the steps above your xorg.conf file should have automatically been updates to use the newer driver. If this did not happen or for some reason it has reverted then, as root, enter the following command:

aticonfig --initial

This will switch you back to the fglrx module.


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configuring_the_fglrx_module_for_ati_graphics_chips_in_debian_4.0.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/02 02:16 by billg
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