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Installing ATI Catalyst Video Drivers on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 17

In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing ATI Catalyst Video Drivers, also known as fglrx, on Ubuntu. This proprietary driver, provided directly by AMD, can significantly improve your system’s graphics performance. This guide is suitable for Ubuntu 14.04, 13.04, 12.10, and 12.04.

Quick Answer

To install ATI Catalyst Video Drivers on Ubuntu, you need to download the appropriate driver from the AMD/ATI website, extract it to a folder, build a Debian package using the terminal, and install the package using the dpkg command. After installation, initialize the driver and reboot your computer.

Prerequisites

Before starting the installation process, ensure that your Ubuntu Operating System (OS) is up-to-date. You can verify this by clicking the power icon in the top right corner of your screen, selecting “About this computer,” and checking for an “Install updates” button. If it’s not present, your system is up-to-date.

Installing Necessary Dependencies

The first step is to install the necessary dependencies. Open a terminal window and run the following command:

sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 dh-modaliases

In this command:

  • sudo is used to run the command with root privileges.
  • apt-get install is the command to install packages.
  • The rest of the line lists the packages we need to install.

For 64-bit systems, additional dependencies are required. Install them by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs-multiarch i386 lib32gcc1 libc6-i386

Downloading and Extracting the Driver

Next, download the appropriate driver for your machine from the AMD/ATI Website. Once downloaded, extract the driver to a folder.

Building and Installing the Driver

In the terminal, navigate to the extracted driver folder and run the following command:

sudo sh *.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/trusty

This command will build a Debian package for the driver. The --buildpkg option tells the script to build a package, while Ubuntu/trusty specifies the target distribution and version.

If necessary, a package manager window will open and install dependencies. Afterward, four .deb packages will be created.

To install the created .deb files, run the following command:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Here, dpkg -i is used to install the .deb files.

Initializing the Driver

After the installation, initialize the driver by running the following command:

sudo aticonfig --initial

The --initial option is used to generate a new /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

Rebooting the System

Finally, reboot your computer to apply the changes. You can do this by clicking the power icon in the top right corner of your screen and selecting “Restart.”

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully installed the ATI Catalyst Video Drivers on your Ubuntu system. This should significantly improve your system’s graphics performance. Remember to keep your drivers up-to-date to ensure the best performance and security.

Can I install ATI Catalyst Video Drivers on other Linux distributions?

This guide specifically covers the installation process for Ubuntu. While it may be possible to install ATI Catalyst Video Drivers on other Linux distributions, the steps and commands may vary. It is recommended to consult the documentation or support resources specific to your Linux distribution for instructions.

How do I check if my system is using the ATI Catalyst Video Drivers?

After installing the drivers and rebooting your system, you can check if the ATI Catalyst Video Drivers are being used by opening a terminal window and running the command fglrxinfo. If the output includes information about your ATI graphics card, the drivers are successfully installed and being used.

How do I update the ATI Catalyst Video Drivers?

To update the ATI Catalyst Video Drivers, you can follow the same installation process outlined in this guide using the latest version of the driver available from the AMD/ATI website. Before updating, it is recommended to uninstall the current version of the drivers using the command sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx* and then proceed with the installation of the new version.

Can I revert back to the open-source graphics drivers after installing ATI Catalyst Video Drivers?

Yes, if you decide to revert back to the open-source graphics drivers, you can do so by uninstalling the ATI Catalyst Video Drivers. Open a terminal window and run the command sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx* to remove the drivers. Afterward, restart your system and it should automatically switch back to using the open-source drivers.

Are there any known issues or limitations with ATI Catalyst Video Drivers on Ubuntu?

ATI Catalyst Video Drivers have been known to have compatibility issues with certain hardware configurations or specific versions of the Ubuntu operating system. Additionally, updates to the Ubuntu kernel or Xorg server may require manual intervention to ensure the drivers continue to work properly. It is recommended to regularly check for updates from AMD/ATI and the Ubuntu community to stay informed about any known issues or limitations.

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