Home > 3D > ATI Linux Drivers Add Graphical Installer ATI Linux Drivers Add Graphical Installer Submitted by OpenGLCoder 2005-06-10 3D 59 Comments ATI released new drivers for Linux. This release includes a new graphical install utility. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 59 Comments 2005-06-10 3:35 pm The new ati drivers are a step in the right direction, however they are still lacking in many areas. gui installer is a good thing right? well yes it is but still isnt it easier to still do emerge ati-drivers or apt-get install ati-drivers etc? and the download for the gui installer is like 35mb xcomposite still doesnt work, well it does but you cant have 3d accel at the same time as using it performance is still pretty poor when compared to nvidia. 2005-06-10 3:37 pm even with an guide http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/installernotes.html but what is it with the numbers “ATI Proprietary Linux x86 Installer Notes for XFree86 / X.Org Version 8.14.13” x.org 8.14.13? isent it x.org 6.8.2 that are the new one? 2005-06-10 3:38 pm Kudos to ATI. After so much frustration trying to install the fglrx drivers, this will definately help out many (like myself). Awesome! Now, I guess it’s time to see if Doom 3 runs well yet. 2005-06-10 3:40 pm With the looming release of Fedora Core 4, this could be an exciting week for ATI Linux users. I only say this because the drivers are designed to work with RHEL (Locked down Fedora Spin-Off). Now, if they would just release FreeBSD drivers as well… 2005-06-10 3:41 pm I wonder if it stell mess up the font server config in the config file on ubuntu? Anyone tryed it on ubuntu? 2005-06-10 3:44 pm Yeah, great release. This is the first release that I managed to install without patching it. Also the first that allows me to use DGA & XRandR at once. They are also slightly faster and stable, although I must say I haven’t got any problems since I disabled AGPx8 and Fast Writes in BIOS. Still waiting for XRender acceleration tough.. 2005-06-10 3:47 pm but now im spose to install X. and my desktop b4 i install my graphics driver??? odd…. atleast this proves ati is working on there linux support. 2005-06-10 3:54 pm I think it’s kinda like using the generic win32 drivers installed by default before upgrading to the latest… use the built-in generic X radeon driver during install/configruation then install driver. i think it’ll help bring linux a little closer to the mainstream… it would be nice if Nvidia had a graphical installer as well. Does anyone know if there is a non-graphical mode to this installer? 2005-06-10 3:56 pm Just what the world wanted. No FreeBSD drivers, but now a graphical install! Hilarious. As someone pointed out it’s stupid, since you’re obvivously not happy with your graphics. It’s always funny to see how when some unsupported card comes up in 16 colors mode and you have to run a graphical driver install with a picture that’s supposed to be pretty in TRUEcolor. 2005-06-10 4:07 pm Some people can never be pleased… would it better if they didn’t release a driver at all? 2005-06-10 4:10 pm Please show some screen shots! I want to see but I don’t have ATI video card. 2005-06-10 4:10 pm This is a good step, but the goal should release the drivers under a license compatible with the X.org / XFree86 systems, so the drivers are included by default. (In some cases, it is necessary to include drivers in the kernel too.) Putting drivers upstream like this makes installation easy and painless. At home I have a VIA video onboard, and it drives me nuts. I have been using generic VESA drivers for 18 months. What do companies like ATI have to lose? They sell hardware, not drivers. (I heard VIA recently open sourced their drivers, but it’s not upstream for sure.) 2005-06-10 4:13 pm The GUI installer is a good start, but I’ll be impressed if they actually work for more than 10% of the users and the frame rates are anywhere close to the Windows drivers. ATI has had YEARS to figure this out and failed miserably thus far. Is it so hard to support your own hardware? 2005-06-10 4:15 pm Their driver is getting better (very slowly), but it still has a ways to go. Don’t get me wrong – this is a step in the right direction, but: There is still no acceleration whatsoever for 16-bit graphics modes, they don’t even try to work with composite, and there are still many issues with dual-head or TV out setups. I’d still reccommend Nvidia at this point – I own both, and I can tell you that at least in my experience with them, NVidia’s drivers are just worlds more mature. 2005-06-10 4:18 pm With the looming release of Fedora Core 4, this could be an exciting week for ATI Linux users. Too bad these drivers don’t work on FC4 as they still don’t support GCC 4. 2005-06-10 4:29 pm Bog deal. Great, they give us a Graphics installer. I don’t need a graphical installer, i need Rage128 drivers that don’t blow. 2005-06-10 4:31 pm This is a good step, but the goal should release the drivers under a license compatible with the X.org / XFree86 systems, so the drivers are included by default. (In some cases, it is necessary to include drivers in the kernel too.) Putting drivers upstream like this makes installation easy and painless. Yes, but it would also reveal the hardware interface and any clever stuff implemented in their drivers to Nvidia, Intel, VIA and whoever else might be interested. So, don’t hold your breath. Linux really needs a stable driver interface. 2005-06-10 4:31 pm … first quit X, install the driver, maybe even reboot and start using it? I always thought that upgrading your graphics driver whilst running in graphical mode would be a bad idea..? But still, ATI have made a GUI for the installation, so it shows they’re putting their backs into it. 2005-06-10 4:45 pm i dont care about the driver….. but a graphical installer for people that need it certainly makes a statement and just the fact they are making the drivers for linux means that slowly hardware manufacturers are starting to support linux which is the BIG thing! 2005-06-10 4:45 pm Yes, but it would also reveal the hardware interface and any clever stuff implemented in their drivers to Nvidia, Intel, VIA and whoever else might be interested. So, don’t hold your breath. Linux really needs a stable driver interface. You mean “it would reveal the hacks they have to cheat benchmarks” And Linux has a perfectly good driver interface – but it’s only source, not binary compatible. 2005-06-10 4:49 pm Tried the graphical installer on my Kanotix/Debian HPNX7000 laptop. Didn’t “just work”; the installer finished without complaining, but the old driver was loaded when I rebooted. However, the install-radeon update script in Kanotix did a good job downloading and installing the new rpm so I got installed anyway. In glxgears (and XFree86 Version 22.214.171.124): fglrx_4_3_0-8.10.19-1.i386.rpm ~ 1700 fps fglrx_4_3_0-8.14.13-1.i386.rpm ~ 2000 fps Every little helps 🙂 2005-06-10 4:55 pm blah blah blah i guess that is what makes windows so great that I have to try three different drivers for my video card before I find one that actually works well and that isnt even the wdm driver…. pitiful try a driver, reboot, bad driver, reboot into safe mode, remove driver, reboot, install next driver………. yea, that is what I want on linux as well!!!!! 2005-06-10 5:01 pm …they’re using third-party proprietary pieces of code which these third-parties don’t want to disclose. I think the new driver is a nice move by ATI. Much better than those horrible RPM packages which completely screwed up my Mandrake installation and were incompatible with non-redhat-based distributions. 2005-06-10 5:01 pm From ATI’s release notes: “Attempting to resume from system suspension results in the system failing to respond. Topic number 737-218” and “Running two X servers simultaneously results in the system failing to respond. Topic number 737-220” Awesome. In other words, the driver doesn’t really work. 2005-06-10 5:05 pm Yeah, about mobility x300, x600 and 9700? Why only x700 but not the rest of the new pci-e mobility line? 2005-06-10 5:27 pm Are they using GTK? 2005-06-10 5:58 pm And Linux has a perfectly good driver interface – but it’s only source, not binary compatible. http://www.semack.net/Articles/LinuxsDriverArchitecture.html He must be making all that up then. After all, the driver interface is perfect. 2005-06-10 6:04 pm It is using GTK? 2005-06-10 6:09 pm My laptop uses ATI video but if I use ATI’s drivers sleep/hibernate will lock my machine if I do it while I’m in X. The Xorg drivers sleep/hibernate just fine. I would like to use ATI’s drivers because the performance differnce is huge, but for now sleeping the machine takes priority so I have to put up with a slow desktop and no 3D accel. I’ll be a very happy camper when ATI’s drivers can sleep. Until then I’ll go out of my way to get a laptop with NVIDIA the next time around. 2005-06-10 6:11 pm yada yada i guess that is what makes windows so great that I have to try three different drivers for my video card before I find one that actually works well and that isnt even the wdm driver…. pitiful try a driver, reboot, bad driver, reboot into safe mode, remove driver, reboot, install next driver……. yea, that is what I want on linux as well!! 2005-06-10 6:25 pm The release notes has some screenshots: http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/installernotes.html 2005-06-10 6:40 pm I you notice, their links for notebook chipsets bounces you to a Windows 2000 driver page. Can anyone post a glxgears comparison of old/new ati drivers? Can someone please click the abuse link on my post for me? I’ve never been reported before, but it seems like everyone else has. I feel left out… 2005-06-10 7:16 pm Too bad these drivers don’t work on FC4 as they still don’t support GCC 4. It’s not ATI’s fault that the GCC team likes to break compatability with every release. I don’t care if they “need” to do it (which they really don’t, they just like to annoy the community). Stop blaming ATI for such things, if the problem affects everyone. 2005-06-10 7:16 pm I’m always glad to see companies support Linux. 2005-06-10 7:18 pm When oh WHEN are they going to support integrated cards. I want to play TuxRacer on my Laptop (IGP 320M). I guess that’s what dual-booting is for, but I hate having to do that. These are the issues that continue to plague Linux. 2005-06-10 7:24 pm Linux really needs a stable driver interface. No, it doesn’t. http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/stable_api_nonsense.html?seemore=y 2005-06-10 7:31 pm Even tough it does look nice and all. This graphical installer only installs the rpm and that’s it. You still need to answer like 25 questions in order to set up the driver, and worst of all, you have to answer questions about features you don’t even know what they mean. No help file explaining what x,y option will do if you enable or disable it. I mean, it is not so hard to create a graphical applet on the control panel that can add or delete stuff to the xorg.conf file. Please give us something that’s worth my time and money, not just bells and whistles that give me back nothing that’s really worth my time. 2005-06-10 7:39 pm I use to have an ATI card before I made the switch to linux but after a few months of frustration I went to nvidia and never looked back. Even after I had gotten 3D set up correctly and everything I still couldn’t use advanced settings such as antialiasing. I’m glad they’re moving forward finally. I remeber upgrading drivers a number of times only to get more problems. 2005-06-10 8:14 pm in it’s entirety. Politicize all you want, but an ABI is needed. Heck if linux could hack itself in two and create a HAL upon which anyone could basically drop down their own OS, that’d be great. 2005-06-10 8:47 pm Well, they (ATI) are making quite a big mistake – why not to make their drivers open source so they could be included in all distros? They could paralely publish their “properiaty” drivers as well, but open source drivers should definitely be equal in functionality and quality with them. While in the world of Windows distributing binary drivers is easy (we have only a few versions of Windows), in Unix world it is difficult. NVidia releases their drivers in this way too but you cannot use them e.g. with OpenBSD… and it costs them quite much to check if the drivers work well on many different distros. It is obviously waste of time (and money). If they released their drivers together with X.org team they would get support from them, and the drivers would obviously work better. The same about Linux kernel drivers. But maybe they need more time to think about it… well, Windows isn’t the only available desktop operating system for modern PCs, but some haven’t noticed this change yet. 2005-06-10 9:42 pm It seams that they think that everything is OK just because they do it with a GUI. A simple yum, or apt-get would be much simpler. That would also have the advantage of putting the installed file in the file database, so that they could be removed, or checked for dependencys. Besides, if your graphics card doesn’t work isn’t it kind of hard to use an X based installer? If they felt they need a GUI wouldn’t it have been better to create it in a curses environment so it could be used from a terminal window. Such interfaces doesn’t have to look ugly. I remember installers for old Caldera Linux (now SCO) that looked quite OK. 2005-06-11 12:05 am After reading a few comments I have figured out none of you know how this gui installer works or why they did not include support for experimental kernels/crapy distros. The gui installer falls back to terminal install if it detects you dont have the right packages or if you dont have x running. As far as the them not including support for an rc kernel and a distro that is experimental and in most of the cases I have used it unstable, why would they provide support for experimental things such as a kernel that has not been released, a rule of thumb if your distro lives on the edge you are bound to have problems. All you do need to install this driver really is just the kernel headers and the standard compiler such as gcc and g++. The drivers are a big imporvment too, I have noticed they stoped all the memory leaks in games such as farcry, call of duty, and doom 3(these games were unplayable before this driver). 2005-06-11 12:08 am > Too bad these drivers don’t work on FC4 as they still don’t support GCC 4. It’s not ATI’s fault that the GCC team likes to break compatability with every release. I don’t care if they “need” to do it (which they really don’t, they just like to annoy the community). Stop blaming ATI for such things, if the problem affects everyone. All they had to do was to compile a version of the binary part of the kernel module with GCC4. That’s not rocket science. Instead they demonstrated that they simply don’t care much about their Linux driver releases. 2005-06-11 12:55 am There should be a law against not understanding anything about how a compiler works and then calling the development team stupid. You speak as if making fundamental changes to a compiler’s optimization framework is something that’s not only possible to do, but easy to do, without breaking binary compatibility for anyone’s third party closed-source kernel modules. So easy that there should be legal consequences for slacking off so badly. Lets examine the facts: GCC is nowhere near the performance of competing compilers such as ICC, XLC, and others, both in compile-time performance, binary size, and target optimization. How do you expect the development team to get from here to the goal state of supremecy in its market without breaking binary compatibility. GCC has come a long way, in baby-steps, over the past couple decades, all while continuing to be a reliable compiler and the backbone of many free and commercial software projects. There *might* be a case for claiming that it should be “illegal” to be so “stupid” as to provide binary-only modules for an otherwise open-source operating system kernel. Only in a very idealist sense, and I wouldn’t like to be on the pro side of the argument myself. But do call this GCC’s fault in any way is downright irresponsible and ignorant. On a slightly different topic, I applaud the newly minted Fedora Foundation for being bold in their decision to compile FC4 with GCC4, thus generating a sizeable and lively community for much needed testing on this new release. 2005-06-11 1:32 am why isnt it easy to emerge ati-drivers? i remember ati-drivers wouldnt emerge because the old version was blocking it… (if that is what you mean) but all you do, is emerge unmerge ati-drivers, and re-emerge ati-drivers, and there you go… i have an ati radeon 9600xt under gentoo, and everything runs great… i play quake3 and tactical ops mostly… at 1280×1024 with everything on high… the only complaint i have is that they dont support older cards… i have a dual screen setup, with a radeon 9600xt, and a radeon 7000… i really wish they would support the older cards… or somehow allow fglrx and radeon to be loaded at the same time… so that my left lcd screen could have hardware acceleration with the fglrx driver, and the right screen could use the radeon driver… it doesnt matter, i guess… i will end up buying a pci radeon 9250, and just use fglrx on both… 2005-06-11 2:14 am Nice steps on Linux, but BSD users also would love to have ATI 3D drivers. NVIDIA has beaten ATI on this so far. I’ve bought 2 NVIDIA cards when I would probably have bought ATI because I don’t have OpenGL support on BSD with ATI. But i’m happy that linux is getting them, these are steps in the right direction. 2005-06-11 3:30 am What about older cards? I have an ATI Mach 64 GX and I have been using the VESA driver for ages… the desktop works fine but watching a movie is a real pain… Now I got Scitech Drivers to work. They are free for non commercial use. Funny that Scitech did what ATI couldn’t for their own cards..??? 2005-06-11 4:13 am everytime the installation went fine. after reboot it works. few days later it just crashed… ati 9600xt… 2005-06-11 5:18 am Now, if they would just release FreeBSD drivers as well… Well, if there are enough FreeBSD users who want those ATI drivers, why not create a fund, and everyone donate money to it then simply pay ATI that money to cover the costs of making ATI’s drivers available on FreeBSD? 2005-06-11 7:52 am Hello, earth to ATI, rebooting for GUI driver change on Linux? I don’t think so. Why can’t they just program a restart of X-Server tied into a button instead of a complete OS reboot? I think it will be a cold day in Hell I change from Nvidia. Better drivers, better support for alternative platforms, and better OpenGL performance. 2005-06-11 12:59 pm Ok debian has a serious problem with the ATI drivers because of mesalib and apparently the ATI developers don’t really care about that. There is a debian pkg with drivers and stuff that is supported by some of the debian users frustrated by the lack of interest from ATI. Does ATI really think that RedHat is the only distro out there or what? The graphical installer looks great but still works like crap. I have yet to run into a problem with debian and nvidia drivers while every time I need to install the ATI ones I have to go through hell. Come on guys this is really getting old. In fact it got old 2 years ago. Oh yeah and rather than working on hardly useful gui interface they really need to fix the performance of the drivers and the damn TV out. 2005-06-11 1:00 pm Restarting X isn’t enough. They also need to unload and reload the fglrx kernel module. It doesn’t necessarily require a reboot, but it’s still the easiest way to insure that the new module is loaded. Adam 2005-06-12 2:04 am My next card will be a NVIDIA one not ATI. I would not recommend anyone use ATI for Linux, even though NVIDIA’s driver is closed at least it works. ATI drivers are hopeless and not just in Linux. 2005-06-12 11:13 pm Well, if there are enough FreeBSD users who want those ATI drivers, why not create a fund, and everyone donate money to it then simply pay ATI that money to cover the costs of making ATI’s drivers available on FreeBSD? Even though this may sound like an excellent idea, it is not. ATI should be developing drivers for FreeBSD, FreeBSD users are paying for the card they should get quality drivers for free. 2005-06-13 9:12 am Btw to all people who complain about ATI proprietary driver there is open source driver for their hardware see dri http://dri.fd.net that supports all radeon from 7000 up to 9250… And their is also and on going opensource driver for radeon from 9500 to x800 (which still doesn’t support PCIE card but work is underway). With this experimental driver you could play quake3, ut and others games. There is still missing feature but the people who write this drivers haven’t the specifications so you may guess that this is hard work. Anyway you won’t see opensource driver for nvidia in a near futur while you will have one for all bleeding edge ati card in not so long time… so make a wise choice next time you buy hardware. And any bsd folks is welcome to port this driver to his so liked great OS but seems that OpenBSD dev doesn’t care much about 3d. Nevertheless they do a great OS. 2005-06-13 9:28 am The good url i was bit used to the dri.sf.net one sorry http://dri.freedesktop.org 2005-06-13 4:23 pm With the exception of 3D support I would love to hear impressions regarding SciTech SNAP Graphics for Linux VS the OEM drivers from ATI. I see this as potentially providing the team here at SciTech with more insight into customer needs… feel free to download a personal edition of SNAP from the following URL and then letting us know what you think: http://my.scitechsoft.com/navigate.php 2005-06-13 4:48 pm This ati installer is poor to say the least, installing a driver when the display is running is a bad thing. Ati are going the same way as Windows installer with a reboot, the nvidia Linux installer is spot on so ATI should follow this. Yet again people who dont know much about Linux tring to change it to suit there Windows needs, ati just have not got a clue with drivers and Linux. 2005-06-14 5:56 pm Both the nvidia-installer part and the nvidia control panel are open source, ATI should just use it, after all it’s called OPEN SOURCE. I dont see a problem with ATI using nvidia’s way, come on ATI get with it, has nobody suggested this to them?