Configuring the fglrx module for ATI graphics chips in Ubuntu 7.10


Bill Giannikos


This guide will help you configure the proprietary fglrx module under Ubuntu 7.10. 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/AMD provide their own license for their driver. You will need to read and accept this license before proceeding.


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


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

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

Installing ATI's fglrx module from within the GUI

Ubuntu 7.10 includes the fglrx module which makes installation quite easy. Here is how:

1. Launch the “Restricted Devices Manager” program from the menu System → Administration → Restricted Devices Manager

2. Enable to “ATI accelerated graphics driver” driver

3. Reboot

Like many things in Ubuntu this is nice and easy.

Installing ATI's fglrx module without the GUI

If you are unable to launch the GUI and are forced to install the driver from the text console follow these instructions.

1. Type in the following:

sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx linux-restricted-modules

2. Now edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. With nano type in:

sudo nano -w /etc/X11/xorg.conf

3. Find the line labeled “Driver” in the “Device” section. It should currently say something like 'Driver “radeon”' or 'Driver “vesa”'. Change this to:

Driver "fglrx"

4. Now at the bottom of this file add the following:

Section "Extensions"
        Option      "Composite" "disable"

5. 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.

6. Reboot the computer and the fglrx module should load.

Installing the latest ATI driver

If you need or would like to install the latest ATI driver then you can use the excellent Envy installation program. This will fetch the latest ATI driver and compile it for your system automatically.


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