Kubuntu – Install ATI drivers

The complete instructions are here: http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Ubuntu_Lucid_Installation_Guide

For Kubuntu just make sure that:

1) The proprietary driver is enabled/installed: alt-f2 and run jockey-kde (Additional drivers)

2) Add the X team PPA:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
$ sudo apt-get update

3) Install the fglrx driver: sudo apt-get install fglrx

4) Initialize the ATI configuration:

sudo aticonfig –initial -f

In my case I’m using a dual monitor setup, and I did the above configuration and used the amdcccle configuration tool to setup the dual monitor. Please note that using Xinerama disables Desktop effects. If you want one large desktop choose the Multi-display Desktops. With this the desktop spawns the monitors and it’s possible to move windows between them.

5) Reboot.

If it fails to boot into graphical mode and/or it boots to VESA mode , go to safe mode and using the command jockey-text, make sure that the driver is enabled.

$ jockey-text -l
xorg:fglrx – ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver (Proprietary, Enabled, In use)

If the driver is disabled, enable it with the command: jockey-text -e xorg:fglrx

Kubuntu 10.04 to 10.10 upgrade

Since Kubuntu 8.04 that I’ve chosen to upgrade my installation instead of re-installing everything by scratch. One of the main reason is that I was to lazy to create a separated /home partition, and I really don’t want also to re-install all applications from scratch.

Most of the people that choose the upgrade path hit some issues that do not happen when doing a fresh install, and, yes, I hit some problems. Some problems are Kubuntu related and do not happen when using Ubuntu…

So the story:

Because my home machine has an ATI 4870 and I’m using the ATI proprietary driver, I wanted to make sure that my driver was up to date because Kubuntu 10.10 uses the latest Xorg…

So while still using 10.04 and the latest kernel available, I downloaded ATI driver 10.12 and it failed to install with the latest kernel.

This was problem number one: To cut a long story short the solution for this issue is here: https://primalcortex.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/kubuntu-install-ati-drivers

Anyway, for upgrading I went to Adept Installer, and on Sources->Edit Software Sources -> Updates changed the Release Upgrade to Normal Releases.

Sure enough, the 10.10 upgrade was offered.

Phase one: Upgrade stopped with error on log “Could not calculate upgrade-Can’t mark ‘kubuntu-desktop’ for upgrade“. It took me a while to find out that this was some meta package leftover from previous upgrades/installs that was not needed. So: apt-get remove kubuntu-desktop and this was the only package removed.

Phase two: Upgrade now stops with another weird error: could not install the upgrades – Couldn’t configure pre-depend x11-common for x11-xkb-utils, probably a dependency cycle

This took some time to solve and the solution is here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/x11-xkb-utils/+bug/639933

Mainly is to do the following as root:

wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/x/xorg/x11-common_7.5+6ubuntu3_all.deb
dpkg -i x11-common_7.5+6ubuntu3_all.deb

After this the upgrade ran without any problem.

At the end rebooted and: Despite of running Kubuntu the splash screen was of Ubuntu 10.10… Not nice.This is probably because I was running the command line upgrade tool do-release-upgrade? Not sure. Not important for now…

Boot proceed to fail completely into the text boot login… Oh boy… No graphical desktop no kde desktop no nothing. So I’ve logged in text mode with my credentials and “sudoed” to root (sudo bash)

Ok. Looking at the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file shows that the proprietary fglrx.ko module was not found. Ok, fair enough: The reason was that during the upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 the kernel version changed, and the previous configuration was lost.

So I edit the /etc/apt/sources.lst and enabled all Kubuntu PPA’s and ubuntu-x-swat PPA. These where disabled during the upgrade, so I need now to enable them to get the latest KDE (4.5.4 at this date) and the ATI proprietary driver. The usual commands apt-get update, and apt-get upgrade and the new KDE and fglrx drivers is downloaded and installed.


Still text mode… Xorg.0.log still complains that the fglrx driver is not installed…

Now what? I’ve installed the proprietary driver with jockey-kde which is a graphical utility, but now I don’t have no graphical environment…

The text only tool is jockey-text and running with the -l (that’s an l not an i) reports that the xorg:fglrx driver is DISABLED… ok, So:

jockey-text -e xorg:fglrx

enables the driver and then rebooting it solves the issue. Now I have a graphical KDE environment…

So what’s was broken during the upgrade?

hplip 3.10.2  – doesn’t work anymore: Can’t detect my c309g-m printer. Upgrading to hplip 3.10.9 solves the issue.

Akonadi Google plugins to synchronize calendar and contacts looks like it’s broken. I can’t see my Gcal events… Not sure if it’s related to the upgrade…

What’s new:

I’ve installed bluedevil to replace the old bluetooth software.

Boot times are faster

Fonts look much better.

Upgraded to Digikam 1.7


The final problem: At boot instead of having the Kubuntu splash screen, I have the Ubuntu pink/violet one… So I went to synaptic and removed the package plymouth-theme-ubuntu-logo e plymouth-theme-ubuntu-text leaving only the Kubuntu related ones.

Linux and ATI drivers – Hangs on screensaver

I’ve an ATI graphics card. When going away for a while, Kubuntu could lock up with a black screen when the powersave mode of the graphics card/monitor kicked in.

This is a known, as far as I know issue with ATI drivers.

I could reboot the system cleanly throught the magic keys ALT- BUSIER mnemonic, but it was pretty annoying. The XOrg log show something like: [fglrx] ASIC hang happened.

Doing this, sudo aticonfig –auto-powerstates=off –effective=startup solved the issue so far..

Kubuntu 8.04 with ATI drivers hangs on shutdown

This took a lot of time to solve, but I’ve finally found the solution:

What happens:

I’m running Kubuntu 8.04 on a HP nx9420 wich haves an ATI x1600 mobile graphics board.

I was never able to make the fglrx driver and xorg server to assume on boot up the fglrx driver. It always started with the mesa driver, which is OK but too slow for example Google Earth.

The solution on this case was after boot up, on KDE open a root shell and run the command: dpkg-reconfigure -phigh linux-restricted-modules-`uname -r` and then hit CTRL-BACKSPACE.

This was annoying because it means a long boot time until I had a stable system.

Then I installed the envy-ng wich installed the latest ATI drivers. Sundendly the compiz started to work, and everything looked fine, except the shutdown… it hangs with a black screen and the only way to recover was to press the power button for 5/8s.

The solution:

Here it is: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=808543&highlight=ati+shutdown+hang

It works right away. Thanks!