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β€œA heisenbug (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) is a computer bug that disappears or alters its characteristics when an attempt is made to study it.”

Linux/Fedora 7 and ATI Graphics Card.. eh ?

Hello windows users!, and hello fellow Linux (in particular Fedora 7) users πŸ˜‰

Yeah, I just installed Fedora 7 on my new Sony Vaio laptop, and it works great. I still have to figure out few new things, but I am happy as it’s working for almost everything I need(I just need a console, few manuals, a browser and Internet). Here are few tips for people who don’t find much help on ATI Graphics cards and Linux(in general).

  1. Install Linux in text mode, few Linux distro’s (like ubuntu) use graphical install, which won’t work for you. There are bootup commandline switches (generally accessible by hitting F1). Fedora 7 has command line installation option from the boot menu itself so it’s easy there. Note you might need ubuntu alternate disk to use the commandline install, I used alternate-install disk. Always try to get DVD versions of installations whenever possible.

  2. Fedora 7 DVD version has support for my Wireless Card (Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Adapter) out of box so it saved me hassle of getting on to a wired network for installing the ATI Graphics Drivers, which can be found at ATI website. Here is the kink in the story, I needed to download it from the website, and I don’t know how to use those text based browsers, so I needed to use laptop of my room-mate to get the link of drivers I needed.

  3. Used wget to download the drivers ( The link for Linux x86 32 bit computers is ) Pasted the link so that you can (type it for wget), Alternately the link is here.

  4. To install the drivers you need to execute this command

./ –buildpkg Fedora/F7

If you are using some other distro of Linux you will need to find the correct switch, execute this command and read the instructions that come on your screen.


a useful hint is you will need something like

./ –buildpkg <switch>

where <switch> is the missing argument.

5. One you get the things set, under Fedora 7, you will get about 5-6 RPM files, you might choose what you don’t want to install, but for me as a new user, I just installed all! If you are interested in finding out which file does what, then you might want to go on some IRC Channel to ask. Nuf said, to install the rpm files use

rpm -ihv *.rpm

in the directory where the driver rpm’s are present.

6. If you get dependencies error use

yum install <missing dependency filename>

under Fedora 7, I believe “apt” can be used in similar way

7. Type gdm while you are logged as root, or use startx as normal user

8. All done? You need to follow this link to get a graphical display on bootup

9. All right reboot!, use reboot command on the console.

10. Post as comment what you see when you reboot πŸ™‚

Note : This guide is written by a Linux newbie for Linux newbie, who has experience of working on Linux for few months, mostly for shell scripting and network programming, so he mostly worked on a terminal. Keep that in mind. This guide is written by sheer lack of Google results and support on forums for “Linux and Sony Vaio” or “Linux and ATI” when compared to “Linux and Nvidia” on any forum. Use it at your own risk. I am not responsible if anything goes wrong with your system/computer/laptop.

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15 Responses

  1. DarK says:

    hmm.. that’s wierd, the buildpkg option shows the Fedora/F7 as an option.
    hmm.. did you ask them about the newer drivers, the 8.41.7.
    I am waiting for 7.10 Ubuntu, that will be nice to install i guess.

  2. JD says:

    Hello DarK,
    The installation went just fine without any problems.
    I did not try to “startx” or gdm.
    I just rebooted to let init start X and gdm;
    so I had no error messages on the console.

    I called and spoke with ATI support at AMD. I was
    told that the FedoraF7 platform is not “supported”.
    ans is actually among the list of unsupported OS’es.
    I did submit a ticket to the Linux driver team.
    I have not gotten any response from them.



  3. DarK says:

    Alright, few questions ?

    The installation of drivers went fine ?
    What messages come on terminal when you type
    “startx” or “gdm”
    on the console. For me it used to say
    “no usable configurations found.”

    Also the newer version of ATi drivers i.e., 8.41.7 is due this week, you might want to check that out. The driver link on the site is for 8.40, but you can download new one from

    read about 8.41 here, second link has the download location from official ATi/AMD site

  4. jd says:

    Re: Linux/Fedora 7 and ATI Graphics Card.. eh ?
    I have tried the install process you describe
    I have FC7 with latest patches.
    Laptop has ATI Radeon Mobility 9600 M10.

    After installing the 6 rpms, I rebooted.
    X would not come up. I had to fall back on
    the older “radeon” driver from
    Below are excerpts from /var/log/mesages and /var/log/Xorg.0.log.

    From /var/log/messages:

    Sep 18 15:36:41 localhost kernel: fglrx: module license ‘Proprietary. (C) 2002 – ATI Technologies, Starnberg, GERMANY’ taints kernel.
    Sep 18 15:36:41 localhost kernel: [fglrx] USWC is disabled in module parameters
    Sep 18 15:36:41 localhost kernel: [fglrx] PAT is disabled!
    Sep 18 15:36:41 localhost kernel: [fglrx] module loaded – fglrx 8.40.4 [Jul 31 2007] on minor 0

    From /var/log/Xorg.0.log:
    (–) PCI:*(1:0:0) ATI Technologies Inc RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10] rev 0, Mem @ 0xf0000000/27, 0xfeaf0000/16, I/O @ 0xc800/8, BIOS @ 0xfeac0000/17
    (II) LoadModule: “fglrx”
    (II) Loading /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers//
    (II) Module fglrx: vendor=”FireGL – ATI Technologies Inc.”
    compiled for 7.1.0, module version = 8.40.4
    Module class: X.Org Video Driver
    ABI class: X.Org Video Driver, version 1.0
    (II) Primary Device is: PCI 01:00:0
    (II) ATI Proprietary Linux Driver Version Identifier:8.40.4
    (II) ATI Proprietary Linux Driver Release Identifier: UNSUPPORTED-8.402
    (II) ATI Proprietary Linux Driver Build Date: Jul 31 2007 22:20:56
    (–) Assigning device section with no busID to primary device
    (–) Chipset Supported AMD Graphics Processor (0x4E50) found
    (II) AMD Video driver is running on a device belonging to a group targeted for this release
    (II) AMD Video driver is signed
    (II) resource ranges after xf86ClaimFixedResources() call:
    [0] -1 0 0x00100000 – 0x3fffffff (0x3ff00000) MX[B]E(B)
    [1] -1 0 0x000f0000 – 0x000fffff (0x10000) MX[B]
    [2] -1 0 0x000c0000 – 0x000effff (0x30000) MX[B]
    [3] -1 0 0x00000000 – 0x0009ffff (0xa0000) MX[B]
    [4] -1 0 0x8c000000 – 0x8c0001ff (0x200) MX[B]
    [5] -1 0 0xfebf9800 – 0xfebf9fff (0x800) MX[B]
    [6] -1 0 0xfebfb400 – 0xfebfb41f (0x20) MX[B]
    [7] -1 0 0xfebfa000 – 0xfebfafff (0x1000) MX[B]
    [8] -1 0 0xfebf4000 – 0xfebf7fff (0x4000) MX[B]
    [9] -1 0 0xfebfb800 – 0xfebfbfff (0x800) MX[B]
    [10] -1 0 0xfebfc000 – 0xfebfcfff (0x1000) MX[B]
    [11] -1 0 0xfebff000 – 0xfebfffff (0x1000) MX[B]
    [12] -1 0 0xfebfe000 – 0xfebfefff (0x1000) MX[B]
    [13] -1 0 0xfebfd000 – 0xfebfdfff (0x1000) MX[B]
    [14] -1 0 0xe0000000 – 0xdfffffff (0x0) MX[B]O
    [15] -1 0 0xfeac0000 – 0xfeadffff (0x20000) MX[B](B)
    [16] -1 0 0xfeaf0000 – 0xfeafffff (0x10000) MX[B](B)
    [17] -1 0 0xf0000000 – 0xf7ffffff (0x8000000) MX[B](B)
    [18] -1 0 0x0000ffff – 0x0000ffff (0x1) IX[B]
    [19] -1 0 0x00000000 – 0x000000ff (0x100) IX[B]
    [20] -1 0 0x00001000 – 0x0000100f (0x10) IX[B]
    [21] -1 0 0x00001024 – 0x00001027 (0x4) IX[B]
    [22] -1 0 0x00001018 – 0x0000101f (0x8) IX[B]
    [23] -1 0 0x00001020 – 0x00001023 (0x4) IX[B]
    [24] -1 0 0x00001010 – 0x00001017 (0x8) IX[B]
    [25] -1 0 0x0000dc00 – 0x0000dc1f (0x20) IX[B]
    [26] -1 0 0x0000d800 – 0x0000d8ff (0x100) IX[B]
    [27] -1 0 0x0000ec00 – 0x0000ec7f (0x80) IX[B]
    [28] -1 0 0x0000e800 – 0x0000e8ff (0x100) IX[B]
    [29] -1 0 0x0000e000 – 0x0000e07f (0x80) IX[B]
    [30] -1 0 0x0000e400 – 0x0000e4ff (0x100) IX[B]
    [31] -1 0 0x0000ffa0 – 0x0000ffaf (0x10) IX[B]
    [32] -1 0 0x00000c00 – 0x00000c1f (0x20) IX[B]
    [33] -1 0 0x0000c800 – 0x0000c8ff (0x100) IX[B](B)

    0: /usr/bin/Xorg(xf86SigHandler+0x6d) [0x48b99d]
    1: /lib64/ [0x30bd630630]
    2: /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers// [0x2aaaabcdc80d]
    3: /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers// [0x2aaaabce79bf]
    4: /usr/bin/Xorg(InitOutput+0x6e7) [0x463707]
    5: /usr/bin/Xorg(main+0x275) [0x434625]
    6: /lib64/ [0x30bd61dab4]
    7: /usr/bin/Xorg(FontFileCompleteXLFD+0x229) [0x433ad9]

    Fatal server error:
    Caught signal 11. Server aborting

  5. DarK says:

    can you tell it in a bit detail.. ?
    and have you tried installing FC5/FC6 in text mode ?
    that is non-graphical mode

  6. rajesh says:

    iam using intel102ggc2 mother.i have a problem installing the fedora5and6,my mother board was supports or not?

  7. vijesh says:

    ok ,,now iam starting installing the drivers downloaded from the net

  8. vijesh says:

    i am presently working on fedora7,but in this i dont have the audio system,,,,,,,i hve to configure the sound,,,i have a doubtthat if there is any dependency in laptop model
    my laptop is compaq 5201tu

  9. DarK says:

    sure.. next post on how to look for laptop in Indian market… i think kanishk can help me there too πŸ™‚

  10. Rohit Prasad says:

    Nice post!!1

    I hoping tht some1 will post sumthing on FC7.

    Well DarK!!! now tht u’ve it installed it on ur laptop. I am waiting for a review. on FC7.

    M planning to buy a Laptop too… and would like sum help from the GURUS.


  11. Hmmm…yeah, that’s what I thought too…but I ended up getting an AMD Turion 64 X2.

  12. DarK says:

    you again got a 64bit PC ?, i thought you were going for 32 this time!

  13. Yum works out of the box, but some configuration is generally necessary for proxy server setup.

    ndiswrapper works (that’s what I’m using right now) but it’s not exactly straight-forward to get it to work. I’ve had it crash quite often. It is still better than the native drivers available, because they don’t allow speeds more than 11Mbps, whereas ndiswrapper allows the full 54Mbps.

    I hunted around for Windows 64-bit drivers for the Broadcom card, and I finally found it on the ndiswrapper site itself. :-/

  14. DarK says:

    Yum is nowadays working out of the box, i din’t need to configure it for solving dependencies, din’t tried with ATI drivers, got them from ATI site.

    If you have a broadcom Wireless Card, then google for “ndiswrapper”, you can then move forward surely.

  15. Let me add a few things to those excellent tips:

    1. _Always_ install Linux in text mode. Normally, there is are ncurses dialogs, which means that there *is* a text-based UI. You don’t need to type any commands.

    2. Copy the install DVD to a FAT32 or EXT3 partition if you have one, an use a hard-disk-based install. Hard-disk-installs are *much* faster than DVD installs.

    3. If you are buying a PC/laptop and plan to try Linux, do a bit of research *before* buying the PC/laptop. Specific companies are notorious for their lack of Linux support, so avoid those. For example, if you have a Broadcom Wireless card, you might have to do strange things to get it working on Linux.

    4. If you are using Fedora, configure Yum first. Installing the driver from the Yum repository is a better alternative to running the installer from the ATI website, because (a) it is better tested for your distro and (b) any damage that is done by a third-party installer is hard to undo. There were some problems with the ATI drivers themselves at one point – they would overwrite some OpenGL library files.

    5. If you run out of ideas for a problem, try searching the Gentoo wiki. Excellent stuff, sometimes helps with issues on other distros too.

    6. To use ‘links’: Use the up and down arrows to move to the previous and next links on the page, and use the right arrow to navigate to the selected link. Left arrow goes back. Press g to navigate to a new URI.


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