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I fundamentally don't use proprietary software including ati proprietary fglrx video driver. Instead of it I use free fglrx kernel driver. All good, but after 10-20 minutes firefox becomes too slowly. With vesa driver all are ok, except screen resolution (i need with 1440x900).
It's not clear to me how the video driver would cause FF to slow down. If there is a video issue, I would think everything would be affected.
How about the plain vanilla "ati" or "radeon" opensource drivers?
Off-topic: I personally do not get upset about using proprietary components as part of my overall Linux setups. My objective is to have a working system which does not contain any MS products. Proprietary SW is not intrinsically a bad thing--it is simply a business model. Opensource is an exciting and dynamic new paradigm, but we can't always assume that it will meet everyone's needs.