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I decided to take the plunge and try out Ubuntu 6.10 (my first Linux distro) and so far I've been doing alright. I have one question, though... why is it that my ATI X1900XT has serious trouble with half of the screensavers in Ubuntu? I'm usually not a screensaver kind of person, to be honest, but the fact that a higher-end card like this has this much trouble doing something as simple as *screensavers* kind of worries me. I'm pretty sure I installed my graphics drivers properly... I don't know. Help a newbie out!
Yes, you can get the fglrx drivers from ati themselves, but you will find yourself in a world of pain there. I've personally only managed to get the drivers from ati to work *once*. But, there is hope!
The Ubuntu team seems to have spent a reasonable amount of time making sure that their repositories contain a working driver for you card -- you just have to go and get it!
First, fire up Synaptic, and make sure that you have the universe and multiverse repositories enabled. I forget where this is in Synaptic, but you can always go edit /etc/apt/sources.list, and add "multiverse universe" (without the quotes) to a line that looks like:
(Your line may look a little different, and I can't even confirm that mine looks like that because I'm at work on a FC6 machine, but I'm sure you will cope!)
Now, update your lists (you can do this from Synaptic, or open a console, and do:
sudo apt-get update
Now, go search for fglrx packages. There should be something like xorg-driver-fglrx. You will also have to install the -restricted modules for your kernel (probably kernel-modules-2.6.17-386-restricted, or something similar). Again, you can find this all in Synaptic. If I remember correctly, requesting an installation of the xorg-driver-fglrx package will pull in the restricted modules for you).
Next, you need to enable glx extensions on your Xorg. Either go to a console and do:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
and make sure that when the modules screen comes up, you mark "glx"
or, even simpler,
edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and look for the modules section (you should see something like:
somewhere in there.)
Add a line:
Retstart X (by issuing:
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart
or, if you are confused, rebooting the machine (
You should have working glx now. ATI makes particularly bad drivers for linux -- I had, until recently, a 9650 in my desktop machine. You may find that you will struggle a little (or maybe not, if the winds blow well for you ( I would suggest reading up on the fglrx installation as well -- there are some specific settings, expecially to enable XV and / or Xinerama with an ATI card.
Yeah, I have to admit that I also ran into a problem like that -- opengl screensavers ran like sticky poo, and things like quake3 ran like the bomb. *sigh* once again, it's just proof that the hardware guys really should just open up their stuff, and let people who know what they are doing write the drivers for their hardware.
ATI writes pathetic software for any OS. If your distribution comes with Xorg 7.0 or higher, use the drivers from Xorg instead. 3D hardware rendering for most ATI cards are supported with Xorg 7.0 or higher. Also ATI cards that contains Rage Theater is supported with Xorg 7.0 or higher.
I recommend using nVidia video cards because they make reliable and stable software for any OS.
Screen Savers are a waste of time. Monitors are more resistant and DPMS can be used to blank out the screen after a certain amount of time that have lapse. I do not use a Screen Saver because it is not needed. I usually use DPMS settings or use tvtime.
Some scenarios mandate a screen saver (such as work environments if you're not at your desk), and sometimes they're just fun to watch.
It would be nice to see the screen savers work as they're intended, and often it can be a warning of impending problems.
I would concur with the ATI+Linux=problems, and recommended NVidia if you're dealing with any more than just Windows. I'm hoping that the AMD merger with ATI brings out a change on this front, but I digress.
I've had a problem before where a screensaver caused my X server to reboot, and that was due to a faulty NVidia driver. I checked and grabbed a more recent driver and all was fixed. NVidia do tend to release updates a little more frequently for Linux users.
But... this isn't helping Xiile solve his problem. (To solve - swap your ATI beast for an NVidia card... ;-) )
Are there other problems with OpenGL apps ? Games?
It could be just that the particular OpenGL screen savers aren't that well written. <shrugs> If you're able to compare them to a similar machine with an NVidia card, it could give you a benchmark to go by to determing if they're bad on anyone's machine, or just yours.
Nah. GL games run just fine. I even got Beryl/XGL installed just yesterday and it runs without a hitch. Again, I don't really care for screensavers, I just noticed they ran like crap and that kind of worried me. Thanks for all the information