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Old 10-24-2005, 05:44 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Distribution: Debian Etch 2.6.18-(custom compile for k7) with a 72 no 58 no 42 second bootup time (XP=4mins)
Posts: 52

Rep: Reputation: 15
ATI drivers in debian: some small hints for newbies

I'm by no means an expert at anything linux... quite the opposite actually but i had a few common problems trying to install the drivers for my ATI radeon 9500 card

get the installer package from the ati website its about 60MB but worth it

you should do this preferably from the terminal but i'm not sure it matters

you have to make sure you have the kernel header files (what the hell r they anyway?) for your correct kernel version so... you type a special command in the terminal or terminal window called: uname -a
AND it actually tells you what version you have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FANTASTIC!

then go open synaptic search for kernel and download the header files that match

this overcame my problem that it was saying an error about kernel module not compile could not find something something please read readme (which doesn't exist ) i'll try to find the exact error... nope couldn't get it

ah well next part that kept tripping me up was this:

once the installer is finished you have to run fglrxconfig which sets it all up

this file replaces your /etc/X11/XF86config-4 file (i think that is the name) so back it up!!!!!!! it will take you 2 seconds!

then this solved my next problem

when running fglrxconfig it asks to specify the address of your mouse device. the default is /dev/mouse but for me this is wrong... after running dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 (cos i didn't back up the config file!) it's default was /dev/input/mice
so i reran fglrxconfig and used this. it finished and i restarted and bang it worked! i couldn't believe it!

so that's it if you have questions you probably shouldn't ask me but i hope it helped...

it would be really good to post up that error from not having the header files cos a lot of ppl will google the error message but i can't get them cos well now mine works!
Old 10-24-2005, 08:45 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Zwolle
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 651

Rep: Reputation: 31
And it would be also very nice if people would actually use search to find that questions about ATI drivers in Debian have been answered a million times. Links to good howto's are aswell provided so actually just following one of those will give you 3D support. ATI in Debian isn't hard it just takes about 3 steps....

But....nice to hear you got it working!
Old 10-24-2005, 11:23 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Distribution: Debian Etch 2.6.18-(custom compile for k7) with a 72 no 58 no 42 second bootup time (XP=4mins)
Posts: 52

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
well i just posted these parts cos non of the tutes i found detailed this part... mostly cos it was assumed knowledge which is fair enough for some but not really for me
Old 10-24-2005, 12:25 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Tierra Firma, Earth
Distribution: Debian of course...
Posts: 198

Rep: Reputation: 30
Just for teh Halibut I'm going to cross reference your post with my own I put up a few days ago on how I made my 9800Pro work with Sarge. Here's my thread:
.. and I'll post yours in mine as well. Maybe it will help n00bs like me when I forget what I did today, last week, etc.
Old 10-24-2005, 12:54 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: SoCal Desert
Distribution: SUSE 10.1
Posts: 18

Rep: Reputation: 0
Heh heh heh, the ATI stuff is good when you have the newer cards--when you have a dinosaur 7200, life is not so sweet! Still, just back up the /etc/X11/XF86config-4 file, go in and replace the "ati" with "radeon" in the driver section and adjust your resolution as required under the 1, 4, 8, 16 and 24 bit depths section.
Unavoidable aside: this debian 3.1 is kind of strange after slack! Fun but strange...

Happy happy!


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