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Old 03-29-2007, 01:50 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Australia
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 60

Rep: Reputation: 15
Debian Etch, ATI, Direct Rendering, WORKING

Hi all,
I've used Linux on an off for 2 years now and I've tried heaps of distros. My goal with every distro was to get my ati to work(properly) so I could play games. I spent countless nights getting it work and never managed to. The latest Ubuntu worked but it was pretty sluggish on my machine. I always liked Debian and loved how you can install the bare minimum. It's a bit more work to get sorted out but the result is a speed machine. Anyway, today I sat down determined to get my ati working. At first I had to configure xorg to use vesa, selecting ati using the config manager would stop x from loading. I pretty muched skipped google and came straight to these forums.

I found a post by a member "mikethefrog". I followed his example but had problems. Went to the ATI website and they said Debian needed a lot more work to get ATI working because it didn't have kernel source files etc.. I'm not that advanced with linux so I looked for an alternative. I came by a message posted by moosedaddy, I followed exactly what he said. "In Debian, I've always installed the ati drivers with module-assistant, and it's always worked like a charm. Apt-get install module-assistant, then, as root, run module-assistant (or m-a) at a command line, put an X next to fglrx module, then away you go."

I did this and had a few problems along the way. First it had to build before installing but it couldn't build with building/isntalling something else. Anyway, it did it all for me and eventually installed fglrx. I then went back into my xorg.conf file and put in the lines mikethefrog said. Also did a modprobe -v fglrx. I log back into kde and now my resolution is taking up the entire screen and refresh rate is up to 75 from 60. Most importantly though.....
nivv@debian:~$ glxinfo | grep direct
direct rendering: Yes
After all that, I'm not really sure what has happened. That's the reason for my thread. I've got another computer opened up here with notepad loaded, what I'm doing is writing down every command I used to get Debian working for me. After each command I explain what it does and why I did it. So with this module assistant and fglrx I'm not sure what it did. Did it load a module into the kernel(ie. install the correct driver for my video card to make it perform at it's fullest?). I'm puzzled as to which drivers it installed. I downlaoded some from ati's website and I'm sure it didn't use those. Did module-assistant download them from debian repositories just before it built/installed the fglrx component?

If anyone could shed some light on exactly what I did it would be great. I'm hoping most of this stuff can translate to other distros and it can be just as easy to setup.
Old 03-29-2007, 08:57 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: germany
Distribution: debian
Posts: 255
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I downlaoded some from ati's website and I'm sure it didn't use those.
HMM, as far as I know, fglrx is the proprietary driver from ATI. If you have
Driver:     "fglrx"
in your xorg.conf (Section "Device"), then
you are using ATI's driver.
Then again, if you're sure that you didn't run the installer script by ATI, you don't have it installed.
I remember when I got etch working on my notebook, I was so confused after a while, that I ran the official ATI uninstall script to be able to know what I'm running. It was the OS driver for me.



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