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As a Linux Newbie, I spent hours and hours trying to get Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora 14 working on an older system that has an ATI Radeon 9600 XT graphics ...
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  1. #1
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    Older graphic card problems


    As a Linux Newbie, I spent hours and hours trying to get Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora 14 working on an older system that has an ATI Radeon 9600 XT graphics board. The system locked up under Ubuntu and did the same in Fedora unless I ran Fedora under the basic video option. (Basic video didn't allow HD video and larger screen sizes and resolutions). I tried several of the suggested remedies and nothing worked, but I have a better understanding of fundamental operations under the Linux OS.

    I was enticed to try Linux when I read an article that stated, "don't throw away that old system, give Linux a try. . . " So I did. Unfortunately these older video boards are not supported in these current versions of Ubuntu and Fedora--disappointing as the Radeon board is not all that old.

    I initially gave Linux a try by using the CD version of Knoppix V6.4.3. It worked flawlessly with the Radeon 9600 XT. I didn't install it on the HD because everything I read suggested it was difficult to do with Knoppix, and trusted reviews recommended Ubuntu and Fedora as the top two choices for Linux.

    Now I am sorry I didn't start by giving the installation of Knoppix on the HD a try two weeks ago. After investing hours of time trying to get Ubuntu and Fedora to work, it was easier to install Knoppix--faster and simple too, onto hard drive. I installed Knoppix 6.4.3 in just a few minutes, and it works great with the old graphics board!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi and Welcome !

    X Server try to detect and configure Graphics/Display settings itself in Ubuntu and Fedora. In case these settings do not work, one has to reconfigure X Server manually.
    Did you try to manually set Refresh Rates and Resolutions in xorg.conf file?
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome.
    Glad you got your system up and running, it's no small feat. I think after time, you'll want to try other distros. I suggest that you try a distro that will include the proprietary drivers. Fedora nor Ubuntu will include them in a default install and that is probably why you couldn't get it to work correctly. I believe Linux Mint has the driver included but you might want to verify that before you download it.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
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    Thanks Devils Casper and MikeTbob for your responses.

    I tried a number of suggestions associated with both flavors of Linux including making some mods of Xorg.conf. In the end, I gave up because what seemed like what should be simple, turned into a 1-3 hour learning experience at least a few nights each week for the last three weeks.

    I needed a working system so I can develop my experience on Linux. Ubuntu just didn't work, either the mouse of keyboard froze randomly. Fedora worked fine with the basic video driver (which took me 2-3 evenings to figure out), but when I modified the configuration file it froze--there were other things I could have tried in the Xorg.conf file, but I got tired of reinstalling the programs and just needed a stable solution (--maybe I am a little anal about having the HD video and larger screen size with Fedora, but I do use the system to watch some TV programs on my HD TV over the net--tired of being ripped off by Charter Communications Cable).

    Many other people are having these graphic drivers issues with Ubuntu and Fedora as is obvious by the large number of posts on the Web, but there are few or no solutions offered. Some of the solutions offered are either too convoluted or explained too conceptually for the many other Linux Newbies that are asking for help on these graphics driver problems on the various forums.

    You are right, I will try some other distributions in the future, I just needed to move on and get something working that provided higher resolutions that was stable. (From my standpoint, I don't see that the ATI Radeon 9600 XT is a dinosar that is not supported). If I try another distribution and it works -- great. If not, now I know how to easily resintall Knoppix when I go to bed in the wee hours of the morning.
    Last edited by iamplatinum; 01-29-2011 at 02:44 AM.

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    For what it's worth...most distros have a LiveCD which allows you to test your hardware before you decide to install, it would be wise to make use of this feature to save yourself some time. Good luck.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
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    You are absolutely correct!

    Knoppix CD live worked. Knoppix is OK but not as user friendly and flexible as what Ubuntu and Fedora appear to be.

    Which distro would you recommend I give a try?
    I would appreciate any recommendations on other distros.
    .................................................. .
    Ubuntu worked --sometimes. . . however, the driver issues seemed solveable reading the many suggestions on how to overcome the issue on various forums, so I jumped in --- later realized the suggestions didn't seem to net any "problem solved" posts.

    Fedora live worked fine in live mode with basic video drivers. I plunged in and did a HD install after reading the many posts on forums that again that ultimately didn't resolve the issues.

    You are quite right, that the lesson learned is that if it doesn't work properly from the live CD then try a different distro.

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    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    I'd say try Mint...it's Ubuntu based with a few extras squeezed in. Some people call it Ubuntu on Steroids.
    Main Page - Linux Mint
    These graphics problems are usually fixable it just takes some patience and hard work sometimes.
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help, Please keep it on the forums only.
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    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    Go to distrowatch.com and download your choice of linux to try. Ultimate is ubuntu with a bunch of extras already on the DVD. If you think your older card was suported on a previous version of Ubuntu, you could try 8.04 or 9.* to see if it would work out of the box. Also, <Linux> - Google Search, can help you find solutions to problems.
    Registered Linux user #526930

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