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Hello! I am not very new to Linux, however I am still a big noob regarding Linux. Could someone advice an up to date or long term support Linux distribution ...
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  1. #1
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    Linux with built in ATI drivers packages


    Hello!

    I am not very new to Linux, however I am still a big noob regarding Linux.
    Could someone advice an up to date or long term support Linux distribution which has ATI drivers and ATI Catalyst control centre packages integrated like I can see with NVidia?

    My problem is that no matter what I do and how many forums read explaining instructions, ATI proprietary drivers just wont install. Reading the distrowatch.com website I noticed that some Linux distributions has ATI drivers marked with ATI Catalyst version number while others don;t. But the reason why I don't download those distro's is because they all (that I found) are based on Ubuntu and the problem with Ubuntu for me is that the computer I will use it on doesn;t play well with Ubuntu based systems. For some reason Ubuntu just keeps trying to fry my old pc because processors spins pretty hard, as if it was rendering heavy 3D graphics. While Debian and other system based distros seems to not cause unexpected processor spins.

    Maybe someone who experienced the ATI graphics cards hell would know Debian or any other main name based distros but not Ubuntu that could be suitable for my situation?

    Thank you in advance.
    Best regards,
    Jetbird

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome. Usually if it will work on one distro, then it is possible to get it to work under almost any distro, support for most cards is not really a distro problem, usually it's just a matter of tracking down the correct driver and/or software and getting it to work. Have you tried getting it to work, but using this forum for help? We have a lot of very talented people here who are very willing to help you.
    From what I understand, Fedora is pretty good with ATI, but that is not based on personal experience.
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  3. #3
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    Linux with built in ATI drivers packages

    Hello jetbird,

    The problem with ATI cards is that they (AMD) stopped providing drivers for the most-recent kernels.

    I use SuSE on one of my boxes that has an ATI card and I have found that the "raytheon" driver that comes with the standard xorg package works fine with it. I am getting 4000-odd FPS out of it.

    Have a look at the SuSE forums under multimedia. There are a couple of excellent posts there dealing with just this kind of issue and they include some tips on optimising the driver via some settings.

    Cheers - VP

  4. #4
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    Hello!

    Thank you for taking time and replying!

    I have Soad Linux installed. While it works quite well, the issue is that I need OpenGL support, I have some plans for 3D graphics even on the old pc.
    The graphic card I have trouble with is the lousy ATI radeon Xpress 200.

    From the forums I found related to it I came to a conclusion that this card is one in the top 5 of the evil graphics cards list.

    I tried the terminal commands, proprietary driver *.run file installation, hardware and software management systems to update it. And it seems like either the kernels of Linux I tried are fresh new and unsupported ( this might sound stupid, but I really have no idea about stuff like that, but I have to accuse something you know ) or something like that.

    So since the pc is about 4 years old, maybe I should try a bit older Linux?

    When I try to run *.run file of ati drivers in terminal, it reports an error but it turns off too fast so I can;t tell what kid of error it had.

    Soad or Opensuse seemed to recognize the graphic card with no trouble and offered me a "recommended" driver via hardware package manager (yast) But it doesn;t seem it changed anything.

    I found the ATI Catalyst installed after all, however it says either no driver is installed or the hardware is unsupported. But I have downloaded the proprietary driver downloaded from ATI website. To ,y understanding I should use ATI Catalyst 9.3 or older ones because newer ones doens't support my card.

    I guess I might try Fedora then. If i do so, which version would be recommended?

    Thank you very much in advance!

  5. #5
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    JB, sorry but where Fedora is concerned, I have no idea.

    The SuSE box runs the kernel version 2.6.31.14-0.4-desktop.

    The ATI catalyst stuff under "legacy" lists all the cards that their driver will support so ensure that your card is in the list.

    Even if your card is on the list, the driver may not build because you are using a kernel that is too "young". I am not clear as to what is actually happening on your system. Do you have any graphics at all?

    Check out the xorg log (/var/log/Xorg.0.log). It will show you what the X stuff was trying to do when it came up.

    The GLX stuff comes, I think, with a library (/usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so). Be aware that the X stuff will use libs and modules that are in /usr/lib/xorg/modules/updates/extensions instead of those at /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions so if you want to clear all the ATI stuff, make sure that you don't leave something behind in the updates dir.

    Maybe you could try SuSE? What spec is you PC?

  6. #6
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    I have a laptop with the xpress 200. Hardware acceleration does work with the open source xf86-video-ati driver, but performance is poor. Also, various distros and releases work sporadically. Ubuntu 9.10 worked fine, Ubuntu 10.04 struggled, and I rarely use Opensuse, but 11.1 did not work well.

    You will likely need to tweak your xorg.conf file (which doesn't exist by default in some newer distros, but can be added.) Here's some tips from the Arch wiki which are mostly distro agnostic.

  7. #7
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    Greetings JetBird.

    I'm actually running Xpress 200m myself. So far, on default installation, without alteration, the only distro that didn't cause freezes or lockups during running compiz was Sabayon 5.4. It worked great on stock live and install.

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