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Old 3rd February 2011, 01:42 AM
mk27 Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
How to install ATI Catalyst drivers on F14

I decided to write this because I had a bit of a hassle, and I am sure other people have too. AFAICT, F14 does not have any formal support right now (no rpms, etc), and there are some pitfalls to using the ATI installer which I am sure have resulted in system re-installs, unhappy faces, and people stuck without a proper driver.*

This is because while the installer seems easy to use, it's unfriendly in so far as it does not check for pre-requisite software first, and when it craps outs, it doesn't tell you anything is wrong, but it will leave your system without a functioning X server.

The first time I ran it, the GUI installer told me everything was complete and that all I needed to do was reboot! When I did, X would not work, and reinstalling the original xorg-ati driver, etc, did not fix it.

Make sure you read ALL this over first BEFORE you start! Also read post #3 below

*I hate proprietary software, but GL 3D cards are pointless without the real drivers and libraries installed. And if you want to use (or write) serious openGL 3D software, you do need such a card.

STEP 1 Get the driver-installer

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx

The download should be a file like "ati-driver-installer-11-1-x86.x86_64.run".

STEP 2 Get prereqs from the fedora repos

Here's the nasty pitfall: you'll need to have some fedora packages the installer uses to build the fglrx kernel module, but it does not tell you that, and (even worse) it will wreck your X if you don't have them.

Building kernel modules requires the linux kernel source code, and that needs to be properly installed. I'm a programmer and have built modules, so when I've used an ATI installer before, I had all that stuff there already.

It did not occur to me that if the source were not there, the installer would go ahead and appear to build a module anyway (which is impossible without the kernel source). The fact that it does not crap out with a simple message (eg: "Can't find kernel sources, aborting") is EXTREMELY UNPROFESSIONAL of ATI. This is like repairing someones car and forgetting to torque the head bolts on. Either malicious or seriously stupid.

Anyway, the upshot of that is you must make sure everything is copacetic with the prequisites because not only will the installer not issue a warning, it will keep on trucking and leave you without a functioning X server when it's done.

Fedora's generally awesome yum system has a further pitfall here, unfortunately. We want both the kernel header includes and the source (aka. the "devel" package):

Code:
[root@localhost ati]# yum search kernel | grep headers
kernel-headers.x86_64 : Header files for the Linux kernel for use by glibc
arm-gp2x-linux-kernel-headers.noarch : Kernel headers for Cross Compiling to

[root@localhost ati]# yum search kernel | grep devel
kernel-debug-devel.x86_64 : Development package for building kernel modules to
kernel-devel.x86_64 : Development package for building kernel modules to match
crash-devel.i686 : kernel crash analysis utility for live systems, netdump,
crash-devel.x86_64 : kernel crash analysis utility for live systems, netdump,
...snip
If you do not have a 64 bit system the suffix will be i686 and not x86_64. Now all we need to do is "yum install", right?

Not quite. If you just installed from a live CD like I did and did not run updates, yum fails to mention at this point that the "kernel-devel" package is for a newer, updated kernel than the one installed by the CD. With most stuff, it would automatically update any prereqs, but it did not do that today with the kernel.

By default, linux will not load a module built for a different kernel version. Also, the C compiler (IMPORTANT: see below*) uses a symbolic link in the running kernel's module directory to find the correct source:

Code:
[root@localhost ati]# cd /lib/modules
[root@localhost modules]# ls
2.6.35.10-74.fc14.x86_64  2.6.35.6-45.fc14.x86_64  fglrx
[root@localhost modules]# uname -r
2.6.35.10-74.fc14.x86_64
I should explain this (look up cd and ls if you do not understand them): /lib/modules contains a subdirectory for each kernel. Currently, I have two, and so will you because you will be installing the updated one to match the available source package.

When it comes time to run the ATI driver-installer, first check which kernel you are running with "uname -r". Then enter the corresponding subdirectory in /lib/modules (you can do this now anyway to get the idea):

Code:
[root@localhost modules]# cd 2.6.35.10-74.fc14.x86_64
[root@localhost 2.6.35.10-74.fc14.x86_64]# ls -1
build
extra
kernel
modules.alias
modules.alias.bin
...snip
Notice "build" at the top. This is a symbolic link to a directory in /usr/src which contains the source tree. Even if that directory does not exist, the symbolic link here will. So you need to check that the link is good:

Code:
[root@localhost 2.6.35.6-45.fc14.x86_64]# cd build
bash: cd: build: No such file or directory
That one is bad. If this is the directory for your running kernel and you now use the ATI driver-installer, no module will be built and the installer will overwrite crucial X libraries, etc, with stuff that cannot work. That was what happened on my second attempt today

Here's what will happen if you have the kernel source correctly installed:

Code:
[root@localhost 2.6.35.10-74.fc14.x86_64]# cd build
[root@localhost build]# ls
arch    drivers   include  kernel   mm   samples   sound  usr
block   firmware  init     lib
...snip
So, to summarize step 2:

a) Make sure you have the latest kernel installed:

Code:
[root@localhost build]# yum install kernel.x86_64
Setting up Install Process
Package kernel-2.6.35.10-74.fc14.x86_64 already installed and latest version
Nothing to do
If you did not, the install will also add a new entry to your grub menu for the new kernel and use that one as a default, so reboot.

b) Now install the kernel-headers and kernel-devel package as described above.

c) Finally, check in /lib/modules/ (as above) to make sure that "build" link is good.

Now you're ready to run the ATI driver-installer.

*BTW, if you do not generally build software from source, you will probably need to install the C compiler as well:

Code:
[root@localhost ati]# yum search gcc | grep ^gcc
gcc-gnat.x86_64 : Ada 95 support for GCC
gcc-objc.x86_64 : Objective-C support for GCC
gcc-objc++.x86_64 : Objective-C++ support for GCC
gccxml.x86_64 : XML output extension to GCC
gcc.x86_64 : Various compilers (C, C++, Objective-C, Java, ...)
gcc-c++.x86_64 : C++ support for GCC
...snip
You can check first by trying "gcc -v" at the command line (if it's not there, you may then be able to Y/N an automatic install).

STEP 3 Run the installer!

I recommend doing this in console mode, and temporarily setting your default runlevel to the same. There are 3 reasons for that. First, the GUI installer for Catalyst 11.1 is much more deceptive about it's success. The text mode one will only say it's been successful if it really was. Otherwise, it just ends, and you may see some sinister clues leftover. Unfortunately, either way (GUI or console), the installer will probably have wrecked your X install if something went wrong. Second, if something goes wrong, you will still be able to use the computer after a reboot because it will not need X windows. Third, if something happens to something crucial later (eg, updates can overwrite the ATI stuff), you should know how to re-install without X.

So use a text editor on /etc/inittab, which looks like this:

Code:
# inittab is only used by upstart for the default runlevel.
#
# ADDING OTHER CONFIGURATION HERE WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON YOUR SYSTEM.
...blah blah blah snip
# Default runlevel. The runlevels used are:
#   0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
#   1 - Single user mode
#   2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking)
#   3 - Full multiuser mode
#   4 - unused
#   5 - X11
#   6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
# 
id:5:initdefault:
Change that 5 to a 3. You can change it back later.

The driver-installer file you downloaded is actually a sort of shell script (with a ton of stuff compressed and embedded in it). It needs to be executable, which it may not be:

Code:
[root@localhost src]# stat ati-driver-installer-11-1-x86.x86_64.run 
  File: `ati-driver-installer-11-1-x86.x86_64.run'
  Size: 125893511 	Blocks: 245888     IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 802h/2050d	Inode: 37716       Links: 1
Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (    0/    root)
Nope. So:

Code:
[root@localhost src]# chmod 700 ati-driver-installer-11-1-x86.x86_64.run
Does it (look up chmod if you do not understand). Now, if you are sure you have read, understood, and acted on this post, you can run the installer:

Code:
[root@localhost src]# ./ati-driver-installer-11-1-x86.x86_64.run
It's pretty simple from there. At about 80-85% on the progress bar, the module gets built, which might take a few minutes and will max out a processor (if you only have one, just leave everything alone until it's finished).

Good luck! There is some good news in all this -- for my card at least, the 11.1 driver-installer seems to have corrected some issues evidently in 10.2 (like, I now get a higher max resolution ).

Last edited by mk27; 7th February 2011 at 03:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 4th February 2011, 02:06 AM
whych Offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 37
linuxfedorafirefox
Re: How to install ATI Catalyst drivers on F14

Did installing the drivers from the repo not work for you?
Just remember, you need to re-run the ati install when you update the kernel.
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  #3  
Old 5th February 2011, 03:26 PM
mk27 Offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 89
linuxfedorafirefox
Re: How to install ATI Catalyst drivers on F14

Quote:
Originally Posted by whych View Post
Did installing the drivers from the repo not work for you?
There is a catalyst driver on fusion but I have not tried it.* Hopefully it does an appropriate check for kernel sources. However, since yum did not update the kernel when it installs the source, you could easily end up with a mismatch there, so people should still check the /lib/modules/[version X.X.X]/build link as described in step 2 above. The software in the rpm will be the same as that provided by ATI, meaning it will be just as senseless and nasty if it installs and anything is wrong. Better safe than sorry! Again, part of my motive was searching around (inc. here) for info WRT to F14 and most of what I found ended in disaster -- people using a graphical boot with a busted X server, meaning their whole system might seem wrecked .

http://rpmfusion.org/

* UPDATE: I was unable to run openGL stuff with the libGL installed by the ATI installer; this was not the case on my last F10 system (it works fine). That might be correctable by re-installing the mesa libs, but I decided to try the fusion driver first, and delete the /lib/modules/fglrx directory installed by ATI to ensure the correct fglrx is used (the rpm puts it in a more conventional spot). So try the fusion non-free driver first!

Last edited by mk27; 7th February 2011 at 04:04 PM.
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  #4  
Old 18th June 2011, 06:18 PM
vleolml Offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
linuxfirefox
Re: How to install ATI Catalyst drivers on F14

Quote:
Originally Posted by mk27 View Post
...
I recommend doing this in console mode ...
There are 3 reasons for that.
First, the GUI installer for Catalyst 11.1 is much more deceptive about it's success. The text mode one will only say it's been successful if it really was. Otherwise, it just ends, and you may see some sinister clues leftover. Unfortunately, either way (GUI or console), the installer will probably have wrecked your X install if something went wrong.
Second, if something goes wrong, you will still be able to use the computer after a reboot because it will not need X windows.
Third, if something happens to something crucial later (eg, updates can overwrite the ATI stuff), you should know how to re-install without X.
...
First, thank yo for an article that opened my eyes - how many times I was trying to run ./ati-install... w/o success...

Speaking of using console mode - one may still use GUI mode, but make sure to check the file:

Code:
/usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log
for errors.

Other important points:

1) IMPORTANT: if you're running PAE kernel (as most people should these days, since 4Gb RAM is common nowdays), make sure to install PAE devel package, for example, had to install those to get driver built correctly:

Code:
$ rpm -q --all | grep ^kernel
kernel-headers-2.6.35.13-92.fc14.i686
kernel-PAE-2.6.35.13-92.fc14.i686
kernel-PAE-devel-2.6.35.13-92.fc14.i686
2) ATI build script assumes that running kernel linux source is located in /use/src/linux, therefore I had to add symlink:

Code:
sudo ln -s /usr/src/kernels/2.6.35.13-92.fc14.i686.PAE/ /usr/src/linux
After that running the ATI code did the trick:

Code:
sudo ./ati-driver-installer-11-6-x86.x86_64.run
and after rebooting I ended with functional ATI Catalyst installation:

Code:
$ fglrxinfo 
display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series 
OpenGL version string: 4.1.10834 Compatibility Profile Context

Last edited by vleolml; 18th June 2011 at 08:56 PM.
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