Sunday, 9 September, 2007

Linux/Fedora 7 and ATI Graphics Card.. eh ?

Hello windows users!, and hello fellow Linux (in particular Fedora 7) users ;-)

Yeah, I just installed Fedora 7 on my new Sony Vaio laptop, and it works great. I still have to figure out few new things, but I am happy as it's working for almost everything I need(I just need a console, few manuals, a browser and Internet). Here are few tips for people who don't find much help on ATI Graphics cards and Linux(in general).

  1. Install Linux in text mode, few Linux distro's (like ubuntu) use graphical install, which won't work for you. There are bootup commandline switches (generally accessible by hitting F1). Fedora 7 has command line installation option from the boot menu itself so it's easy there. Note you might need ubuntu alternate disk to use the commandline install, I used alternate-install disk. Always try to get DVD versions of installations whenever possible.

  2. Fedora 7 DVD version has support for my Wireless Card (Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Adapter) out of box so it saved me hassle of getting on to a wired network for installing the ATI Graphics Drivers, which can be found at ATI website. Here is the kink in the story, I needed to download it from the website, and I don't know how to use those text based browsers, so I needed to use laptop of my room-mate to get the link of drivers I needed.

  3. Used wget to download the drivers ( The link for Linux x86 32 bit computers is https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206/0/www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/ati-driver-installer-8.40.4-x86.x86_64.run ) Pasted the link so that you can (type it for wget), Alternately the link is here.

  4. To install the drivers you need to execute this command

./ati-driver-installer-8.40.4-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Fedora/F7

If you are using some other distro of Linux you will need to find the correct switch, execute this command and read the instructions that come on your screen.

./ati-driver-installer-8.40.4-x86.x86_64.run

a useful hint is you will need something like

./ati-driver-installer-8.40.4-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg <switch>

where <switch> is the missing argument.

5. One you get the things set, under Fedora 7, you will get about 5-6 RPM files, you might choose what you don't want to install, but for me as a new user, I just installed all! If you are interested in finding out which file does what, then you might want to go on some IRC Channel to ask. Nuf said, to install the rpm files use

rpm -ihv *.rpm

in the directory where the driver rpm's are present.

6. If you get dependencies error use

yum install <missing dependency filename>

under Fedora 7, I believe "apt" can be used in similar way

7. Type gdm while you are logged as root, or use startx as normal user

8. All done? You need to follow this link to get a graphical display on bootup

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?t=7381

9. All right reboot!, use reboot command on the console.

10. Post as comment what you see when you reboot :)

Note : This guide is written by a Linux newbie for Linux newbie, who has experience of working on Linux for few months, mostly for shell scripting and network programming, so he mostly worked on a terminal. Keep that in mind. This guide is written by sheer lack of Google results and support on forums for "Linux and Sony Vaio" or "Linux and ATI" when compared to "Linux and Nvidia" on any forum. Use it at your own risk. I am not responsible if anything goes wrong with your system/computer/laptop.


The post originally appeared here.

1 comment:

ArchTemplar said...

I thought ATI and linux were supposed to be number one enimies ?

well good job hows life etc. etc.