I've used debian sid on my laptop for years. The fglrx driver would NOT cooperate. Minimized windows would take about a second to unminimize while using compiz (even with the open source radeon driver), and I couldn't log out of my session (be it gnome, openbox, w/e) without freezing my computer. Not to mention that installing it was a bitch (for 64 bit) - had to extract installer contents, make sym link for some library, and repackage. 64 bit flash didn't work, it just sucked.
Recently I tried ubuntu 8.10 - and it's like night and day. They basically held my hand when I installed it (using the AMD installer), the 2d/compiz performance has no issues whatsoever. Plus, I can log out of my f***ing system.
Just thought I would share this with people who are frustrated with AMD's fglrx. Try ubuntu.
What a good idea Ubuntu 8.10 patched the Xserver for compiz, which leads to problems with KDE4 - try Kubuntu 8.10 and you see artefacts before the actual menus or whatever are drawn.
Yeah I guess it is a pretty obvious thing to try... but I targeted that towards people who had problems regardless of what desktop or wm they were using (like me) and just wanted to be able to log out of their flippin' computer.
I use fglrx on my laptop running Kubuntu 8.10. No problems whatsoever. Even resizing is bearable (same speed as with radeon really). Yeah, Ubuntu is one of the easier distros to work with when it comes to fglrx.
Yes, Ubuntu is definitely better, but has issues of its own. If you need HW support that only a newer kernel gives you that can be problematic as Ubuntu has a specific kernel build process. Although it can be done, building a new kernel from a tarball is not routine. To make life easier one should grab the kernel source via an official Ubuntu .deb if it is available. For example, I needed 2.6.28 under Intrepid and ended up building it from the 2.6.28 Jaunty .deb. At first I tried building from a kernel.org tarball, but quickly learned the error of my ways. Doctor, it hurts when I do that....
Kano brings up a good point. It's another Ubuntu annoyance. Ubuntu tries to be all things to all people. So a bewildering list of unneccessary modules is loaded by default. 90% of them are not needed by most users and of the remaining 10% half can be safely compiled into the kernel.
At first I tried building from a kernel.org tarball, but quickly learned the error of my ways. Doctor, it hurts when I do that....
Interesting, back in my Debian days (on this laptop) I would use a ubuntu .config on a kernel.org tarball. Worked fine, but my GPU still blew. Is what you are talking about only for 2.6.28? I think i used either 26 or 27
EDIT: Nevermind - got my logic mixed up. But once I did compile a kernel from kernel.org remotely on a friend's computer. But regardless I still want to know more about this kernel build process. Sounds kinda lame...