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Thread: The Sad FGLRX Journey of Kernel Cheese

  1. #1

    Thumbs up The Sad FGLRX Journey of Kernel Cheese

    Greetings. Argh!

    I want to thank you for reading this and sharing in my frustration. Coming from proprietary linux drivers for nVidia cards, the AMD/ATI thing is a real PITA. Michael Larabel aside, I'm sure most of you won't get any joy from this.

    Box is FC6, 2.6.19-1.2895, x86_64, full dev system, dual 32/64 bit packages of required libs installed (as well as many others, along with every compat- package known to man.) DFI Infinity RS482/SB400 Radeon Xpress 200, 128M shared, 256M aperature. Drivers 8.32.5 and 8.33.6

    First problem, the install script doesn't detect X properly (Unknown X Window). Looking into the installer script, the called check.sh script generates this, but here's two weirdnesses with it: If I just sh check.sh, it works fine.

    ~]# sh check.sh
    Detected configuration:
    Architecture: x86_64 (64-bit)
    X Server: Xorg 7.1.1


    ??? I don't get it. But O.K. so in reading the script I see you can force it. But when I do that, it fails again!

    ~]# export _ARCH="x86_64"
    ~]# export X_VERSION="Xorg 7.1.1"
    ~]# sh check.sh --nodetect

    Detected configuration:
    Architecture: x86_64 (64-bit)
    X Server (OVERRIDEN BY USER): Unknown X Window


    Even weirder, because it shouldn't show override unless --override is specified, supposedly. But further reading shows the check script calls an external lookup table, it bypasses the string manipulation part, even though it builds this exact string and passes it to the lookup table itself. Why they chose to not honor both methods... well, nevermind. This is docuemnted in README.distro, section 4dii. Using check.sh... but it's a SHELL SCRIPT, you could mention it there too, considering the paragraphs of comments put to explaining X_VERSION and all.

    So after all this, it's the lookup table's fault. It doesn't have a reference to x710 / x710_64a.
    Modifying the map_xname.sh script to include this, it begins to behave.

    ~]# export _ARCH="x86_64"
    ~]# export X_VERSION="x710_64a"
    ~]# sh check.sh --nodetect

    Detected configuration:
    Architecture: x86_64 (64-bit)
    X Server: X.Org 7.1.x 64-bit


    But still, running it from the archived installer, fails again with Unknown.

    Extra command line parameters are not parsed and passed along to spawned scripts, so you cannot for instance pass --nodetect from the main ati-installer.sh, to check.sh or default_policy.sh, etc. I understand the desire to keep the scripts (semi-) simple, but this just complicates things. They all seem to parse the environment variables, so this is good.

    Anyway, so setting X_VERSION and trying to run the packaged installer, gets me this now:

    Error: ./default_policy.sh does not support version
    default:v2::lib::x710_64a:2.6.19-1.2895.fc6; make sure that the version is being
    correctly set by --iscurrentdistro


    ---------------

    At this point, I'm just getting irritated, so decide to just build the system package, (which is how I ended up here, reading the FC packager script and finding Michael's name and web site.) Naturally I tried this method first from the packaged archive, but that was a fiasco. Having tweaked the map_xname file, I had better hopes for it now:

    ~]# sh ati-installer.sh 8.32.5 --buildpkg Fedora/FC6

    And, you all know the troubles from here, mainly the fireglcontrolpanel issue, the two softlinks so it can find lib64/qt-3.3/lib not a non-existent lib64, and libGL, and finally it builds the RPMs without an error.

    ~]# rpm -ivh *rpm

    Yay! I have finally, over an hour and a half later, installed the fglrx video driver. Hah, nope. I wish.

    Xlib: extension "XFree86-DRI" missing on display ":0.0"

    looking at the log:

    (II) fglrx(0): Composite extension enabled, disabling direct rendering
    (WW) fglrx(0): ***********************************************
    (WW) fglrx(0): * DRI initialization failed! *
    (WW) fglrx(0): * (maybe driver kernel module missing or bad) *
    (WW) fglrx(0): * 2D acceleraton available (MMIO) *
    (WW) fglrx(0): * no 3D acceleration available *
    (WW) fglrx(0): ********************************************* *

    WHAT?! Oh my. First, make your dumb driver work with Composite,
    and second if your choices are DRI or no DRI, the aticonfig
    sould DEFINITELY disable this by default, or at least explain
    to you the difference.

    Section "Extensions"
    Option "Composite" "Disable"
    EndSection

    Anyway, now I get somewhat happier:

    (II) fglrx(0): detected X.org 7.1.1.0
    (II) Loading extension ATIFGLRXDRI
    (II) fglrx(0): [drm] DRM interface version 1.0
    (II) fglrx(0): Desc: ATI FireGL DRM kernel module
    (II) fglrx(0): Kernel Module version matches driver.
    (II) fglrx(0): DRI initialization successfull!
    (II) Loading extension FGLRXEXTENSION
    (II) Loading extension ATITVOUT

    And, of course, as soon as you think you're done:

    (EE) AIGLX error: dlsym for __driCreateNewScreen_20050727 failed (/usr/lib64/dri/fglrx_dri.so: undefined symbol: __driCreateNewScreen_20050727)
    (EE) AIGLX: reverting to software rendering

    Again, fine, if the useless extra animated graphic bits are going to cause problems, why doesn't aticonfig do it for you? It's not like it's optional at this point. (even with 8.33.6, no dice.) One assumes this will get fixed, GLX will have it's fans howling.

    Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "AIGLX" "off"
    EndSection

    Well, anyway, finally, after all this... I do have the fglrx driver running.

    ~]# fglrxinfo
    OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
    OpenGL renderer string: RADEON XPRESS Series Generic
    OpenGL version string: 2.0.6286 (8.33.6)


    Three hours of my life, gone. Having to delve into scripts I didn't write, having to google for every single error along the way and find hundreds of hits, pointing out that it's widespread. Is this just because of the transition to AMD ownership? Or is this the general collapse of ATI? Either way, no nVidia install on any linux box has ever been this much trouble.

    As you might guess, I'm less than thrilled. Can you imagine a non-geek trying this? They would just run the default radeon driver with software rendering. Or WORSE, an installed fglrx that isn't configured in the least, and will not do DRI and will be running Mesa for OpenGL. Bad, Bad, BAD!

    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

    One of the things that annoyed me the most, the ati-installer.sh script is plain retarded when it comes to positional parameters. You cannot even just run ./ati-installer.sh --listpkg because it is hard-coded to exepct the driver version as the first parameter; which of course is ignored in something like --listpkg anyway so you can just enter it twice... another example of poor scripting practices. (as are many of the error messages in all the scripts, saying error in <calling script name> when there was no calling script. Poor coding practices.

    IMO this is one of the most poorly done script sets with such potential to be solid. Did they stop working midway though the process? Leaving comments in your scripts like:

    # make sure we're not doing "rm -rf /"; that would be bad

    is funny when your scripts are rock solid, run under any shell on any box, great sanity and error checking, etc. When inside Band-Aid scripts, it's really more PhUnNy than funny. d00d.

    My point is this, ATI guys: You have every right to write your own code and keep it. But you know what? You should expect harsh critism when the average linux guy willing to fix it, is capable of fixing it. Imagine what a few really brilliant types could do with your installer. Not to mention the driver itself. But yet I just did.

    Well, my system runs and my rant is done. Thanks for your time.

    Have fun kids.

  2. #2

    Default

    In regards to the graphical installer, it is known not to work with Fedora Core 5/6 or a number of other distributions. The graphical installer portion at this time is rather poor but will hopefully be improved.

    Generating RPMs for FC6 is the way to go.

    Glad you finally got your issues worked out, and too bad you didn't join the forums earlier for assistance.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Glad you finally got your issues worked out, and too bad you didn't join the forums earlier for assistance.
    Indeed, which is why I bothered documenting my pain. Hopefully it'll help someone, either directly, or just to know "hey man, we're all in this together."

    Thanks for such a cool resource, I'm not sure the current state of ATI deserves it. Here's hoping this will change.
    (I had my MACH32 FOREVER! tattoo removed just last year.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Thanks for the info

    Quote Originally Posted by Kernel Cheese View Post
    Indeed, which is why I bothered documenting my pain. Hopefully it'll help someone, either directly, or just to know "hey man, we're all in this together."

    Thanks for such a cool resource, I'm not sure the current state of ATI deserves it. Here's hoping this will change.
    (I had my MACH32 FOREVER! tattoo removed just last year.)
    I was just starting down this same path, trying to get the same x86_64 drivers to install in FC6 and was fiddling with check.sh when I thought, " Hmmm, this is really terrible. Someone must of figured this out already" and googled it. You've saved me about 2 and a half hours.

    Thanks again,

    -mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msellan View Post
    I was just starting down this same path, trying to get the same x86_64 drivers to install in FC6 and was fiddling with check.sh when I thought, " Hmmm, this is really terrible. Someone must of figured this out already" and googled it. You've saved me about 2 and a half hours.

    Thanks again,

    -mark
    Hello, everybody! I'm an amateur loser trying to use Ubuntu 9.10 with Radeon 9550. Can't install this ATI drivers, got to run the file, got --iscurrentdistro problem, and have no idea what to do next. Please help!
    Default grafics are crap. Previous version of ubuntu was looking ok, I think i managed to install drivers via synaptic manager, now, when I installed 9.10 on new hard drive - stuck

    arrrh

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto-ish
    Posts
    7,514

    Default

    The binary drivers for 9550 won't work with Ubuntu 9.10.

    IIRC the default open source drivers in 9.10 had problems on some 9xxx cards. Best bet would be to either jump ahead to Lucid beta or back to 9.04, both of which should give you better results with default drivers.

    The other option, of course, is to go back to 8.04 LTS (or 8.10) and use the binary driver.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,946

    Default

    Radeon Xpress 200M opensource driver worked very good on Ubuntu 9.04! I had installed it Xubuntu back in the days on Asus A6rp with such card and it worked even in composite. The only drawback was strange black artifacts in Abiword when composite was on, openoffice didnt had them. Do what Mr.Bridgman says and enable Backports repo!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2

    Talking Radeon 9550 works under Lucid Lynx fine

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    The binary drivers for 9550 won't work with Ubuntu 9.10.

    IIRC the default open source drivers in 9.10 had problems on some 9xxx cards. Best bet would be to either jump ahead to Lucid beta or back to 9.04, both of which should give you better results with default drivers.

    The other option, of course, is to go back to 8.04 LTS (or 8.10) and use the binary driver.
    Jumped ahead to Lucid Lynx and now incredibly happy! Video works great even on split screens! Love Linux, Love ubuntu. Works great! Wish I could have full power over my iphone under Linux, I would quit Windows alltogether!

    Thanks guys, you have been very helpful!

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