How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) Drivers

Note: This How To is valid up to Catalyst Driver version 10.1.
Note: With minor changes this How To may work for other Linux distributions like Mandriva, Suse, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Cent OS etc.

Following the suggestions in comments on my last post about ATI Catalyst (fglrx), I tried to reinstall ATI drivers version 9.8 and finally it worked. I thought of noting down the the process in few simple steps which anyone can follow and get the drivers working on Fedora 11 with latest kernel versions.

Step 1 : Update Kernel, Install kernel-devel

Huge thanks to Richard Lloyd and mxyzptlk2063 for pointing this out.
This step is not necessary. You may like to stick to the kernel version you already have. In case you want the latest kernel, just use yum to get the latest kernel.

Note: Do not forget to update the kernel-devel package as well as its needed to compile the fglrx kernel module.

DONT UPDATE THE KERNEL. Instead stick to whatever kernel version you have. If you have 2.6.30.*, you are unlucky :( Get a kernel version 2.6.29.* and install the kernel-devel for the same.

With Catalyst Driver version 9.10 you can update kernel to latest version before installing the Drivers.

[root@fedora ~]$ yum update kernel
[root@fedora ~]$ yum install kernel-devel

Step 2 : Download Drivers

Download the ATI Catalyst™ 9.8 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver from ATI/AMD website.

Step 3 : Install Drivers

Install the drivers that you have downloaded using the following command.

[root@fedora ~]$ bash ./ati-driver-installer-9-8-x86.x86_64.run

Step 4 : Check Installation Result

Check the /usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log file for result of installation. If there are no errors, proceed to the next step.

Note: You may see lines like this at the end of file

You must change your working directory to /lib/modules/fglrx
and then call ./make_install.sh in order to install the built module.
– recreating module dependency list
– trying a sample load of the kernel modules
done.

You can ignore these lines happily if they don’t contain any error message. You don’t really need to execute the command mentioned in those lines.

Step 5 : Blacklist radeon and radeonhd kernel modules

Add these lines to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf.

blacklist radeon
blacklist radeonhd

Step 6 : Generate initial Xorg configuration file

Note: This step is optional with Catalyst Driver version 9.10, but it wont harm even if you execute this.

You have to generate the initial xorg.conf file which will use fglrx as display device.

[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --initial

Step 7 : Modify xorg.conf

Open your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and add the following line to “Device” section (the one with fglrx as driver)

Option "SWCursor" "true"

Step 8 : Reboot

Reboot your machine. And you’ll have the latest ATI Catalyst drivers working on your Fedora 11 :)

Step 9 : Testing

You can test your newly installed drivers and get the performance benchmarks for your graphics card using the commands below.

[saini@fedora ~]$ glxgears
[saini@fedora ~]$ fgl_glxgears

My graphics card is ATI Radeon HD 3200 (256MB, Onboard) and I get 1500FPS with glxgears and 300FPS with fgl_glxgears.

In case you messup things somewhere, you can uninstall the fglrx drivers using the following command

[root@fedora ~]$ /usr/share/ati/fglrx-uninstall.sh
 

Info: ATI Drivers 9.8 Doesnt Work with Fedora 11 (2.6.29+)

After a night out I was about to go to bed when I saw the news that ATI has released a new version of ATI Catalyst™ 9.8 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver, its proprietary display drivers for Linux. I immediately downloaded the drivers to test with my Fedora 11 as I am getting more and more desperate to watch HD Movies 😐 Installed them on a manually compiled kernel 2.6.27 and the build failed :( Installed the latest kernel version (for fedora 11) 2.6.29.6.xxx and build failed yet another time. Switched back to 2.6.27 and tried to build again. This time build was successful. Everything worked as expected. I was getting 1500FPS with glxgears and 300FPS with fgl_glxgears. But after sometime display hanged inturn freezing the system. Hard reboot was the only solution and then this happened for a few times in a row. Now, I am back to radeonhd, waiting for yet another release of ATI drivers so that I can try them yet another time to see yet another failure :(

Update : Drivers are working now. Move on to How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) 9.8 Drivers on Fedora 11.

 

How To: Wireless LAN with Broadcom BCM4312 in Fedora 11

Fedora 11 does have support for Broadcom wireless drivers, but it didn’t really work out on a friend’s laptop. Finally we got it working and I thought I’ll just note the steps down. Below are the three easy steps you need to take to make it work properly.

Step 1

Install needed packages

[root@fedora ~]$ yum install broadcom-wl  wl-kmod

Step 2

Once the packages are installed successfully, reboot your laptop.

Step 3

Use the following command

[root@fedora ~]$ system-config-network

And add a new wireless device wlan0 or whatever you want by filling the required fields properly. If you want the device to be managed by NetworkManager, you can do so while editing the device you just added.

Activate the device. And you are on wifi :)

 

Info: ATI Drivers 9.7 does not work in Fedora 11 (2.6.29+)

Yesterday, AMD released ATI Catalyst™ 9.7 Proprietary Linux x86/x86_64 Display Drivers. I happened to checkout the website today. Initially I was very excited about it hoping that these drivers will work with 2.6.29+ and I’ll be able to use my ATI Radeon HD 3200 which is lying dead since a fortnight or so. I downloaded the drivers immediately and switched to Fedora 11 default kernel. Installed the drivers and checked the install log located at /usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log. And I saw a failure. AMD disappointed me, yet another time :(

In case you happen to screw your graphics display while trying to install ATI drivers, use the following command to uninstall fglrx.

[root@fedora ~]$ /usr/share/ati/fglrx-uninstall.sh

Well, I am back to square one. Have to wait for another month and I hope next release will have support for kernel 2.6.29+.

Update : Drivers are working now. Move on to How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) 9.8 Drivers on Fedora 11.

 

Humour: Ubuntu is Costlier than Microsoft Windows XP

Dell started selling their new Dell Inspiron Mini 9 series yesterday as informed by slashdot article. Lately I have been looking for a mobile solution which should be easy to carry and have enough computing power to meet my expectation. I liked the SSD concept replacing the mechanical hard disk. I just moved over to Dell website and tried configuring one for myself (go here to configure them yourself). I am an open source addict but I am not an Ubuntu fan but still going with ubuntu sounds better than going with M$ stuff. So, started configuring the Ubuntu machine and pushed everything (main memory, hard disk and other components) to maximum. A few minutes later I realized that the Ubuntu model’s price is more than the equivalent config with M$ Windows.

Below is a table comparing Windows XP and Ubuntu model of Dell Inspiron Mini 9 series. The differences are highlighted in red color.

Ubuntu 8.04
Microsoft Windows XP Home Premium
$494
$479
My Components
Obsidian Black
Obsidian Black
Mini OS powered by Ubuntu 8.04
Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
1GB DDR2 at 533MHz
1GB DDR2 at 533MHz
16GB Solid State Drive
16GB Solid State Drive
Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 capability
Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 capability
Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
My Service
1Yr Ltd Warranty and Mail-In Service
1Yr Ltd Warranty and Mail-In Service
Also Includes
Intel® Atom Processor® N270 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache) Intel® Atom Processor® N270 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache)
Glossy 8.9 inch LED display (1024X600)
Glossy 8.9 inch LED display (1024X600)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
32WHr Battery (4 cell)
32WHr Battery (4 cell)
Base LCD Assembly
Base LCD Assembly
Base LCD Assembly in Black
Base LCD Assembly in Black
No Installation
No Installation
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 8.1, English
McAfee SecurityCenter 30-day Trial
Microsoft Works 9 DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD
No ISP requested

According to the above table Ubuntu alone is costlier than Genuine Microsoft Windows XP Home Premium + Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.1 English + McAfee SecurityCenter 30-day Trial + Microsoft Works 9 (MS Word Excluded). I am not sure if Dell is trying to promote Microsoft by selling Windows XP model at a lower price or they are generating more revenues for Ubuntu by selling it at a higher price or they are just fooling the customers. Below are the picture proofs if Dell changes the prices.

Inspiron Ubuntu

Inspiron Windows

 

Review: Fedora 8 – Warewolf

I installed Fedora 8 32 bit from a leaky mirror on Nov 7th and I just had a very bad experience with it. Nothing seemed to be working. But I can’t accept that. As I am a hardcore fan of Fedora, I just can’t sit back and say “ah, Fedora 8 sucks, i am not gonna use that”. I fetched Fedora 8 x86_64 (64bit) from a mirror yesterday, after the release. I installed it and everything worked out of the box. I can’t believe that I wrote something wrong about Fedora. How could I do that ?

First of all, I would like to say that The artwork team at Fedora has done a very fantastic job. The graphics right from installation up to the desktop are just awesome. Especially the default background is very nice. Here is shot of the default Gnome Fedora 8 Desktop.

GNOME Fedora 8 Desktop

Right after the installation, I fetched the nVidia proprietary drivers from here and installed them. And those were installed successfully without giving any errors or problems. [ If you want a complete howto on installing nvidia drivers. Its here.] A reboot after the installation and compiz worked out of the box. Here is shot.

Compiz Fusion

Ok, graphics done. What now ? I just realized that there is no mp3 support. No worries. Codeina aka Codec Buddy is there. Just issue ‘codeina’ command from command line and a window like this will appear.

Codeina Audio Codec Fetcher

Check Fluendo MP3 Audio Decoder and click get selected, accept the license conditions and you’ll see that codeina is fetching the codecs. [If codeina does not fetch codecs or give error like timeout or some other network error. Try checking your proxy setting in System -> Preferences -> Internet And Network -> Network Proxy . It may help. ]

Codeina Installing MP3 Support

Ok. Now, codeina has done the job. Lets play some mp3. Note that amarok still can’t play mp3 files because it uses xine engine. So, you can choose either Totem or Rhythmbox to play your mp3 files. Here is a shot of Rhythmbox. So, Codeina also works out of the box.

Rhythmbox Playing MP3

Another major improvement in Fedora 8 in audio section is introduction or pulseaudio. Issue command ‘pulseaudio’ from command line and you will see a window like this.

Pulseaudio Device and Application Control

You can control the sound stream from different players or whatever. You can mute individual streams and can even set the default devices for certain streams through this fantastic gui.

Another good thing in Fedora 8 is Eclipse. Eclipse 3.3 is back in Fedora 8. They excluded it from Fedora 7. I am happy to see it back here in Fedora 8.

Eclipse In Fedora 8

Another utility that I found helpful is Remote Desktop utility. Launch System -> Preferences -> Internet And Network -> Remote Desktop and you’ll see a window like this.

Remote Desktop Utility

Set your preferences and now you can browse your desktop from anywhere using ‘vncviewer <yourIP>:0′. Though one call always configure vncserver to get that done. But for newbies it’ll be a great help.

Also, My wireless lan card, Ralink rt2500 WNC-0301 is detected successfully in Fedora 8. But I am not sure whether it works or not, because there is not wifi environment in my lab and I can’t check it without that. [ Anyway if your wifi card doesn’t work, here is a howto on installing Ralink rt2500 WNC-0301 using drivers from serailmonkey. ]

Another improvement is that cursor was never invisible. Up to Fedora 7, I suffered cursor invisible problem on first login. [ If you are facing the same problem, add line

Options "HWCursor" off

to “screens” section in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and issue ‘gdm-restart’ command. It’ll be fine afterwards. ]

The boot time has also improved significantly. My Fedora 8 boots in just 45 seconds.

These Fedora 8 Screenshots and other related to Fedora 8 can be reached here.

 

Info: Motherboard with Embedded Linux

A dull Sunday as usual. Woke up at 12:01pm and after finishing all startup jobs, came to lab at 1:00 pm. As usual, had nothing to do. Just went to slashdot to have some snacks. And what I saw over there was more than a surprise. OMG what the hell is going on. ASUS has come up with a new motherboard with embedded Linux. At first, I thought that guyz at slashdot has gone mad and just writing anything to have some news. But when I read the complete story and the review at Phoronix, it sounded something really geeky. They have embedded a Linux environment deep into the motherboard.

Asus is shipping this P5E3 deluxe motherboard with a feature called Asus Express Gate powered by SplashTop. The wonderful thing is that you can now boot into a basic Linux environment in just 7-8 seconds. Unbelievable !!! This basic Linux has a stripped down web-browser called FireFox 2.0 ( do we have any alternatives 😛 ) and skype. So, you can just go over the internet in a few seconds.

Much more surprising is onboard Asus WiFi-AP @n (802.11n wireless, undoubtedly the fastest wireless till date). So, you can browse at 300mbps on wireless ( of course if the infrastructure is 802.11n). And wifi card works with embedded Linux.

The BIOS browsing is no more keyboard based. It comes with a page which you can browse with your mouse. The embedded Linux is not so lame as it may sound. It has a variety of configuration utilities which includes network configuration, screen resolution, volume control, language selection and much more.

The only bad thing is the price. It is currently priced at US $360, which is very costly for having that stripped down Linux. But with time price will certainly go down and we will hopefully see new innovations for that embedded Linux. Hope to have a terminal over there soon 😀 and it’ll be fun if we can have beryl as well 😛

Wonderful innovation 😉

PS : No internet in my lab today :(

 

How To: Configure Wireless with Ralink (rt2500) Level One WNC 0301 in Fedora 7

If you are searching for wireless lan configuration in Fedora Core 6, a detailed description is available here. Though Fedora 7 – Moonshine detect the Ralink rt2500 Level One WNC-0301 wireless lan card, the network doesn’t work properly with default drivers. You may be able to connect sometime, but some other time it may not function properly. Because ralink drivers are not yet stable. See the discussions here. So, here is a step by step complete reference to how to make it work properly.

Step 1: Download the latest CVS release of Ralink rt2500 drivers from here.

Step 2: Unload the kernel module for rt2500 drivers

[root@bordeaux kulbirsaini] rmmod rt2500pci [Enter]

Step 3: Go to the directory /lib/modules/2.6.21-1.3194.fc7/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/mac80211/rt2x00 and take backup of the current rt2500pci driver module.

[root@bordeaux rt2x00] mv rt2500pci.ko back.rt2500pci.ko [Enter]

Step 4: Untar the download driver tar ball and change to the directory ./rt2500-cvs-XXXXXXXXXX/Module/

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[root@bordeaux Module] make [Enter]
[root@bordeaux Module] make install-fedora [Enter]

Step 5: Open /etc/modprobe.conf file and add a line

alias wlan0 rt2500

Save the file and load the rt2500 driver.

[root@bordeaux kulbirsaini] modprobe rt2500 [Enter]

Step 6: Go to the directory /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ and create a file named ifcfg-wmaster0. Copy the contents of ifcfg-wlan0 to the ifcfg-wmaster0. If you don’t have ifcfg-wlan0 file, then issue command ‘neat’ as root and add new wireless device with appropriate configurations and ifcfg-wlan0 will be created in the process.

Step 7: Activate the device, what else ???

PS1 : You can refer to my ifcfg-wlan0 and ifcfg-wmaster0 files.

PS2 : You can ask for more details on any issues in the any of the above steps.

 

Review: Fedora 7 – Moonshine

As expected, I upgraded to Fedora 7 – Moonshine yesterday. The coolest feature I noticed is that it automatically detected my Ralink WNC-0301 wireless lan card. Well, support for other wireless lan cards like ipw2100, ipw2200 and ipw3945 is also there which is I think the best feature. Because I see a lot of people around fighting with there wireless lan cards to work under Fedora Cores.

The gui is kind of improved but one more cool thing that you will notice is the theme “flying high”. The wallpapers, splash screen, login screen are improved a lot. Overall, the artwork part is worked out hardly. Default font is also nice.

A lot of media players are provided. amarok and kaffeine are included first time but amarok with no mp3 support. You have to install gstreamer and gstreamer08 plugins to make it work. The system preferences menu is totally different with similar tasks being grouped.

In addition to all that now Fedora also has some basic directories in the home directory like Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads.

Everything else is the same with upgraded versions.

Here is a Video of my current Fedora 7 desktop.

PS0 : There seems to be some problem after installing the nvidia driver for F7. Follow the procedure here replacing everything related to fc6 by f7 and at the end after configuring your xorg.conf file make these changes

The section “Files” should be like this

1
2
3
Section "Files"
	ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules,/usr/X11R6/lib/modules/"
EndSection

now restart the xserver and the nvidia will work 😀 .

For more info refer my xorg.conf for F7.

PS1 : If you are a IIITian, I suggest you not upgrade to F7 because iyum is not yet configured to cache F7 rpms and you have to install updates for your OS from the internet and that really sux. So, wait for iyum repo for F7 to be up and then upgrade.

PS2 : Pidgin has some memory leaks … its consuming 2GB virtual memory … here’s the proof … I am back to kopete again 😉

Pidgin Memory Leak

Pidgin Memory Leak

Edit : If you are looking for wireless configuration in Fedora 7, here is a reference.

 

Bye Bye Windows

A ruff day again … but a day I think I’ll remember for long or may be forever … the day of change … the day you grow up and take decision not to mess up your life anymore …

well, ORB posted some pics of a game here (intranet link) and I just asked about the minimum hardware configuration for running the game. His reply was minimum requirements for u is first start using windows“. well, I use linux most of the times but I have windows xp as well, though sitting idle on my hdd. I didn’t a expect a comment like that.

As I am leaving for home on 10th of this month, I switched to windows. I started writing some data onto DVDs for taking them along with me. While writing the first DVD, it failed at 95%. Suddenly, I got an idea that I would take my hard disk instead of writing the DVDs this time. I’ll buy a SATA to USB converter and transfer the data through USB. So, started collecting the data. While downloading a movie from some ftp, a virus came over and attacked my pc. Strange virus!!! whenever I open any window with title having any of the words task manager, antivirus, virus, norton, symantec, mcaffee etc., it just minimize the window and kill the process immediately. ohh !!! I tried all the ways I know or I could have, but in vain.

So, thought of formatting my windows partition and reinstall the windows. Booted from the xp cd and …. and black screen …. ohh god … i have got this SATA-II hdd. shit!!! Technology is just to fool humans not to help in the real sense. The windows xp doesn’t install on sata hard disks.

To get through, I had two ways … either I go by the long, irritating way of patching the xp iso with sata drivers or format the entire hdd and create one single partition using Partition Magic and then install the xp. Tried patching first … long long process … gave up early … and there is not point in formatting the entire hdd for the crappy os. The best thing is that Fedora 7 is out with a great support for virtualization.

So, I have finally decided to kick windows out of my hdd forever or as long as possible and keep only Fedora. I will really miss AOE but I can’t live with the threats anymore.

I remember a line from one of our English books “Calamity will come and teach them by torture.”. I think this is going to happen to everyone sometime down the line.

So, from now on, I am totally free and secure.