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Installing the ATI driver on Debian GNU/Linux

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A long time ago when I started using Linux I tried different distributions and finally settled on Debian. Since I don’t play much games the GNOME desktop was immediately appealing because it was simple and user friendly and worked much faster than Windows. After installing it, all devices were detected except for my graphics card – at that time I had an ATI Radeon 9800 SE.
Installing the driver as in Windows fiasco immediately after I was surprised to find that there is no Debian in the installer interface, and if you choose Ubuntu, everything dies.
Then I spent about a week installing version 8.6. I have since changed computers, however I am an AMD fan and the next graphics card I got was a Radeon HD4850.

Getting to work

The first to install will need the driver At the moment the latest version is 10.5. Once it is downloaded unzip the contents into the fglrx directory:
/ati-driver-installer-10-5-x86.x86_64.run --extract fglrx
Note : driver with the postfix “x86.x86_64” is suitable for both 32 and 64 bit systems.
First you need to change the ati-packager.sh script. For lenny :
cp ./fglrx/packages/Debian/ati-packager.sh ./ati-packager.sh
cat ./ati-packager.sh | sed -e 's/X_DIR=x710; X_NAME=lenny/X_DIR=x690; X_NAME=lenny/' > ./fglrx/packages/Debian/ati-packager.sh

For squeeze :
cp ./fglrx/packages/Debian/ati-packager.sh ./ati-packager.sh
cat ./ati-packager.sh | sed -e 's/X_DIR=x710; X_NAME=lenny/X_DIR=x750; X_NAME=lenny/' > ./fglrx/packages/Debian/ati-packager.sh

This will change the reference to a version of X’s that does not exist in the distribution to a version that is supported by the system.
Secondly, you need to change the rules script, the changes are the same for lenny and squeeze :
cp ./Desktop/fglrx/packages/Debian/dists/lenny/rules rules
cat ./rules | sed -e 's/^tdh_shlibdeps$/#tdh_shlibdeps/' > ./fglrx/packages/Debian/dists/lenny/rules

Note : Without this, when building packages, you will get an error that libatiuki.so.1 is missing. There is opinion that if you create a link to this library, everything will build without any problems. It didn’t work for me. There’s also a opinion that changing the environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH might help, but it didn’t work for me either.
Now you need to copy the required library to /usr/lib/:
For 32 bit :
cp ./fglrx/arch/x86/usr/lib/libatiuki.so.1.0 /usr/lib/libatiuki.so.1
For 64 bit :
cp ./fglrx/arch/x86_64/usr/lib64/libatiuki.so.1.0 /usr/lib/libatiuki.so.1
Preparation for assembly is complete.

Package assembly

You now need to install the following packages :
aptitude install debhelper module-assistant
Then module-assistant pulls up all the necessary packages, including the kernel sources :
module-assistant prepare
Also libqtcore4 is needed for the latest drivers. Next, the package build should go through without errors :
/ati-installer.sh 10.5 --buildpkg Debian/lenny
After that the packages should appear :

  • fglrx-amdcccle
  • fglrx-driver
  • fglrx-driver-dev
  • fglrx-kernel-src

You can install them like this :
dpkg --install —force-all *.deb
Note : there is also a gdebi utility that allows you to put packages with dependencies. I use dpkg out of habit.

Module assembly

Assembling a module in one command :
module-assistant auto-install fglrx
After rebooting we have :
Installing the ATI driver on Debian GNU/Linux


Writing from memory, the last time I installed Debian was a couple of months ago on a new ASUS K40AB laptop. The driver installation went fine using the described method, the recent radeonhd driver update caused a conflict, which was fixed in a couple of minutes. Tested installation on Debian lenny and squeeze on 32 and 64 bit systems.
P.S: I wrote from memory so there may be some mistakes, but the gist is this.

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