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How to Install ATI Catalyst on Slackware Linux

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For the past few days I have been enjoying the power and stability of Slackware Linux. Coming from using Ubuntu as my primary system where everything was installed at the click of a button it took a little bit of tinkering to get my ATI Radeon HD 6450 graphics card to work. For these instructions I am going to use my specific graphics card as an example, but the process for installing the ATI catalyst is the same for all graphics cards. The first thing you need to do is download a copy of the latest driver from the ATI website:http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx. Follow the prompts to meet your particular needs:

NOTE: If you aren’t sure what exact ATI graphics card you have run the following command: lspci. Look for a line that looks something like this:

02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV730 PRO [Radeon HD 4650]

Obviously your entry will look different depending on what graphics card you have. The part in the brackets is all that we are really concerned about here. In order to compile the graphics driver you will need a copy of the Linux kernel source code in your /usr/src directory. Now that you have downloaded the file move it to the /usr/src directory. For me the command looks like this, but you may need to adjust it to fit your needs:

$cp /home/adam/Downloads/ati-driver-installer-10-12-x86.x86_64.run /usr/src

The rest of the install process will have to be carried out without running the X server. If you are like me and already have X setup to run automatically at boot time the easiest way to exit X is to simply enter Linux into run level 3. This is done simply by running this command:

$init 3

You will now be presented with nothing but a Linux command line. Log in as root and cd to the /usr/src directory:

$cd /usr/src

You may have noticed that the package downloaded from the ATI website is a .run file. In order to install the ATI catalyst we will need to convert it to a Slackware package. To do this we run the following command (again, adjust as needed):

$sh ati-driver-installer-10-12-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg

After this command is ran running ls *.tgz should output the following:

$ls *.tgz
fglrx-module-8.801-x86_64-1_kernel_2.6.33.4.tgz  fglrx-x750_64a-8.801-x86_64-1.tgz

Now we need to install the packages. This is achieved by running the following command:

$installpkg fglrx-module-8.801-x86_64-1_kernel_2.6.33.4.tgz fglrx-x750_64a-8.801-x86_64-1.tgz

After running this everything should be correctly installed, but there are still a few more steps in order to get everything working just right. First off, X needs to have some basic configuration performed. This is made easy by just running the ATI configuration script:

$aticonfig --initial

This should generate a file called amdpcsdb.default in the /etc/ati directory. You will need to run the following command so that the configuration can be used:

$cp /etc/ati/amdpcsdb.default /etc/ati/amdpcsdb

Now you need to actually unzip the module file. To do this run the following command (the path to the file may need to be adjusted depending on what kernel version you’re running):

$gunzip /lib/modules/2.6.33.4/external/fglrx.ko.z

Then finally run this command:

$depmod -a

You should now be able to reboot your system and boot up into X using the new graphics drivers. To test your install after rebooting run:

$fglrxinfo

The output should look something like this:

display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series
OpenGL version string: 3.3.10362 Compatibility Profile Context
0
0

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