Friday, August 22, 2008

HowTo: New ATI cards/drivers and Compiz

There is a new Envy out, it fixes alot of problems with the ATI drivers, get it HERE!

This is how I installed the driver for my ATI HD2400Pro, others have used other methods including Envy, and had no issues, however, if you are having no luck with either Envy, or restricted drivers manager, then this may do the trick for you.
Ok, I have noticed a lot people having issues with getting the newer ATI cards to work with Mint (or Linux in general) so I decided to write another tutorial on how to get things running with the newest drivers from ATI
When you boot the live disk, if x fails to start, just wait for the command line to come up and enter this
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sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
that will allow you to configure the xorg file, all you want to change is the graphics card, select "vesa"driver, and "Genaric ATI card", then just follow the prompts throught the rest of it. At the end it will ask if you want to write the xorg.conf to file, select "yes" then enter
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*NOTE, DO NOT INSTALL THE ATI DRIVERS WHILE IN THE LIVE DISK, anything you do during the live disk in NOT saved after installing so installing the driver while in live mode will do nothing for the install *
Now you can run the install normally.
Once your system is installed you may get the "x failed to start" error mes again, (you may not, it may just give you some kind of garble, but I it has happened to me in other distros, so I thought I would give you warning) just do that same procedure as above, then once you are in the desktop follow the instructions from here follow the guide for
Method 2: Manual Method

You will notice that the guide says “Ubuntu Hardy”, that is correct, since Mint is so closely related to Ubuntu, you can follow almost any guide, or you use almost any repo that is valid for a Hardy install. (for all you new Linux users, note I said almost, some things are just not compatible)
Then reboot, you will have x now, but it will be a little slow and you will still not have any 3D effects, so there is a couple of more things you need to do to get things running properly.
First, once you’re back into your desktop open a terminal and enter
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sudo aticonfig --initial
this will auto configure your newly installed ATI drivers, then you need to edit your xorg.conf file, while still in the terminal enter
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sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
make sure when you type X11, you use a capitol "X", otherwise you will get a "no such file/directory" error, then you need to add the following to the bottom of your xorg.conf file, if it doesn't already exist
*NOTE, this is how I got my card to render the 3D effects, I have an ATI HD2400Pro, I will list another option for you to try if this messes something up, or things start to run slowly*
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Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Enable"

As the note says, if this slows you down too much, you can also do what others have done and enter
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Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "0"
and see if it helps

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