ATI drivers - resolution and black screen

Hello there,

This is my first post and I am new to linux. I decided to try it out and give openSUSE a shot, after some thinking of choosing the right distro.

I use a Dell laptop with ATI graphics, 15 inch screen and 1360x760 (or something) max resolution.

The problem is that I can’t choose a resolution bigger than 1024x768, I don’t know why. However, I figured out it might be the ATI drivers (I had another graphics problem installing another distro in the past). I went to openSUSE faq and followed the 1-click install of ATI drivers and rebooted. After that, when I choose Desktop to boot loader (normal boot I guess) I got a black screen instead, with laptop making some noise from inside. I noted that it said “vga=037” or something in boot options. When I try to login at safe mode, I log in normally but got “Unknown Monitor” in display options.

Any suggestions how to fix this? I am really pissed lol!

Good on ya for trying to update to the ATI proprietary graphic driver.

Unfortunately you were unlucky wrt your timing.

I suspect this is a known problem with the latest openSUSE kernel breaking the ATI proprietary Catalyst driver. There are various threads on this (with hack/patches to work around):

Good luck !

Very sad to hear that. Do you have any idea when should we expect a fix? Could it be in more than a month?

The problem is the kernel upstream was updated (without downstream consultation) to fix a security problem that broke the proprietary ATI driver and SuSE-GmbH applied that kernel fix downstream on the openSUSE distribution. Neither SuSE-GmbH, nor the kernel developers, will fix the proprietary driver. Its up to ATI.

ATI’s record for graphic driver updates is that they will come, but they come slowly. Once / month ATI typically produces a new update. That may or may not contain a fix. I would not hold my breath.

In the mean time, if you read the links I provided, you will read there are some work around fixes put together by the openSUSE community.

Old Cpu,
I am aware that ATI does a monthly driver update, but why do you have a doubt that it may not contain a fix? If this is a kernel issue why wouldn’t ATI update the driver as they are supporting Windows and Linux drivers? Would appreciate you shedding light on this.


I think ATI will update their driver for this specific problem eventually. But they likely have a list of bugs they are working on, and should they drop tools for everything and then try to address this ? Which is more important to them ?

They might.

The might not.

A driver update from ATI depends on all sorts of factors that I have no insight into, but I can say I have seen the ATI driver broken for many months at a time, when some Xorg update or kernel update has broken the proprietary ATI driver. This may or may not be any different. I have no insight, … I only have experience that these things can be quick or slow, and I can not predict them. And if I can’t predict reliably I won’t hold my breath.

… so that is all the light I have to shed.