Switching from fglrx to radeon

Hi all,

I’ve been using fglrx since 11.3 came out, and I just upgraded to 11.4 today and noticed that my graphics card is now supported by the open-source radeon driver. I was trying to switch, but was never able to properly switch the driver and get radeon running. I’ve read many of the help pages, but still am unable to actually get radeon working.

Perhaps I’m missing something, such as not properly removing fglrx, but I’m not too sure. If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it.

My architecture is 64 bit. Please just ask for any other info you need to know.


What makes you think you have the proprietary fglrx driver installed ? Apologies if this is a silly question, but I’m not sure as you knowledge level. No insults intended - I’m simply trying to get more details.

To show what hardware one has, the following command is useful (just provide the line with VGA and then next 2 or 3 lines after that) :

/sbin/lspci -nnk 

To determine for certain what driver is in use, simply post in SUSE Paste the contents of the file /var/log/Xorg.0.log and post here the URL/website where the paste is located and one of our users can tell you what driver is in use.

Typically the “fglrx” proprietary ATI driver has “fglrx” in an rpm name. So by doing the following search one can tell if that driver’s rpm is installed on one’s system :

rpm -qa '*fglrx*' 

and if that indicates such an rpm is installed, then to remove the driver also remove that rpm. Note if one created an /etc/X11/xorg.conf or /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf file that points to the ‘fglrx’ driver, then that should also be edited.

There is some basic practical graphic card theory (for openSUSE) here: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

I haven’t gotten the radeon driver to work at all, so I installed fglrx 11.2 from amd’s website. And no offense taken, I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear in my first post, and it’d probably be best if you assume I’m not very knowledgeable anyways.

Here’s my specs:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: ATI Technologies Inc Redwood [Radeon HD 5670] [1002:68d8]
Subsystem: Hightech Information System Ltd. Device [1787:2294]
Kernel driver in use: fglrx_pci

I’ve read through your theory guide, and the wiki on troubleshooting video drivers, but I still can’t figure out what’s wrong. My best guess is there are some files somewhere that I can’t find and/or delete.

Make sure you don’t have any fglrx packages still installed with the rpm command oldcpu gave you. (Post the output if not sure of the results).

If you didn’t install via rpm, then the links in this thread may be helpful:

kde won’t start with radeon driver

When I remove fglrx, I automatically get FBDEV to run as the driver, even though radeon is specified. How do fix a file such as /etc/X11/xorg.conf or /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf, or any other such files which may be suppressing radeon?

deano_ferrari: The thing that confuses me about the links you posted, is that they involve using sax2. I’m under the impression that sax2 has not been used for several years…

It would be nice to be more precise, if possible. Typically there is a log file that provides very useful information. The file is called /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Open up that file with a text editor and copy and paste its content to the web site SUSE Paste and then post here the website-address/URL you are provided where that file contents is now located (on the web) and maybe we can provide an assessment as to whether other files are also suppressing the radeon driver.

Also, if you believe/suspect /etc/X11/xorg.conf is suppressing your desired driver, then copy the contents of that file to the web site SUSE Paste and then post here the website-address/URL you are provided where that file contents is now located (on the web) and maybe we can provide an assessment. Are you certain that file even exists ?

Also, if you believe/suspect /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf might be suppressing your desired driver, then copy the contents of that file to the web site SUSE Paste and then post here the website-address/URL you are provided where that file contents is now located (on the web) and maybe we can provide an assessment.

SUSE Paste

SUSE Paste

SUSE Paste

Also here’s a list of the files in /etc/X11 for kicks:
SUSE Paste

That shows the fglrx still loading.

That does not look like the xorg.conf file. It looks like the xorg.conf.install file. I recommend you rename that file to something like xorg.conf.install.back. Do not use an xorg.conf.

That has the radeon driver commented out. ie it is not doing anything.

That looks to be a real mess. Why not put those backup files somewhere else. Also, your xorg.conf looks strange. Do not even use an xorg.conf.

What is the output of:

rpm -qa '*fglrx*'

How do I rename/move/clean up the xorg.conf files and X11 folder?

Its up to you cause its your PC, but I find all those unused xorg.conf.something files highly confusing … they don’t do anything … and I doubt that you remember what the differences are and what each was for ?

Move xorg.conf.fglrx-1 to 13, and also xorg.conf.orginal-0 to 6 to somewhere under /home/yourusername.

If you read that practical theory guide (and I think you noted you did read it) then you hopefully recall you should not need an xorg.conf file in most cases.

I copied the files to a new folder, but I’m not sure how to properly delete them from X11. Also how do I rename xorg.conf to xorg.conf.initial.back?

To change anything in that directory you need to use root permissions. … Are you familiar with the concept of room (administrator) permissions ?

You could simply open a terminal and do this via a bash shell command. ie: assuming the files are already backed up, then in a terminal:

su -
rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf.fglrx-*
rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf.original-*

Note those deletions once deleted are gone and cannot be restored. so ensure you have a backup

Its important you have those commands exact. Do NOT make any mistakes. Also note Linux is case sensitive.

Ok, I removed fglrx again, rm the xorg.conf files you suggested, and after reboot my desktop is using FBDEV. How do I switch it to radeon?

Here’s my new Xorg.0.log:
SUSE Paste

More specifically, how do I activate radeon without using sax2 or a xorg.conf file?

Ok, I think I finally got radeon running, I just moved xorg.conf to xorg.conf.initial.back. My ATI HD 5670 is supported on radeon, but I still have no 3D rendering and the 2D is not very smooth. I still have not found a decent guide on how to fix this without using sax2 or xorg.conf editing (as I no longer have a xorg.conf file).

SUSE Paste

Linux opensource drivers tend to lag the proprietary Linux drivers by a couple of years. The Linux proprietary graphic drivers typically are significantly worse than the MS Window graphic drivers. This has been an irritant for many in the Linux community for years. Its quite possible the full support for your ATI HD 5670 is not there.

I don’t know if we have any experts on our forum who know details of the ATI HD 5670. You could ask on the Phoronix forum as often Linux graphic card enthusiasts hang out there.

Sax2 would not ‘fix this’. Thats why it was removed. It was causing seg faults and misconfiguring many old and new graphic cards. There were many many bug reports written on it. SuSE-GmbH noted they did NOT have the resources to maintain it, and they asked the openSUSE if the openSUSE community would take over the maintaince. The community in essence declined. So sax2 was dropped. Given it was already mostly non-functional, and given the massive changes taking place in X window and in gaphic cards, there has been no replacement. There is an openFATE submission requesting a replacement, but IMHO its not going to happen. There is no one person who can write this, and my view is it would take a project with help from many Linux distributions to create such a tool. But Linux is too fragmented with too many distributions ‘going their own way’ for that to happen. All IMHO.

I’ve had some problems uninstalling the proprietary driver… mainly what you need to check is the following:

/etc/modprobe.conf/fglrx.conf >> if it exists remove it. It blacklists radeon… so this something to look for in case by some strange reason it wasn’t removed by the uninstaller.
/etc/X11/xorg.conf >> check it out, if this file is the one generated by ‘aticonfig --initial’, you will have a problem. Just remove it and do ‘touch xorg.conf’ which will create a blank file.

Running ‘depmod -a’ after removing the FireGL is also cute and should be followed by ‘mkinitrd’ to rebuild you initrd.

In case you want KMS enabled, you should also check /etc/sysconfig/kernel file and make sure it’s enabled there… This happens you have a line like this:


That’s pretty much what I can remember that can trigger such issues.

oldcpu:Do you know where I would check for have full support? On the man radeon page, ATI HD 5670 is listed, and I don’t see anything about only partial support. I’ve checked online, and haven’t been able to find anything different officially. I’ll check the other forum though, thanks.

ketheriel: I’ve gotten rid of many files in my X11 folder, I can’t find any left from fglrx. There currently is no file named “xorg.conf” at all, and I do have radeon running now. Or when you say " you will have a problem" did you mean that it could affect direect rendering, etc? I’m also not sure what KMS is, but if I want better performance should I have NO_KMS_IN_INITRD set to “yes” or “no”? Sorry if I’m being a little pedantic, but I just want to make sure I understand you clearly.

The best place to check is the AMD site: AMD Graphics Drivers & Software

Another good forum to ask this question is phoronix: Phoronix Forums

Just for the record, this is basically what I’ve seen anywhere:

Officially Supported (Catalyst & Open Source)

The following hardware is supported by current releases of the Catalyst/fglrx driver. Open source drivers will work as well.

  • R600 Radeon HD 2900
  • RV610/RV630 Radeon HD 2400/2600, M71, M72, M74, M76
  • RV620 Radeon HD 3450/3470, M82
  • RV635 Radeon HD 3650/3670, M86
  • RV670 Radeon HD 3850/3870, M88
  • RS780 Radeon HD 3100/3200/3300
  • RS880 Radeon HD 4100/4200/4290
  • RV710 Radeon HD 4350/4550, M92
  • RV730 Radeon HD 4650/4670, M96
  • RV770 Radeon HD 4850/4870, M97, M98
  • CEDAR Radeon HD 5450
  • REDWOOD Radeon HD 5550/5570/5670
  • JUNIPER Radeon HD 5730/5750/5770
  • CYPRESS Radeon HD 5830/5850/5870
  • HEMLOCK Radeon HD 5970
  • PALM Radeon HD 6310/6250

From: Hardware - cchtml.com

I did start a thread at phoronix as well. Thanks for the tip. I just hope someone out there reads it and has a solution, otherwise it’s back to fglrx.