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ATI Linux Display Driver v8.14.13

Michael Larabel

Published on 9 June 2005
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 2 of 3 - Comment On This Article

After running ati-driver-installer-8.14.13.run in the terminal, the architecture and X server were detected. Once this information was displayed, the installer GUI appeared. The options available from the main installer dialog box were Install Driver and Generate Specific Driver Package. When selecting either option, the ATI License Agreement occurs where you can either agree or terminate the installation.

First taking the route of the Install Driver from the main menu, we were presented with an automatic or custom installation after accepting the agreement. If the automatic method is selected, the installer proceeds installing the drivers onto the system and performing all of the tasks in order to get ATI fglrx loaded on the system. Once complete, the installation completed window appears. If you take the route of a custom driver installation, all of the different driver components to install can be selected individually. The custom screen contains options for XFree86 4.1, XFree86 4.2, XFree86 4.3, and X.Org 6.8. The install options for each of the different X versions are display and OpenGL drivers, kernel module, and finally the control panel. After selecting these custom options, the installer proceeds just like the automatic method except it only installs the items that were checked. As with the automatic method, once complete the standard "Installation Completed" screen appears.



Rather than installing the stock ATI drivers, the new installer offers the option to generate distribution specific driver packages. Once that option is selected, a new page appears with the options for selecting the package generation. The options currently available here are for ATI and RedHat packages, with the sub-options being ATI/XFree86-4_1_X, ATI/XFree86-4_2_X, RedHat/RHEL 3, and RedHat/RHEL 4. Unfortunately, these available options for building distribution specific drivers are rather lax and we hope to see more distributions supported by these drivers in future revisions.


After the custom driver package options are selected, the packages are then generated. Once complete, the generated packages are placed in the current directory.

Overall, this intuitive installer interface is significantly improved over that of previous ATI drivers. However, there are still significant improvements to be made with this installer, such as the distributions supported for the package generation. After the drivers are installed, fglrxconfig still needs to run in order to properly configure the xorg.conf with the ATI drivers. Unfortunately, fglrxconfig still lacks a GUI or any improved options for making the X configuration easier.

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