It was just a month ago that the open-source Avivo driver for the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) series was introduced to the public, but in this time we've seen some great progress made. This open-source R500 driver now contains RandR 1.2 support, support for a variety of R500 graphics cards, and most recently support for Shadow Framebuffer was added. The Avivo driver still isn't comparable when it comes to the features found in the fglrx driver or even the open-source Radeon driver for the R200/300/400 series, but it's a work in progress. If you are running into problems with the fglrx driver, stuck using the VESA driver for one reason or another, or just want to get rid of the binary blob and experiment with this open-source driver, we have written a guide for setting up the Avivo driver from source on Ubuntu.
To start with, the Avivo driver requires X server version 1.3. However, to get this version on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn you will either need to build it from source or just upgrade with packages from Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (or upgrade to a Tribe release). In this guide we had used an Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon daily build from July 14.
Once running Ubuntu with X server 1.3, there are several other packages that must be installed to acquire the latest Avivo source-code using git and then for building the driver itself. Once the Avivo driver is further down the road, there should be a repository where there will be driver packages available for Debian/Ubuntu (and ultimately integration within Ubuntu). When that time comes, you will not need to build the driver from source (unless feeling adventurous). Below are the packages that need to be installed aside from the standard packages on the Ubuntu CD.
sudo apt-get install build-essential git-core configure-debian automake autoconf xorg-dev libtool libpciaccess-dev
After git has been installed, the Avivo driver itself along with avivotool can be obtained. Avivotool is capable of providing debugging information, displaying Radeon registers, manually setting Radeon registers, and dumping and parsing BIOS tables.