Howto install ATI Display driver in Ubuntu

If you’re an owner of an ATI GPU, Ubuntu comes with a default driver for most (particularly the newer range of products).  However, this out of the box driver lacks many ATI_Catalyst_Driversfeatures that the standard flgrx driver package is capable of providing.
This driver is not included by default and to enable the advanced computing functions that your GPU supports, it has to be installed.


To begin, we need to check whether our GPU is supported by the driver. To do so, head to

If your system architecture is 64bit (x86_64), you need the ia32-libs package as well.

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Afterwards, we need to download the latest Catalyst release package from AMD.


Note: At the time of writing, 11.3 was the latest version available. You’re free to switch this number to otherwise to acquire newer releases.

It is a necessity to ensure that older radeon drivers and their config files are not left behind. Even if you are sure that you got rid of them, performing the following command is recommended:

sudo apt-get remove --purge xserver-xorg-video-radeon

Now we need to build out .deb pakage. This can be done with the following command.

sh --buildpkg Ubuntu/maverick

The Ubuntu/maverick part is your distro identifier and needs to be changed according to your own distro.
After that’s done, all that’s left is simply installing your .deb package.

sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

You might need to generate a newer version of your Xorg config file. There is no automated way of doing this, sadly. To begin, generate it with:

sudo aticonfig --initial -f

A very minimal config for an owner of the 5850 Radeon HD chip may be as follows:
Section “Device”
Identifier “ATI radeon 5850”
Driver “fglrx”

– If you own a dual gpu card, add the –adapter=all option to aticonfig.

sudo aticonfig --initial -f --adapter=all

– If you own a dual monitor setup, you need to use the commands below instead.

sudo aticonfig --initial -f
sudo aticonfig --set-pcs-str="DDX,EnableRandR12,FALSE"

After all that’s done, all that’s left is forcing the use of your new config.

sudo aticonfig --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf --tls=1

Afterwards reboot your computer. Then input the command below to check out that everything is running as they should.


A typical output should look like this:

display: :0.0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series (This line may be different depending on what graphics card you are using.)
OpenGL version string: 3.3.9901 Compatibility Profile Context (This line may be different depending on what graphics card and
Catalyst version you are using.)

Now, let’s try testing our gears settings.


If it hangs there, you need to disable your tls settings. This can be done with the following:

sudo aticonfig --tls=0

A tip:
Just in case if your desktop goes totally black thanks to some glitch, press this key combination.

Alt+PrntScr+r, Alt+PrntScr+s, Alt+PrntScr+e, Alt+PrntScr+i, Alt+PrntScr+n, Alt+PrntScr+u, Alt+PrntScr+b

It’s advised to write it down because you can’t really check anything if your screen does decide to go blank on you.

Well, that’s all there’s to it. Enjoy your new 3D accelerated setup.

Thanks again to Convexity for this post

  • http://enteryoursiteURL... alirezaimi

    Just install fglrx* packages.
    I test this way on Ubuntu 10.04 & 10.10 and mint 10 & LMDE ,only make problem on debian6!!
    For install enter in terminal :
    sudo apt-get install fgrlx*
    After install complete enter :
    sudo aticonfig –initial

  • Anon

    Thankyou, I always wanted to know the proper way to do this on an ATI card. Do I need to reinstall the deb after a kernel update?

  • mak

    YES reinstall after Kernel Upgrade

  • alirezaimi

    I don’t reinstall fglrx debs file after kernel update.

  • T Miller

    I am a little confused, what is the start point for a 32 bit system?

  • http://enteryoursiteURL... Kira

    it say :

    aticonfig: No supported adapters detected

    got ati radeon hd2300

    ubuntu maverick 10.10


  • tom

    My upgrade from 10.10 to 11.04 failed now I can’t access even access 10.10.
    I says S to skip or M to manually fix.
    I pressed M, it then says
    W: Not using locking for read only lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock
    E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘sudo dpkg –configure -a’ to correct the problem.

    Please help!

  • somebody

    Yeas.. what about 32 bit systems? jeez

  • Helge

    Many thanks, since I installed the 32 libs it works for me with Ubuntu 11.10 and the latest driver

  • Cesar Escalante

    Hi, I was looking at your post because i have an Ati mobility radeon HD 5650 and i download the drivers and follow all your steps but when get to the part ofgenerating a new version of the Xorg config file it says me this: aticonfig: No supported adapters detected

  • Xrhstos82

    this just means that you don’t have the requirements for the driverpackage try an other one.

  • Rob

    Thanks it worked like a charm!

  • Eric Garcia

    ok, when i try the first step this is what I get:
    Reading package lists… DoneBuilding dependency tree Reading state information… DonePackage ia32-libs is not available, but is referred to by another package.This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, oris only available from another source
    E: Package ‘ia32-libs’ has no installation candidate

    so what now?

  • scalfja

    Awesome post. Worked like a charm. Thanx

  • Julio Moreira

    Hi! A dumb question: What i should do if i already downloaded the driver package? Thanks in advance…

  • thomoturk

    I have the same

    “thomo@ubuntu:~$ sudo aticonfig –initial -f
    aticonfig: No supported adapters detected”
    I have the Radeon hd6510, I tried the drivers quoted & 12.10 version
    Pulling my hair out trying to get this sorted

  • Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette

    When I proceed, everything goes well until the “sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb”.
    When I enter it, it works a little then tells me
    “Errors have been encountered during the execution :

    Could it be due to my way to proceed during the previous steps? I entered sh –buildpkg Ubuntu/Maverick. I couldn’t replace “Ubuntu/Maverick” with only “Ubuntu” or “Ubuntu 12.10” (which is my distro).

  • craig stevens

    I think your distribution should look like this “Ubuntu/Quantal” if you are running 12.10

  • Narek Mart

    i am on ubuntu 12.10 , and i am experiencing such error what to do ?

    sh: 0: Can’t open

  • Ben Struthers

    Did you make the script executable?

  • Ben Struthers

    I always have to run

    sudo apt-get -f install

    a few times to get all my dependencies sorted out.

  • Ben Struthers

    Should be Ubuntu/quantal. Otherwise the script doesn’t see it as a supported distro

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  • Creson

    Sir, what if i have a hybrid Graphics card Intel HD 3000/ AMD HD 6400.
    which xorg initial code should i follow.
    is it the only –initial part
    or minimal configure part
    or dual GPU part
    or dual monitor part ?
    I can’t figure this out….
    Please help me …….

  • Pete

    The description is suiting to Ubuntu Precise but one step did not work for me: The packaging procedure. I did finally reached a result when sudoing the run script and followed the steps in the text user interface….before my screen and graphic cards problem was not vanishing…
    But anyway, thank you for your post!