Ubuntu 12.10 and AMD Catalyst problem (solved)

Many users when they wished to upgrade their Ubuntu 12.04 up to 12.10, they encountered a problem concerning their graphics. This problem appeared only to AMD Radeon GPU users and especially to those who had Radeon HD 4000,  HD 3000 or HD 2000 graphics card.

The root of the problem lies with AMD’s recent announcement which drops the support of these models. As result, after upgrading to Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal, the packaged version of fglrx is no longer functional, leaving the users with a bitter taste of a broken graphics environment.  In a matter of fact, this problem is not 100% percent related to Ubuntu 12.10, but it comes with the new version of xorg 1.13 that is included in Quantal.

According to AMD’s press release:

AMD has moved to the AMD Radeon™ HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series new driver support model.  These updates will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates. The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the AMD Radeon HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective.

So guys, if you own one of them . . . .

AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series
AMD Radeon HD 3000 Series
AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series
AMD Radeon HD Series AGP
AMD Mobility Radeon HD 4000 Series
AMD Mobility Radeon HD 3000 Series
AMD Mobility Radeon HD 2000 Series

. . . . you are going to use the Legacy driver which currently is Catalyst 12.6 Legacy

Simply put:

–  Ubuntu 12.04 + xorg 1.12 + fglrx = ok

–  Ubuntu 12.10 + xorg 1.13 + fglrx = fail ( even if you try to downgrade xorg down to 1.12 then you gonna break Unity)

solution: Ubuntu 12.10 + xorg 1.13 + legacy_fglrx

That has been told, you can either download the driver from AMD’s Official Website (click here) and then run the script

sh amd-driver-installer-12.6-legacy-x86.x86_64.run

instead of running the script you can build the packages as an alternative:

wget http://www2.ati.com/drivers/legacy/amd-driver-installer-12.6-legacy-x86.x86_64.zip
unzip amd-driver-installer-*
sudo sh ./amd-driver-installer-*.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/quantal
sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb
sudo aticonfig --initial -f

or use a 3rd-party repository created by Tomasz Makarewicz for this purpose only. (I personally recommend it)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:makson96/fglrx
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install fglrx-legacy

finally reboot your PC

However, if something doesn’t work out, you can always remove the repository and go back

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:makson96/fglrx