SUSE ATI OpenGL Video Driver Installation



The ATI Linux driver
installation instructions on the ATI website didn’t work too well for
me, nor did it report on the errors that occurred during
installation. I also found the installation instructions to be more
complex then they needed to be and all the required packages listed
were for a Red Hat distro…not SUSE.


Installation Procedure

The following procedure is
for creating and installing the ATI driver package:

  1. Be sure to install
    all of the required Linux Packages.

  2. Download the “ATI
    Driver Installer
    “, as outlined in the Environment Factors

  3. At a Shell/Terminal
    prompt, switch to user root using
    the ‘sux –‘ command.

  4. Change (cd) to the
    directory where you downloaded the “ATI Proprietary Linux
    x86_64 Display Driver for XFree86 / X.Org
    ” file named

  5. Execute the ATI installer by typing
    ./” at the shell

  6. The installer will now verify it’s integrity and detect
    your system environment. Once it has completed these tasks, it will
    present you with the initial Setup window where you will
    select “Generate Distribution Specific Driver Package
    and click the Continue button.

  7. Read and Agree to the License Agreement.

  8. You’ll then be presented with a list of Options.
    Click the “SUSE Packages” button and select your O/S
    version. For me that was “SUSE/SUSE100-AMD64“.

  9. Click the Continue button and wait for it to
    generate and save your custom package.

  10. Ignore the part about running the “aticonfig” tool
    and click the Exit button.

  11. In the same directory, you should now have a new RPM
    that starts with the name “fglrx“. That is the package
    you will now use to install the driver.

  12. Just to be on the safe side, check the
    /usr/share/fglrx/fglrx-install.log” file for errors that
    may have occurred during the package creation. Resolve any errors
    before continuing. (See the Examples section of a screen shot
    of a cleaninstall.)

  13. Hold down the following three keys to switch to “tty1“:
    CTRL – ALT – F1

  14. Log in as “root” and switch to runlevel 3
    (multi-user mode – no GUI) using the ‘init 3‘ command.

  15. Change (cd) to the directory where your newly generated
    fglrx” package was saved.

  16. Type ‘rpm -Uvh fglrx~~~~.rpm‘, where
    ~~~~‘ is the remainder of the package name. In my
    case that would be: fglrx64_6_8_0_SUSE100-8.23.7-1.x86_64.rpm
    (Note: remember all Linux commands are case-sensitive.
    That is a capital “U” and small “v” and small
    h” after “rpm“.)

  17. If all goes well the package should install without a
    hitch! Now run the Sax2 program to configure the driver with the
    following command (all lower case – that’s a zero after the
    sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx -b

  18. In a few seconds the SaX2 configuration screen
    should open. Click the “Change Configuration” button and
    make any changes you need to do (i.e. resolution, colors, etc.) and
    click the “OK” button. Be sure to “Test” any
    changes before saving them! (Note: It’s normal if the “3D
    symbol in the centre has a red line through it…no need to
    worry…we’ll check the 3D stuff momentarily.)

  19. After you’ve adjusted things, click the “Save
    button and click “Yes” to close SaX2.

  20. Reboot the computer by issuing an ‘init 6
    command. (Note: For me, sometimes the screen will turn to a
    grey or off-white colour when exiting SaX2. I don’t know why
    it does that, a simple CTRL – ALT – DEL (three finger
    salute), which reboots the computer, fixes it.)

  21. It’s now time to determine if the ATI OpenGL rendering
    engine is being used: after the reboot, log in normally and at a
    Terminal prompt issue the following command: fglrxinfo

  22. The output should be “OpenGL vendor string: ATI
    Technologies Inc.
    ” (See the ‘Examples‘ section for a
    screen shot of the output.) If it reads “OpenGL vendor string:
    Mesa project:“,
    or anything other then ATI see the Troubleshooting and
    section below.

  23. That’s it! You are all done!

Troubleshooting and Testing

following are steps to follow in order to troubleshoot and test your
ATI OpenGL driver installation. Also, many
Kernel updates tend to kick out the ATI modules, so you will need to
perform these steps to reinstate the OpenGL drivers.

  1. In
    a Terminal window, enter the following command: fglrxinfo

  2. The output should say
    OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.” If it reads
    OpenGL vendor string: Mesa project:“,
    or anything other then “ATI” perform the following:

    1. Hold down the following
      three keys to switch to “tty1“: CTRL – ALT – F1

    2. Log in as “root
      and switch to runlevel 3 (multi-user mode – no GUI) using the
      init 3‘ command.

    3. Now we need to ensure
      the kernel modules are in place: at the command prompt type:

    4. Note and resolve any
      errors. Usually problems occur if you don’t have the proper
      packages installed. See the “Linux Packages” section
      under the “Environment Factors” heading.

    5. Now run the Sax2
      program to configure the driver with the following command (all
      lower case – that’s a zero after the “-m“):
      sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx -b /usr/share/doc/packages/fglrx/sax2-profile

    6. Make any required
      changes (see the “Installation Procedure” section for
      more detail) and save and exit Sax2.

    7. Reboot using the ‘init
      ‘ command and login as normal (as a user not “root“)

    8. Try the ‘fglrxinfo
      command once more to see the output. Hopefully it reads “ATI“.
      If not, you may either try reinstalling from scratch, or do some
      forum surfing for some help.

  3. When the OpenGL vendor
    string says “ATI“, in a Terminal window execute the
    following command: glxgears (A simple OpenGL program that
    reports back the FPS rating to the Terminal window that spawned it.
    In my case I reached close to 3000 FPS! 🙂

  4. Another
    test is the OpenGL screensaver called “
    by Jamie Zawinski. This screensaver comes standard with SUSE Linux
    and is provided by the ‘

Environment Factors:

Linux Packages

The following Linux
packages are required in order to ensure a successful installation:


Required Packages

All Systems

Additionally Required on

64 Bit system

The Linux kernel sources.


QT libraries



The standard C++ library packages

compat / compat-libstdc++ / libstdc++ /


C complier runtime library


X.Org libraries

xorg-x11-devel / xorg-x11-libs

xorg-x11-devel-32bit / xorg-x11-libs-32bit

OpenGL program support

xorg-x11-Mesa / xorg-x11-Mesa-devel

xorg-x11-Mesa-32bit / xorg-x11-Mesa-devel-32bit

Font rendering subsystem

fontconfig / fontconfig-devel


XML Parser Toolkit



TrueType Font Engine

freetype / freetype2 / freetype2-devel


Data Compression Library

zlib / zlib-devel


ATI Driver

You’ll need to visit the
ATI Support Website (
and download the “ATI Proprietary Linux x86_64 Display Driver
for XFree86 / X.Org
“. Be sure to grab the full “ATI
Driver Installer
” version. At the time of this writing it was
version 8.24.8 at approximately 27-32 mega-bytes in size, depending
on the processor type. Once you download the file, as user root,
make sure you run the ‘chmod 755
‘ (where ‘x
is the version and ‘y‘ is the processor type) command
to convert it to an executable, to be run during the installation

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