The Cube on an ATI-based machine


The Cube on an ATI machine, install and a new way to configure.

My first experience with openSUSE was a great one. I had the cube up and running within the blink of an eye, I only had to download an ATI driver (not the newest but a specific one), ignore the SaX message stating my card wasn’t compatible and switch to Xgl.

Now, several months later I do a kernel update, install new machines, and things are not that easy. Although we don’t use Xgl (ATI has AIGLX support) and we still don’t bother on the SaX messages, the cube does not install that easy with the new drivers and kernel.

So for all machines with ATI video cards (settings might be different in the xorg.conf), and one of these rules apply:

  1. If compiz manager crashes the window manager
  2. If certain software crashes the window manager
  3. If your stuck in Mesa-hell (fglrxinfo shows Mesa, rendering is very slow and xorg does not use the ATI drivers)
  4. Or if you want to do a fresh install and because of some kernel updates things might not work as expected(Skip the ruls that doe not apply)

So if you want to have the Cube on a ATI based machine, here’s a nice procedure that works for me every time.


  • Download the driver from (Catalyst version) (I did not get it to work with the 8.3 catalyst version) This driver is not faster than the legacy 8.42.3 or even the 8.40. The ATI repositories will show the de 8.452.1 (catalyst version 8.1) or 8.455.2 (catalyst version 8.2). The last one we need, but we need to download it manually to get the catalyst version. Like told, not faster but fast enough and stable!!.
  • Place the download in a folder and change it to executable: chmod +x
  • If you need to do kernel updates, do it now.(fglrx needs to be rebuild on every kernel update)This procedure works with
  • Make sure the following packages are installed:
  • 32bit vrsion
  • kernel-source
  • qt3
  • compat
  • compat-libstdc++
  • libstdc++
  • libstdc++-devel
  • libgcc
  • GCC
  • xorg-x11-libs
  • xorg-x11-devel
  • Mesa
  • Mesa-devel
  • fontconfig
  • fontconfig-devel
  • expat
  • freetype
  • freetype2
  • freetype2-devel
  • zlib
  • zlib-devel
  • 64bit version
  • Make sure the following 32bit packages and the 64bits versions from the 32bits section above are installed:
  • kernel-source
  • compat-32bit
  • qt3-32bit
  • libstdc++
  • libgcc
  • xorg-x11-libs-32bit
  • xorg-x11-devel-32bit
  • Mesa-32bit
  • Mesa-devel-32bit
  • fontconfig-32bit
  • expat-32bit
  • freetype2-32bit
  • zlib-32bit
  • Go into YAST and remove any installed fglrx driver (if any)
  • Reboot
  • Open a terminal and go to init 3. Login as root
  • Make a backup of xorg.conf (just in case. mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.old (a move ensures a fresh install).
  • Make a new xorg.conf with : sax2 -a
  • Start sax2 and safe the current configuration.
  • Install the driver without buildin the rpm ./
  • Follow the install procedure, this should run without any errors.
  • Update xorg.conf file using aticonfig –initial –input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf –force (!!!! The “-“signs are double ones with “initial: “input” and “force”)
  • Do not usesax2. It thinks there is an ATI monitorand a VESA FRAMEBUFFER video card


  • Reboot


  • Check if fglrx is listed during boot.
  • Open a terminal and use fglrxinfo to check wether the ATI card is displayed correctly.
  • OR use glxgears
  • OR use glxinfo:


  • glxinfo |grep ‘direct rendering’ should show:
    “direct rendering: Yes”


  • glxinfo |grep OpenGL should show:
    OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
    OpenGL renderer string: ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
    OpenGL version string: 2.1.7281 Release
    OpenGL extensions:


  • Now go for the AIGLX configuration (So no more gnome-xql-switch –enable-xgl)
  • Open /etc/X11/xorg.conf and change the following lines (everything marked #NEW):
Section “ServerFlags”
        Option “AllowMouseOpenFail” “on”
        Option “IgnoreABI” “on” #NEW
        Option “AIGLX” “true” #NEW
Section “Extensions #NEW
        Option “DAMAGE” “true” #NEW
        Option "RENDER" "true" #NEW
        Option “Composite” “enable”  #NEW(NO "true")

These settings depend on the card version. This works on the x1100 till x1800, for other cards please RTM

Section "Device"
	Identifier  "aticonfig-Device[0]"
	Driver      "fglrx"
	Option      "Capabilities" "0x00000000" #NEW
	Option      "VideoOverlay" "on" #NEW
	Option	    "OpenGLOverlay" "off" #NEW
	Option      "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "true" #NEW
	Option      "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true" #NEW
	Option      "RenderAccel" "true"#NEW

Section "Module"
	Load  "dbe"
	Load  "type1"
	Load  "freetype"
	Load  "extmod"
	Load  "glx"
	Load  "dri" #NEW
  • Save and reboot
  • Install compiz-fusion with the 1 click install (, if it is not there yet.
  • Follow the guideline to start compiz-fusion automaticaly (control center, sessions, add fusion-icon)
  • KDE : Open a terminal, mv /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/
  • Open /usr/lib/compiz-manager and add fglrx driver to the whitelist
  • WHITELIST=”fglrx nvidia intel ati radeon i810?
  • Reboot and ….! It works everytime for me.

Some other handy commands:

-sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx (Tell xorg to use the fglrx driver.
-/usr/share/ati/ (uninstall the driver, since we did not use yast.

Change Kernel modules:
sudo rmmod fglrx
cd /lib/modules/*/misc
sudo insmod fglrx.ko
modprobe fglrx

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