Install AMD ATI proprietary fglrx driver in SolydXK Linux

SolydX is a Debian based distribution with the Xfce desktop. It intends to be as light-weight as possible without giving up any of the expected functionality.

  1. SolydX and SolydK are Debian based distributions with the Xfce and KDE desktop.
  2. SolydXK aims to be simple in use, providing an environment that is both stable and secure.
  3. SolydXK is an open source alternative for small businesses, non-profit organizations and home users.

My experience with SolydXK

I like XFCE desktop. I think I made it pretty clear in many of my previous posts. XFCE (or XFCE4) is lightweight, fast and simple. It is lightweight on system resources and when I use my Laptop, I prefer to use a lightweight distro. My primary OS is Kali Linux, but even with that, I always install XFCE (well my guides are all written in GNOME just because it makes readers slight less confused .. ermm.. ) but for personal use, I prefer XFCE.

SolydX is a Debian based lightweight distro that uses XFCE desktop. It is very slim and runs on lowest possible settings without compromising functionality. Solyd also got a KDE version namely Solydk.

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After installing SolydX the first thing I experienced is overheating CPU. I’ve had it with pretty much every Linux distro on my crappy laptop running AMD Radeon HD 7500 graphics card (I have an Intel/ATI hybrid card). So naturally, I went around looking for instructions on how to install AMD ATI proprietary fglrx driver in Solydxk Linux. Unfortunately, I found lots of forums post but not a good solution (as I say Step by Step solution).

So here I am again, writing a guide on how to install AMD ATI proprietary fglrx driver except this time, it is for Solydx Linux.

In this guide I will refer Solydx as SolydXK or vice-versa as this guide would apply to both SolydX and SolydK.

Step by step guide to install proprietary fglrx driver in SolydXK Linux

Following instructions were tested on 64-bit SolydXK Linux running kernel version 3.14-2-amd64 kernel. I did a fresh install and installed AMD driver’s first. Individual user experiences might be slightly different.

NOTE: I use Linux as root user, so you need to use sudo in-front of every command.

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Step 1 – Disable Plymouth on boot

I haven’t finished testing it yet, but most forums posts seems to indicate that you should disable Plymouth on boot. I will update this section soon.

To disable Plymouth

Go into your X/K menu -> System > Debian Plymouth Manager and then in Themes: Installed themes, choose No Plymouth Splash and Apply it.

Dunno why this took forever. I probably should find a command line alternative to make ti faster. (reason I say this, grub-update was faster and Debian Plymouth Manager seems to delay on that.)

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Step 2 – Install Linux headers and recommended dependencies

Install recommended headers and dependencies following recommended apps. The most important part is to add the correct headers.

root@solydmorex:~# apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree 
root@solydmorex:~# apt-get install amd-opencl-icd
root@solydmorex:~# apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Step 3 – Install fglrx driver, ATIeventsd, AMD Controller and DKMS modules

Almost done, just install fglrx drivers and control. The best part is that it’s all you need to do. Debian Jessie fixed the issues with fglrx and latest driver, so once you install these drivers, everything just works.

root@solydmorex:~# apt-get install fglrx-atieventsd fglrx-driver fglrx-control fglrx-modules-dkms

Step 4 – Test your installation and generate xorg.conf file

Now that our installation is all good and went without an error, we need to test fglrx and glx drivers. You can test fglrx and glx using the following few commands:

root@solydmorex:~# fglrxinfo

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root@solydmorex:~# fgl_glxgears

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root@solydmorex:~# glxgears

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root@solydmorex:~# glxheads

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root@solydmorex:~# glxinfo

You get the idea…

If everything worked well, you can generate xorg.conf file using the following command

root@solydmorex:~# aticonfig --initial -f 

xorg.conf file will be located at /etc/X11 folder. If you already had a xorg.conf, it will back it up.

Step 5 – Update grub.cfg file and reboot

Almost there. AMD cards needs the following parameters passed into grub.cfg during boot. Let’s do that: Edit the grub.cfg file:

root@solydmorex:~# mousepad /boot/grub/grub.cfg

you see this:

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
function gfxmode {
    set gfxpayload="${1}"
set linux_gfx_mode=
export linux_gfx_mode
menuentry 'SolydX 64-bit GNU/Linux' --class solydx --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-simple-3a6220c2-4c29-4fd0-ab45-5a1994aef870' {
    insmod gzio
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='hd0,msdos7'
    if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos7 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos7 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos7  3a6220c2-4c29-4fd0-ab45-5a1994aef870
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 3a6220c2-4c29-4fd0-ab45-5a1994aef870
    echo    'Loading Linux 3.14-2-amd64 ...'
    linux    /boot/vmlinuz-3.14-2-amd64 root=UUID=3a6220c2-4c29-4fd0-ab45-5a1994aef870 ro  quiet
    echo    'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    initrd    /boot/initrd.img-3.14-2-amd64

add radeon.dpm=1 radeon.modeset=0 in the end of the following line

linux    /boot/vmlinuz-3.14-2-amd64 root=UUID=3a6220c2-4c29-4fd0-ab45-5a1994aef870 ro  quiet

So the line above becomes this:

linux    /boot/vmlinuz-3.14-2-amd64 root=UUID=3a6220c2-4c29-4fd0-ab45-5a1994aef870 ro  quiet radeon.dpm=1 radeon.modeset=0

Note: 3a6220c2-4c29-4fd0-ab45-5a1994aef870 UUID would be different for every PC.

Don’t change that.

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Save and exit. Then reboot.

root@solydmorex:~# reboot

Once you reboot, your should be able to login in GUI and enjoy your AMD ATI proprietary driver (fglrx) in SolydXK Linux.

Step 6 – Run ATI Catalyst Control Center

You can run ATI Catalyst Control Center from Applications Menu > System > ATI Catalyst Control Center.

However, for the first time I would prefer to run it as root user.

root@solydmorex:~# sudo amdcccle &

Why, because we want to make a few changes so that it runs smoother. If you have a high end card you don’t have to worry about speed, you will worry about performance.

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I like going to PowerPlay and change everything for Performance. You decide what you want to do.


Thanks for reading. Hope this helps you with running AMD ATI proprietary driver fglrx in SolydXK Linux.

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