Archive:SDB:ATI troubleshooting

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This article will help you in troubleshooting your ATI graphics card when things don't go as expected.
Warning: This article is quite old and mostly obsolete; a new guide is currently being rewritten/revised. In the meantime, follow the advice in this guide at your own risk.

AMD portal edit

AMD Hardware


  • Open source:
  • Proprietary:
AMD fglrx


Keep in mind that as of openSUSE 11.2, SaX2 was removed from YaST, but you can still bring it up via the command line.

Enable FGLRX

If you have a Radeon HD 2000 series or higher, your performance will most likely benefit from running the proprietary fglrx driver. If, after rebooting, fglrx doesn't seem to be enabled, try running the aticonfig tool manually.

aticonfig --initial

In case your display manager does not start, so while booting you only get the terminal mode logon prompt, this most likely is caused by a failure to start the X-server. So you logon as root and look at the end of /var/log/Xorg.o.log.

In case you see:

(WW) fglrx: No matching Device section for instance (BusID PCI:0@5:0:0) found
(EE) No devices detected.

there is something wrong in the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf There should be only one section ServerLayout, Monitor, Device and Screen. If there are more equal sections, pick one and delete the other(s). Especially the Device section requires attention and pick the one that corresponds with the device that you see using the command

# lspci

If the output is:

05:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV770 [Radeon HD 4850]

the corresponding line in the Device section should be:

      BusID       "PCI:5:0:0"

If sax2 freezes or goes blank, or you got Mesa in the OpenGL vendor string follow these steps:

Ensure you have upgraded to libdrm version 2.3 --StephaneZ 18:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

First of all check your sax log located in /var/log/SaX.log to see what errors happened that incurred a black screen of death.

Also look in the Xorg log files for errors concerning the fglrx module in /var/log/Xorg.0.log

    >cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep "(EE)"

Troubleshooting - Step 1

Get into runlevel 3 and run the following:

   # cd /usr/src/linux
   # make mrproper
   # make cloneconfig
   # make modules_prepare
   # make clean

Remove previous drivers properly by executing the command:

   # rpm -e $(rpm -qa | grep fglrx)

Troubleshooting - Step 2

Reinstall the driver again running:

   # rpm -Uvh --force fgl*.rpm

Troubleshooting - Step 3

Use ldconfig and aticonfig to setup xorg.conf by running:

   # ldconfig
   # aticonfig --initial --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf

And then check Other important Settings in the xorg.conf

After your run these two commands reboot back into Runlevel 3. You can accomplish this from the boot menu by typing init 3 after the command: prompt

Troubleshooting - Step 4

Now we need to ensure the kernel modules are in place. If not you would e.g. get the following in your /var/log/Xorg.0.log:

(EE) fglrx(0): atiddxDriScreenInit failed, GPS not been initialized.

So to install the modules type:


It will tell you what is missing, e.g. the make package which you can install via sudo zypper in make.

Followed by:

   # sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx -b /usr/share/doc/packages/fglrx/sax2-profile

If that didn't work for you, use this:

   # sax2 -r -m 0=fglrx

Attention: If sax2 is still causing blank screens and lockups update sax2 to the latest version from the repository below and then try to run sax2 again.

Note: You may need to reboot for changes to take effect.

   type: http
   directory: /pub/suse/suse/update/10.2

Reboot the machine and hopefully your back on track. Check by using the Testing section of this tuturial.

If sax2 fails when loading screen or opening test-screen, and you have "PreInitDAL failed" in the sax.log file, then check PreInitDAL failed Problem

Troubleshooting - More

More ATI driver troubleshooting steps taken from the removed ATI Driver page:

--Nick 21:30, 12 April 2007

3D will not work, even though fglrx is being loaded

Symptoms: When starting the test server in sax2, it crashes and the log contains Error: No screens found

This problem is caused by an incompatibility between the OSS Radeon driver and fglrx. Run:

$ lsmod | grep radeon

followed by

$ lsmod | grep fglrx

If both kernel modules are loaded, you'll need to remove the radeon module first with

# modprobe -r radeon

Then, reboot your system.

3D will not work for non-privileged user but works for root

The problem happened to me with fglrx 8.36.5-1.i386 fresh SUSE10.2 installation on a ATI Radeon X1300

For bash users:

LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose glxinfo

look for error like

undefined symbol: __glXFindDRIScreen

Remove the* files from /usr/lib and replace them by sym links from /usr/X11R6/lib

# ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib/
# ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib/
# ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib/

You might have to enable POSIX shared memory also.

[fglrx] API ERROR: could not register entrypoint for...


Replace the original in /usr/X11R6/lib

[fgl_glxgears] Reports "Permission denied" when running as non-privileged user

Issue: The following output is generated when running as non-privileged user:

# fgl_glxgears
Using GLX_SGIX_pbuffer
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)

Resolution: Enable POSIX shared memory.

Try adding the following to /etc/fstab:

tmpfs                /dev/shm             tmpfs      defaults              0 0

Then mount is using:

# mount /dev/shm

Note: This line may appear different then the other lines, but is in the right order.

--StephaneZ 18:33, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Video Output Driver Xv Fails to play Video

There are a few causes of this ranging from ATI's driver to running Xgl vice Xorg

Solution: use the Video Output driver gl2.

$ mplayer -vo gl2 <file>
$ echo "vo_driver = \"gl2\"" >> .mplayer/gui.conf
$ echo "video.driver:opengl" >> .xine/config

AIGLX error __driCreateNewScreen

ATI's Driver does not support AIGLX (unless you have an older ATI card pre-r300) at this time so stick to Xorg or Xgl. This will be removed once ATI decides to start supporting it.

If you get a error in Xorg.0.log that looks like

(EE) AIGLX error: dlsym for __driCreateNewScreen_20050727 failed (/usr/lib/dri/ undefined symbol: __driCreateNewScreen_20050727)
(EE) AIGLX: reverting to software rendering

The solution is to type this in /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "ServerFlags"
   Option "AIGLX" "off"


cp: missing destination file operand

When you run:

# ./ –buildpkg SuSE/SUSE100-IA32

you may get a message starting with:

cp: missing destination file operand after

You need to set LC_ALL=C before the command to solve the problem

# LC_ALL=C ./ –buildpkg SuSE/SUSE100-IA32

White screen after login

Be sure that you have PCI: prepended to the BusID string in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. For example:

Section "Device"
       Identifier  "Device[0]"
       Driver      "fglrx"
       BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"

Note: This issue has been fixed with release 8.455.2, build date February 1, 2008.

2D Slow

If you don't use compiz, but your system is sluggish (e.g when loading pages in Firefox X maxes out your CPU) try adding Option "XaaNoOffscreenPixmaps" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. For example: For example:

Section "Device"
       Identifier  "Device[0]"
       Driver      "fglrx"
       BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
       Option      "XaaNoOffscreenPixmaps"


If fglrx is still not working, set the AGP aperture Size in the BIOS to the size of the physical card memory.

Choppy/Poor Video Performance in applications

Bug #463433

This has been seen on ATI RV250 (Radeon 9000 / M9) video card using default installed Radeon module OpenSUSE 11.1. Possibly because the video card has low memory (32meg). When playing any videos in Firefox and also noticed in UrbanTerror, the video is choppy, sluggish, and just plain bad. There is a simple solution, comment out all the lines in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf (should be 4) from:

     "Virtual 3840 1200"


     "#Virtual 3840 1200"

restart X. Enjoy your application.

ATI Mobility RADEON HD 4500 series and black screen

The Mobility RADEON 4500 series has no drivers for Linux from ATI until the moment. Following the instructions in SDB:ATI#The_repository_way the X server may not start correctly, presenting only a black screen.

It is possible to make it work disabling framebuffer in cosole, as explained in SDB:ATI/The_Hard_Way#Attention:.

More Installation Help

  • ATI Installer HOWTO Alternative instructions to install and configure the ATI, once it was official, now can be good additional resource.
  • After installing the rpm, see the README.SUSE file in /usr/share/doc/packages/fglrx/

Reporting Bugs