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ATI/AMD fglrx 8.821 Catalyst 11.2 available for openSUSE 11.2, 11.3, 11.4

February 19th, 2011 by

Updated : April 4th 2011

Preambule : free software


I would notice everybody which will install these software : you will install proprietary softwares on your computer. Nobody will be able to debug them, nor help you to resolve what can be happen. That must be said !

The free future

The real future is already in place : it’s called radeon (or free-radeon), it’s fully integrated in kernel & xorg. Actually ( for openSUSE 11.4, or openSUSE 11.3 with kernel-stable + X11 obs repo ). Support for many chipset is in real progress even for the 6xxx series.
Give it a try before using the proprietary software, report any bugs you find with it. Only your contributions can help and will make a real differences. Thanks for doing that !

Unofficial but working repository

I offer for those of you that for any reasons can’t use successfully the free-radeon drivers a repository where you will find the latest fglrx/catalyst drivers following the packaging policy made avalaible by AMD.
Thanks to Sebastian Siebert ( check his blog ) to work in coordination with ati/amd and follow the catalyst packaging. His work allow us to have that driver available for openSUSE.

The quick how-to

Adding the repository

For openSUSE Factory
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_Factory/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"
For openSUSE 11.4
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_11.4/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"
For openSUSE 11.3
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_11.3/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"
For openSUSE 11.2
zypper ar -c -f -n "ATI/AMD fglrx non-official" http://linux.ioda.net/mirror/ati/openSUSE_11.2/ "ATI/AMD FGLRX"

Installing the driver

Nota previous version

Due to change in ati/amd way of life, it’s recommanded to completely remove any version of fglrx previously installed with a zypper rm

I can only recommand to also (as root)

# Remove old conf & stuff
rm -fr /etc/ati
# Remove any old fglrx inside kernel modules
find /lib/modules -type f -iname "fglrx.ko" -exec rm -fv {} \;
New installation

Once the repo has been added, you will certainly have to reboot to get ride off free radeon module. At boot on the grub line add
nomodeset blacklist=radeon 3
Don’t panic you will be land to a console, open it with root account to install fglrx.
Search the software you want for example under openSUSE 11.4

zypper se -s fglrx
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...

S | Name                  | Type    | Version | Arch   | Repository
i | fglrx64_xpic_SUSE114  | package | 8.831-1 | x86_64 | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official  
  | fglrx64_xpic_SUSE114  | package | 8.821-1 | x86_64 | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official  
  | fglrx_xpic_SUSE114    | package | 8.831-1 | i586   | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official
  | fglrx_xpic_SUSE114    | package | 8.821-1 | i586   | ATI/AMD fglrx non-official

Starting with 8.821 (Catalyst 11.2) ATI use now xpic (full explanation)
So use that one. I’ve removed all non xpic drivers the 2 April 2011.

For a 64bits version
zypper in fglrx64_xpic_SUSE114
For a 32bits version
zypper in fglrx_xpic_SUSE114

During the installation process, all the dependencies will be added, which mostly are needed to build the kernel modules. Expect around 200MB to dowload.

Then the installer will build the module for your installed kernel.
And if there’s a kernel update, the script will automagically detect that, and will rebuild the module for the new kernel installed. (So if you find that your workstation is slow on reboot just press the esc key to see the details … )

Preparing xorg to use fglrx

Once the module is build and installed, you should have a file fglrx.conf or 50-fglrx.conf in /etc/modprobe.d

cat /etc/modprobe.d/50-fglrx.conf
blacklist radeon

Next ati recommend to use ati –initial-config but that break the auto-detect stack of xorg. So I recommend changing one line in file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf
just change driver line to driver “fglrx”
All the rest of the setup (double screen etc) will be made lately with the ati catalyst control center (command is amdcccle).
For those of you which want to have an xorg.conf file just have a look at aticonfig –help command.

Start X

If you are inside the console we start to use before just run “init 5” to start xorg, and normally you will find your normal xorg login screen (kdm, gdm, ldm, xdm).
Hit ctrl+alt+f1 to return to the console and type exit or logout or ctrl+d to close it.
then ctrl+alt+f7 to return to the xorg session.


ati/amd catalyst are release on a month basis, but this vary from 3 weeks to 8 weeks.

  • Catalyst 11.2 – fglx 8.821 : 14 February 2011


Sebastian Siebert blog ( German ) with nice howto and problem resolution.
My previous post on the subject

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

15 Responses to “ATI/AMD fglrx 8.821 Catalyst 11.2 available for openSUSE 11.2, 11.3, 11.4”

  1. Nelson Marques

    Wonderful job! I love FireGL 🙂

  2. In fglrx-kernel-build.sh You use:
    | KERNEL_LIST=”`rpm -q kernel kernel-desktop kernel-default kernel-pae | grep -v ‘not installed’ | sort`”
    Add in the beginning LANG=C for this query. Many users use other locale then en.

    • Hi Fisiu,

      thanks for reporting.

      I fixed this issue for different local language in the fglrx-kernel-build.sh. This will be included in ATI Catalyst 11.3.

      I have set this lines on the top of the script:
      export LC_ALL=C
      export LANG=C



  3. Chris

    Very nice article. However, how can users go back to radeon if fglrx doesn’t work for them?
    I was foolish enough to try this, and now x will not start — just a white screen.

    Thank you.

    • Simply remove this package which You just installed. This can be done via zypper or YaST. Fisrt start system in init 3 then remove fglrx package. To start system in init 3, append “3” to grub menu entry during start PC. System will run without X, login as root and provide password. Then remove driver with: zypper rm fglrx_xpic_SUSE113. Now reboot.

      • Chris

        You would think that by removing fglrx_xpic_SUSE11x one’s system would revert to the OSS driver, in my case radeon. That is not the case though. During boot I can see some fglrx[…] script still running. The machine boots too fast for me to see it and I cannot pause. I do not have an xorg.conf file, nor do I have an 50-fglrx.conf file. Also, 50-device.conf does not display fglrx. Something is still trying to load fglrx.

        On a personal note, I back up my system before I try any experimenting, especially with graphics drivers, so my system is fine now. I think others should be informed before trying this process.


        • By uninstalling the RPM the system should be back to radeon, nevertheless it’s always useful to rebuild mkinitrd to make sure.

          If radeon isn’t loading with the RPM uninstalled, you might want to check if /etc/modprobe.d/50-fglrx.conf exists and if it’s blacklisting the radeon module, which has happened to me in the past (not with this RPM though).

          Hope it helps.

        • Hi Chris, sorry to be long to answer, I was travelling to L.A.
          (A day that takes 35 hours 🙂

          The Nelson & Fisiu Comment should have resolved your trouble about how to get radeon back to your installation.

          The only last point the uninstaller would not touch, will be the 50-device.conf file (remember the line driver fglrx ?) remove it or comment it.
          So xorg at start will try all drivers it knows.

          After uninstalling and be sure, you didn’t get anymore the blacklist radeon line in /etc/modprode.d, and reboot in console.
          Have a look at /etc/sysconfig/kernel and check you don’t have that line in it
          NO_KMS_IN_INITRD=”yes” if you have, just comment it. This will allow the module to be build in initrd.

          Then rebuild the initrd with mkinitrd.

          • Chris

            I appreciate the replies.

            I hadn’t thought of initrd. None the less, I restored my machine so I cannot test initrd to see if that is where fglrx is being called. Clearly though, something is still looking for fglrx even after removing the package.

            Hopefully someone else will be helped by this article and the comments.

            Thank you.

  4. Mark Brazil

    hi Bruno/All,

    I have added the Tumbleweed repo and did the distribution upgrade.

    The kernel has upgraded to 2.6.38.

    Perhaps I was a little too quick, as all the fglrx drivers are for kernel 2.6.37.

    I was wondering is there a way to install fglrx catalyst with 2.6.38 ?


  5. Daniel Rehren

    Hi i just wanted to comment that AMD Catalyst 11.3 are ready, and they compile perfectly with kernel 2.6.38.

  6. Philip


    You have a typo in your remove command. It says ‘flgrx’ where it should say ‘fglrx’.
    Note the reversal of 2 letters!!