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I've been having slowdowns in Ubuntu since upgrading to 12.04, sometimes even freezing and crashing my PC. I'm using an AMD Athlon II X2 with 3 GB ram, and an ATI Radeon HD 5670.

I've already installed the ATI drivers from their website but I'm not sure if it uses the driver. From system settings > details, it shows up as VESA - REDWOOD.

UPDATE: Here are the results of running 'glxinfo' and 'fglrxinfo'

server glx vendor string: ATI
server glx version string: 1.4

OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 5670

So, I suppose I have the ATI driver? But it still freezes or slows down occasionally, is anyone also experiencing this on Ubuntu 12.04 with ATI graphic cards?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It looks like your graphic card is running VESA wich maybe causin your problems.

You should reinstall the graphic card driver with 3D support.

Users with ATI cards have the following driver options:

  1. vesa - very basic, lacks 2D/3D acceleration, and focuses on compatibility with all VESA-compliant graphics cards.

  2. ati - actually a thin wrapper that will invoke the radeon driver (or another ati open-source driver for pre-Radeon cards).

  3. radeon - open source driver supporting all Radeon cards. This driver has excellent 2D acceleration and compatibility with the Linux graphics stack. 3D acceleration is sufficient for desktop effects and a nice set of native Linux games. Power management is now comparable to the Catalyst driver.


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install fglrx

  1. Catalyst (a.k.a fglrx) a proprietary "blob" (closed source binary) driver designed by ATI, with 3D code based off of their Windows driver. Only RadeonHD chips are supported on recent Linux distros.


sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 dh-modaliases

If you're running 64bit

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs


cd ~/; mkdir ATI; cd ATI/


sh ./ --buildpkg Ubuntu/precise

sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

sudo aticonfig --initial -f

Reboot and done.

Great info here.

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it looks like I actually have the ATI driver, I've updated the question. – mumble Jul 26 '12 at 9:22
I got my driver on the ATI driver page, and it gives me a few glitches and slowdowns. I'm actually not sure which I want to install. Do you recommend any one of them? I prefer one that will give me the most stable performance, I don't really mind if it's closed or open sourced. – mumble Jul 26 '12 at 9:30
I would recommend the method i indicated for the open source drivers – LnxSlck Jul 26 '12 at 10:23
I tried the open source drivers (from your instructions) and so far no problems (freeze or hang). I have one last question though, how do you update an open source driver? – mumble Jul 26 '12 at 11:53
Exactly the same way you update the others: sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade – LnxSlck Jul 26 '12 at 12:33

Have you tried the driver from Additional Drivers instead? This my run a bit better.

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yup, I've also tried using the additional drivers, but had similar results. – mumble Jul 26 '12 at 10:51

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