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How can I switch between fglrx and ati (open source) drivers without uninstalling fglrx? The thing is I'm using FGLRX on a daily basis, because it's better for movies--OS driver displays annoying horizontal line while playing movies. FGLRX also does this, but it's less visible. That's only disadvantage of OS driver.

When I want to plug in external monitor with different resolution than my laptop's LCD I have to use open source driver, because FGLRX can't display two different resolutions at the same time.

I can uninstall FGLRX, but it's rather inconvenient to do this all the time. I've noticed that when I'm using FGLRX there is xorg.conf file and when I uninstall it, then the file is missing.

So my question is how to switch between them? It'll be perfect if I could do this without restarting my computer either.

I'm using Ubuntu 10.10, laptop/netbook MSI U250.

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In theory it's possible: first, you should modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf, I think you need to modify things in the "Device" section (well, Xorg nowdays works fine without xorg.conf, as you noted too, so the other solution is rename xorg.conf so X won't use it).

But it's only the half part of the story, the other part is the kernel driver. I would "blacklist" fglrx as a kernel module, so it won't be load, when you don't need it: /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

I don't have a setup for ATI card in this way, but I have similar for nvidia, to switch between nvidia's binary driver and nouveau (open source driver for nvidia cards).

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Unforunately you cannot switch between open and closed source graphic drivers as they need to install kernel modules.

If you need different settings you may consider a dual boot setup.

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Oh, why? Kernel modules can be loaded/removed run-time without reboot. Even you can blaklist them, so it won't be loaded even if it's there somewhere in /lib/modules/.... etc etc etc. – LGB Feb 12 '11 at 14:58

There is a really easy solution that should work with ATI :

You need to backup your /etc/X11/xorg.conf

After that, if you delete xorg.conf and restart you'll start on open source drivers, and if you restore it and restart you'll start on ATI Catalyst drivers.

The risk is minimal here but when dealing with xorg.conf make sure you know how to restore it in command line in case Xorg don't start

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