Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I installed a ppc port of Ubuntu 10.10 on my rather old eMac (G4, 1.25 GHz). So far i have a good impression so far, but the graphics don't seem to be really supported out of the box although there is a driver preinstalled i guess.

Is there a way i can accelerate my Radeon 9200? When i move a window it has a trace and things get slow when there are other windows running in the background. Besides i can get no fancy but useful effects like dropshadows and transparency. Not very sexy :(

Im not a very experienced Linux User, so if you want me to provide some more information about the output of some commands (...i don't know yet) please let me know.

Hope you can help me, thx in advance.

share|improve this question
you could drop it =) – steabert Mar 27 '11 at 18:48
im really thinking about trying out linux, but however for now i want to leave that crappy card in my old emac and live without it, because soon i will have a new machine anyway :P – Julian Weimer Mar 28 '11 at 19:11
but hey, im not a fan of throwing things away. Linux would be a good way of keeping my mac up to date. It would be cool to know a solution for running Ubuntu on it successfully :) – Julian Weimer Mar 28 '11 at 19:15
up vote 1 down vote accepted

As user13178 says, that card is no longer supported by ATI/AMD. Plus, the ppc ubuntu port is community supported, and you are unlikely to find working drivers. I suggest getting a modern system ;).

share|improve this answer
not before i really can say it isn't possible to win ;) – Julian Weimer Mar 28 '11 at 22:35
@JulianWeimer: I'm not sure I understand :P – RolandiXor Mar 28 '11 at 23:23
I think it is time to give up. Although i think it should be somehow possible to fix that, i don't want to spend more time on this. – Julian Weimer Mar 29 '11 at 13:59
@JulianWeimer: it's not impossible, but it would be close ;) – RolandiXor Mar 29 '11 at 15:12

ATI dropped support for that video card years ago, leaving the open source driver as the only option for older ATI hardware. If you really get that bad performance with the default Ubuntu driver, you might want to try the latest xorg (the basis of displaying graphical stuff in Linux, including drivers) from this package repository. The software is not stable though, so there's always the chance it doesn't work at all and gives you a black screen. And I have no idea if they provide packages for PPC, but you can try.

So if you're willing to risk it you can try the driver by typing the following commands in terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal):

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Then reboot and hope for the best.

If things go wrong but you still have a somehow usable system, you can revert back to the safe driver with:

sudo ppa-purge xorg-edgers

Good luck!

share|improve this answer
hm although after a fresh install it was a long process to update all components while using this new repository as an additional resource, i tried it... but finally it wasn't successful because they don't seem to really care about my hardware :( in other words there was no change at all – Julian Weimer Mar 28 '11 at 22:28
i researched a little bit and heard myths about generating a X11.conf file and tweaking it a little bit, maybe you know more about this than me... – Julian Weimer Mar 28 '11 at 22:31
xorg-edgers has PPC packages but not all of them. – Broam Apr 11 '11 at 16:25

You can first read these instructions

If you say the "Additional Drivers" list is empty, maybe your card is unsupported? They provide a link to this AMD website where you can check that. If it is supported, you might try installing fglrx in the terminal like so:

$ sudo aptitude update
$ sudo aptitude install fglrx

Then the command fglrxinfo tells you if it worked.

share|improve this answer
i checked out your tip and the instructions you gave, but had bad luck as i found out that there is no ppc version of it. It just seems to be a good solution for standart x86 machines. – Julian Weimer Mar 28 '11 at 19:08
@Julian Weimer: sorry to hear that. Can you turn off all 3D acceleration so that you have a smooth 2D experience? – steabert Mar 28 '11 at 19:14
how do i do that? – Julian Weimer Mar 28 '11 at 22:45
@JulianWeimer: you don't! fglrx doesn't work with this driver. – RolandiXor Mar 28 '11 at 23:24
I meant: if you have problems with the current driver, you could switch to the vesa driver, but that has no acceleration. – steabert Mar 29 '11 at 4:54

As user13178 says, that card is no longer supported by ATI/AMD. Plus, the ppc ubuntu port is community supported, and you are unlikely to find working drivers. I suggest getting a modern system ;).

share|improve this answer

If you find that your display becomes very slow, and you own ATI Radeon, all you need to do is to put this line in the Device section of your xorg.conf:

Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"

After that, your display should return to the normal speed, and X server will stop burning CPU cycles during such simple tasks like moving windows or switching workspaces.

This is my whole xorg.conf Device section, with some other tuneups which you might find useful (depending on your card):

Section "Device" Identifier "ATI Radeon" Driver "ati" Option "AccelMethod" "EXA" Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy" Option "AccelDFS" "true" Option "EnablePageFlip" "true" Option "EnableDepthMoves" "true" EndSection

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.