My computer at home is a bit lacking, so I want to make sure I'm getting the most out of it while I can. Generally speaking, here are the specs:

  • 4GB Memory
  • AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+ × 2
  • 64-bit Ubuntu

The terminal shows me the following:

me@home:~$ uname -a
Linux home 3.0.0-17-generic #30-Ubuntu SMP Thu Mar 8 20:45:39 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

me@home:~$ lspci | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV380 [Radeon X600 (PCIE)]

me@home:~$ sudo lshw -C video
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: RV380 [Radeon X600 (PCIE)]
       vendor: ATI Technologies Inc
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: 00
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm pciexpress msi vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=radeon latency=0
       resources: irq:44 memory:e0000000-efffffff ioport:ac00(size=256) memory:fdef0000-fdefffff memory:fdec0000-fdedffff
  *-display:1 UNCLAIMED
       description: Display controller
       product: RV380 [Radeon X600]
       vendor: ATI Technologies Inc
       physical id: 0.1
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.1
       version: 00
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm pciexpress bus_master cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: memory:fdee0000-fdeeffff

me@home:~$ lspci -nn | grep VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: ATI Technologies Inc RV380 [Radeon X600 (PCIE)] [1002:5b62]

The additional drivers menu in System Settings shows me nothing useful and my attempt at installing ATI's Catalyst Control center (drivers that came with the video card) failed. I believe the latest version of Ubuntu at the time was 9.x.

What should I do? Install an old version of Ubuntu 9? Use some alternative driver?

UPDATE: I might try my hand at a bit from this answer next: "Installing Catalyst Manually (from AMD/ATI's site)" . From a terminal, fgl_glxgears returns the following:

fgl_glxgears: command not found

UPDATE: Per @William's question, here is some additional output:

me@home:~$ sudo apt-get install fglrx
[sudo] password for blong: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  libkrb5-3:i386 libk5crypto3:i386 liblcms1:i386 libcupsimage2:i386
  libidn11:i386 xserver-xorg-video-r128-dbg libgnutls26:i386 libtasn1-3:i386
  libfreetype6:i386 libavahi-common-data:i386 libcups2:i386
  libkrb5support0:i386 libgcrypt11:i386 libkeyutils1:i386 libjasper1:i386
  libavahi-client3:i386 xserver-xorg-video-mach64-dbg libfontconfig1:i386
  libgssapi-krb5-2:i386 libavahi-common3:i386 libgpg-error0:i386
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following extra packages will be installed:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  fglrx fglrx-amdcccle
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/41.8 MB of archives.
After this operation, 130 MB of additional disk space will be used.

. Any thoughts?

  • sudo apt-get install fglrx. Do any errors occur, and if so what is the specific output? – William Apr 12 '12 at 23:48
  • @William I added the output from that command. Should I be using fglrx ? Think it's the best route to take with Ubuntu and this old ATI video card? – blong Apr 12 '12 at 23:59

Yes, you should definitely use fglrx if you want to maximise the potential of your graphics card. These proprietary drivers provided by AMD itself are the best route to take. There is an active debate over whether or not the open source or the proprietary drivers are better for proprietary cards. You can see a full comparison here, which lists some stats. Ultimately it's your decision, but I recommend the proprietary drivers.

  • Thanks for linking me to the article, I think I will try fglrx. Is there somewhere I can grab a free utility to compare the before and after FPS? – blong Apr 13 '12 at 0:34
  • You could always use the built-in GLX-gears, or you could try the game with FPS display here: happylinuxthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/11/… – William Apr 13 '12 at 0:35
  • Cool, thanks again. I'm going to do both (installing Nexuiz now) and report back with some stats! – blong Apr 13 '12 at 0:51
  • Okay, good luck! I would run the game before installing the package first so you have something to compare against. – William Apr 13 '12 at 0:52


sudo lspci -k

should list all your devices, drivers in use, and kernel modules available.

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