Ubuntu starts and runs with the open source driver, but once I go into Additional Drivers and activate the Fglrx or Fglrx-updates proprietary drivers and restart, after I login nothing in Ubuntu shows up... other then the water mark. It appears to break unity.

I have to reinstall ubuntu to get back to open-source, what is my next plan of action to get Catalyst to work?

V: 13.04 A: HD 5730 ATI

  • What release of Ubuntu are you using, what graphics adapter do you have? As it is this question cannot be answered. – Bruno Pereira May 7 '13 at 5:53
  • 13.04 and HD 5730 – jake May 7 '13 at 5:54

There seems to be lot of problems with proprietary drivers in Raring. It is a fresh release and not everything is always working as it should.

Make sure that you don't have proprietary and open source drivers installed at the same time. When you try different drivers, always keep track of which one is loaded. To do that you can use this command:

$ lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 vga

If you get into situation where something crashes and you will not be able to fix things by using graphical user interface you can still get to command line. Firstly you can try pressing Ctrl+Alt+F<1-6>( chose number between 1 and 6). Another option is to enter “recovery mode” at boot that also gives you access to command line. So maybe you don't have reinstall entire OS.

You get a list of installed packages with this:

$ dpkg --get-selections

When you remove a packages with apt-get use “purge”:

$ sudo apt-get purge <package-name>

Fglrx packages:

fglrx fglrx-amdccele

Fglrx-update packages:

fglrx-updates fglrx-amdcccle-updates

Open source driver packages:

xserver-xorg-video-ati xserver-xorg-video-radeon

To install a package use good old:

$ sudo apt-get install <package-name>

If you really want the benefits of the proprietary driver then you could also download proprietary drivers directly from amd support site.

Inside the zip-file there is a run-installer. I suggest you create deb-file from that (more details and tips here and here)as then the driver is easier to remove if it doesn't work. If you have to do it all from command line then these are the steps:

Download the driver:

$ wget http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/amd-catalyst-13.4-linux-x86.x86_64.zip

Unzip the driver:

$ unzip amd-catalyst-13.4-linux-x86.x86_64.zip

Make the file executable:

$ chmod +x amd-catalyst-13.4-linux-x86.x86_64.run

Create deb-file from the run-installer:

$ sudo ./amd-catalyst-13.4-linux-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/raring

This might give you an error as you might lack necessary packages. According to this site at least Precise needed these packages to be installed.

$ sudo apt-get install dh-make dh-modaliases execstack

Install the deb file (replace * sign with the real ending – to check the correct file name you can use ls -l command):

$ sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

If that also doesn't work I guess, you are stuck with open source drivers until problems get fixed. Also than when something is supposed to work but doesn't it is a bug and these only get fixed if bugs are reported. On reporting bugs see this. Always check that the bug has not been reported already but even if it has you should still click that you are been affected by the bug as it raises its importance.


in my experiece, do not install drivers using the additional drivers interface. use synaptic (not installed by default in recent ubuntu(s), or terminal.

use the x-swats or x.org edgers repositories. (u can google them to learn how to add them, but dont use both of them)

install the following packages

sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs dh-make dkms execstack dh-modaliases linux-headers-generic fakeroot libqtgui4 devscripts lib32gcc1

then do an update.

sudo apt-get update

then install the fglxr-updates pacakge.

u can use synaptic if u are not comfortable with terminal. and reboot.

  • u will also need gksu to be installed in order to use the catalyst control center in root mode. – mojo May 7 '13 at 11:12

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