failing like never before


Fglrx Driver Issues

My greatest regret is that I ever bought an ATI graphics card. Back when I was young, carefree, and ignorant of the Linux way, I built my first computer. At the time, an ATI Radeon X800xl seemed liked a solid graphics card; decent performance at a decent price. But a few months after I assembled my computer, I learned about Linux and decided to try it out. I got a a Mandriva CD from a friend, and tried to install it on my spare partition. The installation itself went perfectly fine but when I tried to start X, I found it wouldn't start because of my ATI graphics card. I ended up blundering around a bit and trying to install ATI's proprietary fglrx drivers, to no avail. Eventually, I ended up dumping Mandriva and trying out Fedora Core because I had been told that Fedora had better hardware support.

Fedora ended up working right out of the box for me, and I even managed to get Beryl running after a while. Over the past few years, I've tried out quite a few different Linux distros. Most have been able to get my graphics card configured for me and the rest I've been able to fix with a little tweaking. The Linux Vesa drivers are nowhere near as good as ATI's fglrx drivers, which is why I've always just used fglrx whenever possible.

About a month ago I installed Debian Lenny on my computer. Debian, unlike Ubuntu or Fedora, requires a stronger knowledge of Linux since it doesn't auto-configure everything for the user. So I was pretty much expecting to get an error the first time I tried to start X, and of course I did. As soon as I got the error, I fetched the fglrx driver from ATI/AMD's site and installed it. After that everything seemed to be working fine. Until I tried to open a virtual console and everything went black.