Howto Install ATI Drivers (Mesa 3D DRI Experimental) on Fedora 12 Linux

Fedora 13 Users check Fedora 13 ATI Drivers Guide »

Like all ATI and Fedora users probably already knows, currently AMD’s ATI Catalyst 10.2 proprietary Linux display drivers are not working on Fedora 12. That is why I decided to write this guide for those who are fighting with ATI drivers in Fedora.

As Fedora 12 release notes says: Improvements for graphics support – Introduces experimental 3D support for AMD Radeon HD 2400 and later graphics cards. To try it out, install the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package. Better support for systems with multiple monitors. So, fortunately, the development of Fedora 12 has already been taken into account, that ATI does not hardly any development to the Linux side drivers.

Change to root User


su -
## OR ##
sudo -i

Install Open Source Mesa 3D Drivers for ATI

Install Fedora 12 stable Mesa 3D Drivers version 7.7


yum install mesa-dri-drivers-experimental

Or if you dare, then try Rawhide (Fedora 13) unstable Mesa 3D drivers version 7.8
I can get better results with glxgears using Mesa 3D 7.8 version.


sudo yum --enablerepo=rawhide update mesa-dri-drivers-experimental mesa*

...
===============================================================================
 Package                          Arch    Version             Repository  Size
===============================================================================
Updating:
 mesa-dri-drivers                 i686    7.8-0.16.fc13       rawhide     10 M
 mesa-dri-drivers-experimental    i686    7.8-0.16.fc13       rawhide    2.2 M
 mesa-libGL                       i686    7.8-0.16.fc13       rawhide    152 k
 mesa-libGL-devel                 i686    7.8-0.16.fc13       rawhide    479 k
 mesa-libGLU                      i686    7.8-0.16.fc13       rawhide    187 k
 mesa-libGLU-devel                i686    7.8-0.16.fc13       rawhide    110 k

Transaction Summary
===============================================================================
Install       0 Package(s)
Upgrade       6 Package(s)
...

Configure Xorg (xorg.conf)

If you do not need any special settings for xorg.conf file, then configuration is very easy, just remove the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and reboot the machine. Then xorg.conf is generated automatically.


mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

reboot

If you need some special settings for xorg.conf file, then configuration is very easy too, just add radeon driver to /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and reboot the machine.


## Add driver radeon to device section ##
Section "Device"
        ...
        Driver      "radeon"
        ...
EndSection

## and then reboot ##
reboot

Verify that the Mesa 3D Drivers are used and Direct Rendering is working


glxinfo |grep -i "\(render\|opengl\)"

direct rendering: Yes
OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R600 (RV635 9598) 20090101  TCL DRI2
OpenGL version string: 2.0 Mesa 7.8-devel
OpenGL shading language version string: 1.10
OpenGL extensions:

Important rows, should look following:

direct rendering: Yes
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R600 (RV635 9598) 20090101 TCL DRI2
OpenGL version string: 2.0 Mesa 7.8-devel

I have used Mesa 3D experimental drivers for a while with ATI Radeon HD 3650 Graphic Card and they seem to work nicely with KDE Kwin desktop effects and dual monitor.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you encounter problems with the Mesa 3D drivers or get the AMD’s ATI Catalyst proprietary drivers to work in Fedora 12.

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