Compiz Fusion with ATI Radeon X800 GTO on Ubuntu Gusty

After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, I have finally gotten Compiz Fusion to run after upgrading to Ubuntu 7.10, and it looks very sharp.


Compiz Fusion running on Ubuntu 7.10 with XGL.

As anyone else who owns an ATI card can attest, getting OpenGL working in Ubuntu is often no small task. After the initial upgrade to 7.10, I was not surprised to find that Ubuntu was using the Vesa (2d) graphics drivers. My first thought was to try using the proprietary drivers manager version of the ATI drivers, xorg-driver-fglrx (ATI’s non-open-source 3d drivers for linux). This is the version of the driver that is installed if you click “enable” in Ubuntu’s proprietary drivers manager. After enabling the drivers, and playing around with xorg.conf settings some, I still was having no luck getting OpenGL working and was getting the standard error messages:

ubuntu-desktop:~$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: Mesa project: http://www.mesa3d.org
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa GLX Indirect
OpenGL version string: 1.2 (1.5 Mesa 6.4.1)

At this point I decided to try the new 8.42.3 ATI drivers which are purported to support AIGLX, and thus should be able to work without XGL. Following a guide I found on via the forums, I was able to install the 8.42.3 drivers without too much trouble. Unfortunately however, I still had no luck getting OpenGL to work. I tried several combinations of xorg.conf settings, switching Composition and AIGLX on and off, but to no avail.

So I decided to uninstall the new driver, and wait and pray that when the newer drivers were uploaded to the main repos, it would work for me. By a stroke of luck however, I noticed that after removing the new driver, and reloading the default proprietary-driver-manager version, OpenGL was now working! I reinstalled xserver, rebooted, and Voila!– Working Compiz Fusion!

ubuntu-desktop:~$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: RADEON X800 GTO
OpenGL version string: 2.0.6473 (8.37.6)

So what is the difference between now and after the initial upgrade? The Screen & Graphics manager is set to use the “ati” drivers instead of “fglrx!” Also, I enabled the “Composite” extension in xorg.conf (See below). Everything else is the same:

gusty restricted drivers manager

Using the default restricted drivers manager ATI drivers.

Gusty screen and graphics preferences

Screen and graphics preferences

Even though Gusty is set to use the “ati” driver version, xorg.conf is still set to use fglrx, and running compiz in the terminal confirms that the fglrx drivers are being used.

ubuntu-desktop:~$ compiz
compiz compiz.real
ubuntu-desktop:~$ more compiz
compiz: No such file or directory
ubuntu-desktop:~$ compiz –version
Checking for Xgl: present.
Checking for nVidia: not present.
Checking for Xgl: present.
Enabling Xgl with fglrx ATi drivers…
Starting emerald
compiz 0.6.1

Why setting the screen and graphics preferences driver to “fglrx” breaks fglrx is beyond me, but in any case, at least it is working now. In case anyone else would like to see, the contents of my xorg.conf file are as below:

Section "ServerLayout"

# Uncomment if you have a wacom tablet
# InputDevice "stylus" "SendCoreEvents"
# InputDevice "cursor" "SendCoreEvents"
# InputDevice "eraser" "SendCoreEvents"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen 0 "aticonfig-Screen[0]" 0 0
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"

Section "Files"

Section "Module"
Load "bitmap"
Load "extmod"
Load "freetype"
Load "int10"
Load "vbe"
Load "glx"
Load "dbe"
Load "dri"
Load "v4l"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "kbd"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
Option "XkbOptions" "altwin:meta_win"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "CorePointer"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "stylus"
Driver "wacom"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"
Option "Type" "stylus"
Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"# Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "eraser"
Driver "wacom"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"
Option "Type" "eraser"
Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"# Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "cursor"
Driver "wacom"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/wacom"
Option "Type" "cursor"
Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"# Tablet PC ONLY

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "aticonfig-Monitor[0]"
Option "VendorName" "ATI Proprietary Driver"
Option "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor"
Option "DPMS" "true"

Section "Device"
Identifier "aticonfig-Device[0]"
Driver "fglrx"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "aticonfig-Screen[0]"
Device "aticonfig-Device[0]"
Monitor "aticonfig-Monitor[0]"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 24

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "enable"

Hopefully compiz will not break again with the next update of xorg-driver-fglrx. If so, you may see another “Compiz Fusion on Gusty” post in the weeks to come.
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9 Responses to “Compiz Fusion with ATI Radeon X800 GTO on Ubuntu Gusty”

  1. 1 Mario
    November 17, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Hi, Can you tell me how you setup your environment to look so nice. See picture… http://opennfo.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/gusty_compiz_xgl.png

    Is it pre-installed with Ubuntu 7.10?

  2. 2 Keith
    November 20, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Mario,

    The theme elements I used do not ship with Ubuntu by default, but once you have compiz setup the rest is easy. Here is where you can find some of the things I used:

    Wallpaper – Raindrops
    Icons – Vista-Inspirate
    Emerald theme – Simple & Nice

    Also, check out Gnome-look and Gnome-art for more theme-related stuff.

    Take care!

  3. December 26, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Could you please let me know where you got your wallpaper from? I love it.



    joshua.d.chase [@] gmail.com

  4. 4 Keith
    December 26, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Sure. Click on “raindrops” in my post directly above :P … Sorry if it wasn’t obvious that I included hyperlinks, perhaps I will change the css a bit.

  5. 5 enkrypter
    February 11, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Use envy!

  6. August 26, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Can you tell me how you got the transparent window borders in your screenshot? Is that part of the Emerald theme, or another plugin?

  7. 8 Marin
    April 12, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Hey ya Mario!
    I’m calling you bcs i have the same problems with enabling OpenGL on my radeon pro/gto
    I know I’m a little bit late since it’s been like 2 years ago when you posted thread for solving it but I’ve been trying to solve that problem for some time now.I used Jaunty and I looked all over net for solution of problem and no success,I switched to karmic but again seem that no click and go sollutions were made and maybe never will since its allready an old GPU.The biggest problem is that I’m complete n00b considering working under Linux.Now I’m thinking even degrading my distribution of Linux just to solve it.
    So I have a favor to ask you.If u would be kind enough/in possibility to provide me step-by-step procedure how to solve this problem.Thank you alot for you’re time and I hope I’ll hear with you soon enough :)

  8. 9 ocameredesupraveghere
    March 23, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Hey guys, nice to be here! I love opennfo.wordpress.com!

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