ATI Proprietary Driver

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Revision as of 20:02, 5 March 2007 by Michel (talk | contribs) (Fix link)

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The ATI/AMD Proprietary Linux driver, or fglrx is the name of the Linux display driver used for ATI Radeon and FireGL family video adapters It contains open source and closed source parts. It can be downloaded from the AMD website.

recent version:

  1. 8.34.8 was released on 21th February 2007. It adds support for the ATI Xpress™ 1250 IGP for AMD based motherboards.
  2. 8.33.6 was released on 10th January 2007. It adds support for X.Org 7.2 and Linux Kernel 2.6.19.
  3. 8.32.5 was released on 13th December 2006. It adds support for the ATI Radeon® X1650 and X.Org 7.2 RC2.
  4. 8.29.6 was released on 20th September 2006. It adds support for the latest Linux kernel, 2.6.18.
  5. 8.28.8 was released on 18th August 2006. This is the last version to support Radeon 9200 and 9250 series
mythTV runs best on openSUSE

Download the lastest ATI/AMD driver at


Check if your card is supported by the driver (read the release notes). Also check the specs of your card, some integrated ATI cards do not support dual screen, so it's either your monitor or your tv but not both.

You need to userstand what interface you are using to connect to your TV. See the list below..from the digital HDMI standard (best quality) to the analog Composite standard (lowest quality) more about this:

HDMI digital
DVI digital
VGA analog
Component analog
S-Video analog
Composite analog


BUG: ATI proprietary drivers do have a bug in them which makes the combination of VideoOverlaying and TV-Out useless. If you have a display attached to the vga output connector, you will find the VideoOverlay mode fully functional. However when the TV-Out connector is used, you will see the top-half of the actual TV/DVD signal. Disabling this feature in the xorg.conf file (or use OpenGLOverlay instead) gives the whole TV/DVD signal, but may work slowly depending on the overall speed of the system you are using. More on this issue/bug can be found at Moosy.gifby clicking here

Attaching a computer monitor

When having a computer monitor attached, use the following in the 'Device' section of xorg.conf:

Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"

This will enable VideoOverlaying, thus allowing you to watch TV and DVDs without any problem! Of course it is possible to enable OpenGLOverlay, but the driver will enable either one or the other. Turning both on does not work (strange but true...)

Attaching a TV

It is possible to attach a TV (using the TV-Out connector), but a bug in the driver makes the VideoOverlay mode useless :-(
Therefor, the only option left (for acceleration) is to use OpenGL. This gives the whole picture during TV or DVD playback, but needs a really fast box to be usefull. For those willing to give it a try... Use the following in the 'Device' section of xorg.conf:

Option "VideoOverlay" "off"
Option "OpenGLOverlay" "on"

To use a (wide-screen) TV as monitor, please configure the 'Monitor' section of your xorg.conf to get it working. See XorgConfMonitorSectionForTV.

Common problems and solutions

Black-and-White output

For users experiencing black-and-white TV output: please verify if the TVFormat option is set to the one valid for your country. All ATI cards I have seen default to the American TVStandard 'NTSC'. For a mythtv box in the Netherlands use the following option in the Device section in xorg.conf:

Option "TVFormat" "PAL-B"

Wrong colors

Until at least fglrx-8.33.6 there are wrong colors with xv playback, E.g. faces look blue. In libs/libmythtv/videoout_xv.cpp you can uncomment


User experiences

[Michel] has experiences are with driver revision 8.28.8:

  • ATI Radeon 9200SE (both composite and S-Video): partially works.
  • ATI Radeon 9250 (composite): partially works.

On my personal (Athlon XP 1800+) mythtv system the TV/DVD playback functions are too slow, even with OpenGLOverlay mode active on the binary drivers. So for normal TV-Out functionality I went to the store and bought a NVidia card instead. My desktop system however (the 2nd mythfrontend :-) still functions perfectly with the ATI Radeon 9250. Attached to a monitor and with VideoOverlay active...

[Moosylog] worked with the ATI driver for more than two years. First did research on XGL / compiz and ATI and later got involved in the TV-OUT thing. In feb 2007 moosy gave up and switched to nvidia because of the buggy tv-out support from ati/amd. The TV-Out experience ends at version 8.33.6 on a

  • ATI Radeon Xpress 200 (on board): partially works, frustrated, switched to Nvidia, read more