Archive for October, 2007

OpenSuse 10.3 on Lenovo T60p (FireGL VL5250)


Background: About a year or two ago I replaced all Linux at home with Mac OS X. But since a few months I have a Lenovo T60p from work, which mainly runs Windows XP. It happened that the german c’t magazine recently came with a DVD of OpenSuse 10.3, and one day away from home (and my Macs) in some lonely hotel room I got bored and installed it. Everything worked just fine, but the laptop’s graphic card did not. It is an ATI, and I slightly remembered that they have a closed source driver for Linux, that needs to be installed somehow on top of any distribution that only ships software that is open source.

So my first step was to google for this topic, and I ended up on a page that explains how to install the ATI driver on Suse Linux. I followed Stefan Dirsch’s simple steps and ended up with the ATI driver in version 8.41.7 directly from the ATI Repository. Great. Only it still didn’t work.

Turns out that in the Change Log of the ati-fglrxG01-kmp-… package it is noted that the support for FireGL cards was “temporarily removed” one previous version ago. So what next? I found another page that describes how to install a previous version of the ati driver manually. It explicitly mentioned 8.40.4 but I was not sure for which graphic card that is. When I was browsing the ati pages, I could not find the Mobility VL5250 that I actually have. I selected something similar, and ended up with the version 8.35.5 download. That however is not helpful, as it support up to Xorg 7.1, but not the 7.2 that is in OpenSuse 10.3.

When I selected one of the Radeon cards, I finally found the right download of the ATI driver in version 8.40.4, and then I could follow Vichar Bhatt’s instructions to the end. The display now shows 1680 x 1050 with 16.7 Mio colors. Great. It wasn’t excatly straight forward, but I got it working. Thanks, y’all.