Configuring the fglrx module for ATI graphics chips in CentOS and RHEL 5


Bill Giannikos


This guide will help you configure the proprietary ATI module under CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. For those that don't know, CentOS 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 are basically the same thing just with a different name so this guide applies to both. I will not be covering the open source radeon module included with Xorg because its configuration is normally handled automatically by most Linux distributions. We also wont be covering the newly released readeonhd driver as these are still in an early stage.

Licensing Issues

ATI/AMD provide their own license for their driver. You will need to read and accept this license before proceeding.


We will be using 'nano' as our text editor of choice but you can use whatever you wish.

While this guide is mainly focused to laptop users there isn't any difference for desktop users.


You should run a full update for your installation to ensure you have all the latest packages installed.

Installing the ATI driver

The fglrx module is not included with CentOS/RHEL so we will need to use a 3rd party repository. Here we will be using the yjl-livna repository.

1. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

2. Switch to the root user by entering the command “su -” (without the quotes) and typing in your root password

3. Edit the file /etc/yum.conf. Using nano we type the command “nano -w /etc/yum.conf”

4. If you have already configured yum to use the yjl-livna repository then append “*fglrx* *livna*” to the end of the “includepkgs” line and skip the next setup. Otherwise continue on.

5. Add the following to the bottom of this file:

name=EL $releasever - $basearch - YJL-Livna
includepkgs=*fglrx* *livna*

6. Save the file. In nano you press Ctrl-X, answer yes to the “Save modified buffer” question and then press enter on the file name to write.

7. If you have not previously setup Livna execute the following command:

rpm --import

8. Now execute the following command:

yum install kmod-fglrx xorg-x11-drv-fglrx

9. Reboot your system and you will be using the fglrx module.


Normally after installing the fglrx module with the steps above your xorg.conf file should have automatically been updates to use the newer driver. If this did not happen or for some reason it has reverted then, as root, enter the following command:


This will switch you back to the fglrx module.


Adrian, 2009/02/04 02:12

Hello all - Ignore the repo approach.

building and installing fglrx directly from amd is easy and takes 5 minutes.
The installer builds the rpm for you.

1) Download the driver from AMD.

 ati-driver-installer-8-7-x86.*.run   (ver = 8.512) -  works well.
 ati-driver-installer-8-12-x86.*.run  (ver = 8.512) -  ooops

2) Install the necessary kernel headers & devel

  yum install kernel-devel kernel-headers rpm-build

3) Install the necessary compat libraries

  yum install 'compat-libstdc++*' 'compat-glibc.*'
  NB   x86_64 users will need the i386 versions installed as well
       there may be other requirements that I already had installed - sorry

4) as root

4.1) to see what pkgs can be built
 sh ati-driver-installer-8-7-x86.*.run --listpkg | less
4.2) to build the rpm for your distro (for me = RedHat/RHEL5_64a)
 sh ati-driver-installer-8-7-x86.*.run --buildpkg RedHat/RHEL5_64a
4.3) install it
  rpm -ivh fglrx64_7_1_0-8.512-1.x86_64.rpm

5) Assuming this was successful - configure it (as root)

  aticonfig --initial --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf

or to see the eye-watering array of options

  aticonfig | less

6) Troubleshooting and tweaking (e.g. X freezing on logout )
- an excellent guide is here.
Ben Stokes, 2008/12/17 13:25

OK the problem is the repo has been shut down. This is from the site's document root.

This is the FileBurst default page.

If you see this page it means:

1) The account is not configured yet (does not exist)
2) Our Billing Dept. has suspended this account because of billing issue

Ben Stokes, 2008/12/17 13:23

I have the same problem. If anyone knows the answer I would love to be enlightened.

VOLKOV, 2008/07/04 14:14

trouble with step 8

I got this error:

root@localhost etc# yum install kmod-fglrx xorg-x11-drv-fglrx
Loading “kernel-module” plugin
epel 100% |======================| 1.1 kB 00:00
sl-base 100% |===================| 1.1 kB 00:00
sl-security 100% |======================| 951 B 00:00 Errno 14 HTTP Error 404: Not Found
Trying other mirror.
Error: Cannot retrieve repository metadata (repomd.xml) for repository: yjl-livna. Please verify its path and try again

My kernel is 2.6.18-92.1.6.el5, and I am running Scientific Linux 5.2, a RHEL5.2 clone, on a Dell 1501.

Anonymous, 2008/09/18 07:29

I am having the same issue. Is the repository not working anymore? Alternatives?

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configuring_the_fglrx_module_for_ati_graphics_chips_in_centos_and_rhel_5.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/12 03:49 by billg
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