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fglrx on Gentoo, ongoing frustration

With the use of the ATI fglrx driver on Gentoo, the frustrations are far from over.

My configuration:

  • laptop, HP nc8430
  • two displays, panel (1680×1050) and an external monitor (1280×1024)
  • Gentoo Linux, at time of writing kernel 2.6.25-gentoo-r8 (stable)
  • ati-drivers 8.532, the 8.9 version of the ATI Catalyst driver

The problem: Besides known issues I noticed new problems with the current kernel on this driver:

  1. opengl fails to work at all, glxinfo just hangs
  2. starting open office, it never shows up, so I have to kill the process ooffice (or oowriter, whichever I start up), no output is shown, no errors occur, it just hangs
  3. GNOME screensaver fails to properly activate and lock my screen and hangs on the gnome-screensaver-gl-helper, indicating something with opengl not working properly (??)
  4. compiz-fusion just doesn’t work

I ended up switching to the opengl of xorg-x11, but issue 2 remains.

with the xorg-x11 renderer, at least my screensaver works as expected; with the fglrx driver I need to enter text mode (ctrl-alt F1) to kill gnome-screensaver-gl-helper (two times, for each screen) in order to get my unlock password popup again.

I sure hope ati will get their development and support department sorted, as rumors that NVidia is having better support doesn’t make me happyi.