Clinton Pavlovic

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Installing foss ati radeon drivers on debian gnu/linux

2013-12-14

After reinstalling my GNU/Linux Debian system I encountered problems with my ATI Radeon graphics drivers. I have always used the Free (FOSS) drivers, so it was unsettling that it now seemed to not be working; the screen resolutions were all wrong and couldn't be changed.

After a bit of time I discovered that the FOSS ATI Radeon drivers were installed, but the proprietary non-free firmware blob wasn't, which lead to this problem.

To fix this problem you need to:

To add the non-free repository edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file as root. If nano is not available on the system you can fall back to vi for editing.

# nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the words contrib non-free after the word main where it appears in the file. Save the file and exit. I have previously done a more detailed explanation of the sources.list file and how to add non-free repositories.

Now you need to update and then install the required firmware and drivers as root:

# apt-get update

# apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree

# apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-ati

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