ATI 9200 on Linux

I might as well change the title to “VB6 on the JVM” or “Java6 on ASP” because it just ain’t gonna happen. If you have an ATI card with the number 9200 scribbled somewhere on the label then you’re pretty much screwed with Linux distros. I think I had my card working for all of 48hours back when I was running Mepis 3.4.x and ever since then I’ve been out of luck. I want to be able to run stuff like XGL/Compiz and also power the TV set in my bedroom with my Mepis install but I’m short on advice. Why so much drama? Well let me break it down. The ATI drivers for Linux are meant for the later model cards and mostly ignore earlier cards from what I understand. I’m not sure which features are supported on which drivers for which cards because the whole deal is so tricky. There’s about 2 or 3 ATI drivers available for Linux (possibly more). There’s the official ATI driver maintained by AMD/ATI, then there’s something called the Radeon driver that is maintained by who? I dunno, possibly Cuba Gooding Jr. and associates. Finally there’s the XOrg driver which now claims support for many/most features in the later cards. My model has T.V. outs and I was told everything from only 3d will work to TV out support will work sporadically, to buy an NVidia. The problem is that I can’t afford a new card right now. Even if I could I would rather invest in a new car stereo head unit. So what do I do? I ask around on the Mepis forums. I ask here too. I’ll be posting a bunch of stuff about everything I know on the topic (random clues gathered from around the net) in some hope that someone can piece everything together for me.

  • Clue #1 an older post on the Mepis forums indicates another unfortunate soul suffering my same dillemma.
  • A link to a howto regarding the Radeon driver and supported hardware. (My card is listed here! Woohoo! Still can’t get it to work!)
  • A mention of the 9200 series on this thread seems to indicate XGL fully supports these cards.
  • The Envy project promises to figure out which card I’m running and download the appropriate driver.

More cluse will follow. Be the first to solve my ATI mystery! Holla back…

3 thoughts on “ATI 9200 on Linux

  1. I have first rate support for my ATI Mobility Radeon X1600. Odd that you’d have problems with an older ATI card. Have you tried checking the various HCLs out there?

    I used to struggle with video drivers. My recent solution has been to use a recent Ubuntu release in conjunction with either EasyUbuntu or Automatix. Plain sailing for ATI drivers in my experience.

  2. In an outrageous display of serendipity, the folks over at Slashdot are feeling your pain, and suggesting ways to improve support. They say don’t contact ATI, but the people who build boards using ATI chips. Check out the full story here.

  3. Good link, thanx! A couple of days ago I found this blog about Envy. I haven’t tried it on my box yet because I have a lot of critical work to do and I don’t want to screw up my install unnecessarily. But I do plan on installing the latest Mepis with the Beryl desktop and seeing if I can get it to work using Envy or whatever means necessary.

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