How to Install ATI/AMD Catalyst 11.7 Linux Driver in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal?

For both ATI and Nvidia GPU devices in GNU/Linux you should have installed the proprietary drivers if you want to get the full throttle out of your awesome VGA card :D. For instance, with the recent netbooks related AMD Fusion chip-sets where we have both a CPU and the GPU at the same "core" (same physical chip), if you haven't installed the proprietary driver then the GPU will not be able to play HD videos nor 3D games and rendering in general in full throttle :/.

So although the idea of "proprietary" is not compatible with the GNU license but that's how the world is anyway, you can either chose to swim with it or against.. (what the heck am I talking, sorry about that).

Anyhow, few days ago ATI (now owned by AMD) released the latest version of their Catalyst driver for GNU/Linux: the 11.7!.

Unlike with many other releases the 11.7 version does bring few major features or changes in general such as...
I'm not supposed to be doing this but but... :)
*. Kernel 3.0 x support.

*. VLC player 1.1.9 related hardware acceleration bug fixed.  

*. PowerXpress support for GNU/Linux (finally) - This technology makes it easy to switch between discrete graphics and dedicated graphics (say when you use your Netbook on AC power) which delivers better performs or low performance and enhanced battery life.

*. Few Catalyst control center related bug fixes.

*. De-noise and few other video playback related performance related bug fixes... are just a few to mention.

You can install the ATI/AMD Catalyst 11.7 driver in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal by using the below procedure (for 10.10 and 10.04 users please read from the official AMD Wiki pages, here and here). 

*. If have you installed any previous proprietary drivers such as the 11.6 series for instance, then you must remove them before proceeding!.

Now I'm not going to do a lot of "explaining" because I feel like I'd easily make some of you guys confused.. So basically just enter the below command in your Terminal window (Again remember, these steps are only for those of you who have installed an older version of Catalyst drivers).
sudo sh /usr/share/ati/

If you get an error saying that such command does not exists, etc then use the below one instead.
sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx fglrx_* fglrx-amdcccle* fglrx-dev* xorg-driver-fglrx

Now let's begin the actual installation procedure.

1. Now first download the actual driver wizard (it contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions integrated) and make it executable. For that enter the below commands.
cd ~/; mkdir catalyst11.7; cd catalyst11.7/


chmod +x

2. Now use the below commands to install it.
sudo -s


Just follow your on-screen instructions (the installer is pretty much automatic) and within few minutes you should have installed the AMD/ATI Catalyst 11.7 in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

3. Optional Step - 

Most people might not need this, but if you found that the graphics are actually worse looking or the ATI driver is not loaded into the Ubuntu then you might want to update a configuration file called "xorg.conf". As said you'd probably won't need to do this, but if you need then open enter the below command in your Terminal.
sudo aticonfig --initial -f

That's it. Now you're done!.

Below method is not necessary by any mens and it's only for those of you who wants to manually build ".deb" packages only.  

Need a pre-build ".deb" file?

You can create a ".deb" file if you want. It can be quite handy if you want re-install the driver after a fresh install of Ubuntu where you don't have to re-download some of the required packages to build the driver and install. So...
If you'd like you can make that ".deb" package of the installer first and then install it too. To do that skip the step "2" and enter the below commands instead (and might want to use that step "3" command too).

First we gotta get the pre-requisite packages.

A. Get the pre-requisite packages - Although this may not be necessary for some since you'd probably have them installed automatically installing other apps as dependencies but do it just in case. Open your Terminal window and enter the below command.
sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 dh-modaliases
B. If you use the 64-bit Ubuntu Linux version then make sure to install the below packages too (only for the 64-bit geeks).
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

C. Now let's build the ".deb" file. For that use the below command.
sudo sh ./ --buildpkg Ubuntu/natty

D. Now install it by using the below command.
sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

Yep that's it. I'm sorry that the article looks a bit longer. Enjoy!.


lagana said...

very nice post, helped a lot! I just got an ATI HD 5770 running on ubuntu, and now I'm up to date with the driver

Gayan said...


You're welcome :)...

Anonymous said...

After removing my graphics drivers with the following:
sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx fglrx_* fglrx-amdcccle* fglrx-dev* xorg-driver-fglrx

Then when I try to install the graphics with the following:
sudo -s


Choosing the option to Install Driver. It says that "A previous install of the fglry driver has been detected..." but I already already removed the fglrx drivers with the previous stage.

Gayan said...


Have you tried rebooting the PC?.

This is also a bit of a "known issue" but luckily there's an Ubuntu Wiki page that explains everything.

Although I could just give you the commands but I highly recommend that you read the page.

Please use the below link...

Anonymous said...


I cannot install dh-modaliases, the system can't find it.

'E: Couldn't find package dh-modaliases'

Can you help? Thanks.

Gayan said...


Well the below command worked for me

sudo apt-get install dh-modaliases

Just make sure that Ubuntu repositories such as "Main", "Universe" and "Multiverse" are enabled in Synaptic (they are enabled by default, unless you've changed them).

You can access them by simply put the below command in the terminal window

sudo synaptic

Then from the menu, go to "Settings" -> "Repositories" and make sure the above mentioned ones are enabled. Hope this was helpful.

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