beryl + ubuntu edgy on dell latitude d600

I spent 5 hours trying to make beryl works on Dell Latitude D600 laptop's ATI mobility radeon series 9000. As you may imagine problem was not installing and setting up beryl but how to make Ati Radeon Mobility 9000 series to work properly with either open source radon driver using AIGLX or ATI proprietary driver fglrx using Xgl. Open source driver is more stable than ATI driver is, which means that you will be experiencing much less lockings and that behavior of applications that are using video output (e.g. mplayer) is will be more expected. However stability's trade off is speed, since fglrx driver is much faster than radeon. In this guide I will cover both radeon and fglrx installation and setup.

All credit for this goes to bunch of nicknames on ubuntu forums, especially to misha680, who actually fixed Xgl server so it's not crushing anymore on ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 series.

I decided to write this howto, because I was unable to find installation and setup guide on one place on the Net. So let's begin the begin:

open terminal and assume root privileges:

sudo su -

change to tmp dir as we are going to download some packages manually:

cd /var/tmp

add beryl and emerald ubuntu repository to sources.list and update packages list:

echo "deb edgy main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
gpg --keyserver --recv 3FF0DB166A7476EA
gpg --export --armor 3FF0DB166A7476EA | apt-key add -
apt-get update

install beryl and emerald themes:

apt-get install beryl emerald-themes

from this point you can choose whether to proceed with flgrx/Xgl or radeon/AIGLX. Let's first see how it works with flgrx/Xgl (for radeon/AIGLX scroll down):

install fglrx driver:

apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

instead of installing xgl server from the ubuntu repository use misha680's patched xserver-xgl:

dpkg -i xserver-xgl_7.0.0.git.20060725-0ubuntu2.1.fglrx.r200_i386.deb
# or whatever the name might be
# in the time you are installing
apt-get -f install # fix broken dependencies

switch from ati to fglrx video driver:

sed -i -e 's/"ati"/"fglrx"/' /etc/X11/xorg.conf

disable composite:

cat >> /etc/X11/xorg.conf << EOS
Section "Extensions"
   Option "Composite" "false"

next step is to create launcher script for starting xgl server. Create file /usr/bin/startxgl with the following contents:

Xgl :1 -fullscreen -ac -accel xv:pbuffer -accel glx:fbo &
exec dbus-launch --exit-with-session gnome-session

make it executable:

chmod +x /usr/bin/startxgl

create login session entry /usr/share/xsessions/xgl.desktop with the following contents:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Start an Xgl Session

Add beryl-manager in startup programs. Click on System -> Preferences -> Sessions, choose Startup Programs tab, click on Add and type beryl-manager, click OK and Close

That's it. I would suggest you to reboot now, since AFAIK rmmod radeon && modprobe fglrx can lead to system lock. After reboot choose Xgl session in GDM. Dandy, isn't it :) ?


First what we need to do is to make sure that we don't have fglrx drivers installed. It's mandatory to remove them before going further with installation and setup of AIGLX. To uninstall them execute in root shell:

apt-get remove xorg-driver-fglrx
dpkg -P xorg-driver-fglrx

Edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add following to Section Device:

Option "DRI" "true"
Option "ColorTilling" "on"
Option "EnablePageFlip" "true"
Option "AccelMethode" "EXA"
Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "true"
Option "RenderAccel" "true"
Option "AGPMode" "8"
Option "AGPFastWrite" "on"

and this to Section Section "ServerLayout":

Option "AIGLX" "true"

Create file /etc/drirc with the following content:

  <device screen="0" driver="r200">
   <application name="all">
    <option name="allow_large_textures" value="2" />

Add beryl-manager in startup programs. Click on System -> Preferences -> Sessions, choose Startup Programs tab, click on Add and type beryl-manager, click OK and Close

Restart X/GDM and give it a try. Slow, but smashing, isn't it :) ?


Amazing! I've been looking for a week or two for how to properly config Ubuntu Edgy to work with Beryl and an ATI 250 chip and this config is the first one that works for me!! Thanks goes to a referral to this site by Ramón. AIGLX is slow, but works totally! I will try XGL next... Thanks!

Posted by Quaggo on December 20, 2006 at 01:05 AM CET #

Was wondering if you knew of anyone getting Xgl/Beryl to work on an ATI Radeon 9600? I haven't had ANY luck, getting stuck when trying to log in to an Xgl session: Fatal Server Error - No screens found. Thanks, Dennis

Posted by Dennis on December 25, 2006 at 07:18 PM CET #

Check your xorg.conf. If you configured fglrx using aticonfig, it probably resulted in duplicate screen and device entries. Comment out the old ones and leave the ati entries (it will be pretty straightforward which is which, the ati entries will have ati- as a prefix for many lines).

Posted by Tim on January 05, 2007 at 11:23 AM CET #

Does your D600 still sleep and wake up ok with fglrx and beryl? I had problems with Dapper Drake regarding this. Thanks, Rob

Posted by Rob Frohne on January 07, 2007 at 01:52 PM CET #

Wow! I set up my D600 without fglrx and the effects seem fast and really cool to me! Thanks for the instructions! Rob

Posted by Rob Frohne on January 07, 2007 at 06:53 PM CET #

One comment on the instructions for using Xgl. After you reboot, you need to click the sessions button on the login screen and change the session to Xgl. Without doing this you cannot change to the Beryl desktop manager in the Beryl menu. Also, to answer my earlier question, suspend seems to work with the fglrx drivers. Thanks for the great tutorial on installing Beryl!

Posted by Rob Frohne on January 09, 2007 at 01:18 PM CET #

Hi Rob, glad it helped. Also thanks for suggestion. I will include it in tutorial if you don't mind :)

Posted by bilke on January 13, 2007 at 07:08 AM CET #

Does anyone know if this will work at 1400x1050? No one who creates these walk-throughs mention the res they are using as they set it up. I think there is a limitation with the ati mobility 9000 for texture sizes of 1024x1024. I've had it working at 1024x768 but not 1400x1050. I could be wrong...

Posted by Josh on February 04, 2007 at 02:44 PM CET #

Josh, this is 1400x1050. Workaround for resolution issue is to create /etc/drirc in case you are using opensource driver. If you are using ati driver texture size should not be the problem :)

Posted by bilke on February 09, 2007 at 06:42 AM CET #

does anyone know if this will still work with feisty?

Posted by John on August 14, 2007 at 12:35 PM CEST #

i was refering to the patched xgl for edgy. . . will it work with feisty and xorg 7.01.?

Posted by John on August 14, 2007 at 12:43 PM CEST #

[Trackback] It's true. Even a long-time Windows guy can learn to appreciate the true joys of open-source and free software. Now, I am not a rich man. I am running on a laptop that is close to four years old. Be...

Posted by The Arcane and the Obvious on August 31, 2007 at 09:52 PM CEST #

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