Installing Beryl On An Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Desktop With An ATI Radeon Graphic Card

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
Last edited 04/03/2007

This tutorial shows how you can install and configure Beryl on an Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) desktop with an ATI Radeon graphic card. With Beryl, you can make your desktop use beautiful 3D effects. We will use the open-source ATI driver that comes with Ubuntu plus AIGLX to achieve this; the other way to do this would be to use the closed-source ATI driver together with XGL which seems to be a bit unstable.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I have put this tutorial together from these two articles:

I have tried this on my 3-year old HP Pavilion zt3000 notebook which has an ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphic card, and it works really good there.

Please make sure that you have all updates installed on your Ubuntu Feisty Fawn desktop before you try this.


2 Find Out About Your Graphic Card

First you should find out about your graphic card. Open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type


You should find something like this in the output:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon R250 [Mobility FireGL 9000] (rev 01)

(This output is from my notebook which uses an ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphic card.)

The following list shows which ATI graphic cards can use Beryl (your graphic card should be listed under Full 3D Support if you want to use Beryl):


Full 3D Support

  • 7000 / rv100 based cards.
  • 7200 / R100 based cards.
  • 7500 / rv200 based cards.
  • 8X00 / R200 based cards.
  • 9000 / rv250 based cards.
  • 9100 / R200 based cards.
  • 9200 / rv280 based cards.


Experimental 3D Acceleration

  • 9500 / R300 based cards.
  • 9600 / rv350 or rv360 based cards.
  • 9700 / R300 based cards.
  • 9800 / R350 or R360 based cards.
  • X300 / rv370 based cards.
  • X600 / rv380 based cards.
  • X700 / rv410 based cards.
  • X800 / R420 or R423 or R430 or R480 based cards.
  • X850 / R480 or R481 based cards.


2D Acceleration Only

  • Xpress 200M Northbridge integrated GPUs



  • X1300 / R515 based cards.
  • X1600 / R530 based cards.
  • X1800 / R520 based cards.
  • X1900 / R580 based cards.


3 Configure AIGLX Plus The Open-Source ATI Driver

We want to use AIGLX with open-source ATI driver instead of XGL with the proprietary ATI driver (fglrx). Therefore we have to disable fglrx. First we disable the fglrx kernel module:

sudo modprobe -r fglrx

Then we run

glxinfo | grep vendor

If you see ATI mentioned in the output, then you're still using the wrong driver. If you see SGI instead, everything's fine. On my notebook, the output looked like this:

server glx vendor string: SGI
client glx vendor string: SGI
OpenGL vendor string: Tungsten Graphics, Inc.

If you have ATI in the output of the previous command, remove the fglrx driver like this (you can do this also if you have SGI in the output - just to go sure):

sudo apt-get remove xorg-driver-fglrx; sudo apt-get install libgl1-mesa-glx libgl1-mesa-dri

Next we have to modify /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf


Section "Device"
        Identifier        "ATI Technologies Inc Radeon R250 [Mobility FireGL 9000]"
        Driver                "ati"
        BusID                "PCI:1:0:0"


Section "Device"
        Identifier        "ATI Technologies Inc Radeon R250 [Mobility FireGL 9000]"
        Driver                "radeon"
        BusID                "PCI:1:0:0"
        Option          "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps"
        Option "AGPMode" "4"
        Option "AGPFastWrite" "true"
        Option "DisableGLXRootClipping" "true"
        Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"
        Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
        Option "EnablePageFlip" "true"

(Please note the added Option lines and the changed Driver line. Of course, your Identifier will look different if you use a different graphic card than I do.)

The Monitor and Screen sections in /etc/X11/xorg.conf should be alright.

Also replace

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier        "Default Layout"
        Screen                "Default Screen"
        InputDevice        "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice        "Configured Mouse"
        InputDevice     "stylus"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "cursor"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "eraser"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice        "Synaptics Touchpad"


Section "ServerLayout"
        Option          "AIGLX"         "true"
        Identifier        "Default Layout"
        Screen                "Default Screen"
        InputDevice        "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice        "Configured Mouse"
        InputDevice     "stylus"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "cursor"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "eraser"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice        "Synaptics Touchpad"

(Please note that I added an AIGLX Option line at the top.)

And finally add the following two sections to the end of /etc/X11/xorg.conf if they don't exist elsewhere in the file:

Section "DRI"
        Mode 0666

Section "Extensions"
        Option "Composite" "Enable"

To make the changes take effect, we must restart X. We can do this by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace (if this doesn't work, reboot the system).

Afterwards, run

glxinfo | grep vendor

again. You should now see that SGI is mentioned in the output:

server glx vendor string: SGI
client glx vendor string: SGI
OpenGL vendor string: Tungsten Graphics, Inc.

Then run

glxinfo | grep "direct rendering"

This should show the following line:

direct rendering: Yes

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9 Comment(s)

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From: at: 2007-04-25 18:17:26

I'm a long-time Mac user. I recently bought an iBook (1.2GHz G4, 512MB) so that I could install Linux and learn a little more about it.  I installed Ubuntu Edgy Eft, and just upgraded to Feisty Fawn. I am now wondering if I can install Beryl on it, as it has an ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR SDRAM.  I ask, because I know there are some things (like Adobe Flash Player plug-in) that do not run under the PPC platform.

 BTW, nice instructions!

 UPDATED: 26-Apr-2007.  I went ahead and followed the instructions. I made one small typo that caused gdm to not launch, but editing the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file with vi and restarting gdm resulted in a nicely-working beryl display!  In fact, I did not have to remove the fglrx driver, as it did not appear in my system!

Now, all I have to do is figure out how to get the "cube" working.   

From: at: 2007-05-04 20:14:57

This tutorial is great; thanks for putting it together!  My system is a plain vanilla Dell Optiplex GX620 with an OEM ATI Radeon X600 and so far so good.  Two comments:

1. The  first article referenced ( says the Driver in the Device section of the xorg.conf should be "ati" and NOT "radeon".  I've set mine to "ati" and it's been stable so far (but that's only about half an hour!)

 2. By default, my fairly fresh feisty installation had the nvidia-glx package installed.  This meant the glx module couldn't be loaded and glxinfo gave me nothing ("...Xlib: extension "GLX" missing on display ":0.0" ...") until I uninstalled nvidia-glx with Synaptic.  Then the system just used the built-in glx module.

 Thanks Again!!  Doug

From: at: 2007-05-26 05:05:36

I have AX850PRO.

Now i'm using Beryl here later folow this steps.

Thanks very much Falko to write. And thanks very muck Solano to translate.


I recomend this tutorial 

From: at: 2007-07-06 21:49:45

Finally got Beryl working on a dell D600 with ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 with this guide plus a few other changes. After using this guide I got to the point where I could get beryl running, but it was only using about 2/3 the screen. I finally tracked it down to the fact the max texture size was set to 1024x1024. I fixed that by installing driconf, running "sudo driconf" switch to expert mode and under /etc/drirc  check the option for "support larger textures not gauranteed to fit into graphics memory" and picking announce hardware limits. Beryl runs perfectly now and uses the full screen.

From: at: 2007-07-26 09:29:37

I never would have figured that my graphics card drivers were preventing the beryl-core from being installing. I ended up re-installing Ubuntu because I dont know enough about Linux yet, and I screwed something up when editing the conf file. But I used this to check that I had the correct drivers upon re-install, and beryl install went fine. Only thing I cant figure out is the SkyDome...but I'll get it.

 Thanks again.

From: at: 2007-08-09 08:20:21

Thank you so much, it works, I'm using an Ati Radeon 9600 all-in-wonder. Before I tried installing Beryl thru synaptic package manager..boy that was a mistake. but then i followed ur directions and success! except for some of the 3D animations.

From: at: 2007-08-15 13:05:26

thank you so much! this is great.. I now have a good reason not to use XP anymore.. good job!

From: at: 2007-10-19 20:16:07

This was just what I needed to turn my not working beryl install, into a fully functional one.

 Damn ATi cards anyway =).

 Thanks very much.

From: at: 2009-10-07 15:42:13

No supported ? After this procedure I have garbled screen .