Installing a ATI Radeon Sapphire HD 7850 on Debian Squeeze

Date:2013-02-18 12:39:00

Yesterday, I tried in a long session to install an ATI Radeon Sapphire HD 7850 graphics card on a Debian 6.0 machine. I tried to follow these instructions: But all I got where some error messages in the log files and a black screen with a blinking dash. I also tried the open source driver that was pre installed in Debian and the one from backports. But they all failed. The problem seemed to be that they where to old for my graphics card.

In the end I tried to install the ATI driver named Catalyst manually without apt-get. One of the how to claimed, that this will not lead to success, but it worked for me. So here is what I did:
I googled "ati catalyst linux download" and found the official web page of the driver. Then all that was left to do was to download and execute the file:
$ su - # become root
# mkdir catalyst13.1
# cd catalyst13.1/
# wget http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/
amd-driver-installer-catalyst-13.1-linux-x86.x86_64.zip
# unzip amd-driver*.zip 
# chmod +x amd-driver*.run 
# ./amd-driver-installer-catalyst-*.run --install
# reboot
If your as lucky as I was a little GUI will pop up and guide you through the installation process. If the driver claims, that an driver is already installed, remove it with:
# aptitude purge fglrx-control fglrx-driver
Good luck!