Flickering Screen After Upgrade to Kubuntu 10.04

First of all, I was amazed how smooth­ly the upgrade went. (K)Ubuntu and I guess oth­er dis­tri­b­u­tions as well have gone quite a far way to become plat­forms for every­body — with a lot of soft­ware but even more tools, helpers and auto­mat­ic back­ground ser­vices — like the nice upgrade ser­vice.

There was only one prob­lem I ran into and I want to share the solu­tion.

I am run­ning Kubun­tu 10.04 (just upgrad­ed today) on a Lenovo IBM ThinkPad R60 (Yes, one of those with both brands on them ;)) with an ATI Radeon X1400 graph­ics device. But since upgrad­ed, my dis­play start­ed flick­er­ing — not per­ma­nent­ly but unbear­able.

The solu­tion that worked for me (at least par­tial­ly — see below — and this is of cause depend­ing on the graph­ics device type) was to install the pro­pri­etary ATI dri­vers. I know, it is not a good solu­tion, I do not like to use them nei­ther and if any­one out there is read­ing this with a bet­ter solu­tion in mind, let me know it!! 🙂
Edit 2011-02-14: Added a new post with an addi­tion­al, alter­na­tive solu­tion here.

So what you need to do is  to get your favorite pack­age man­age­ment tool (e.g. Synap­tic or KPack­ageK­it) — just hit Alt+F2 and type “pack­age” and pick KPack­ageK­it from the list (it will ask you for the super user pass­word). Then, search for “fglrx”. In KPack­ageK­it, you will find a result titled “Video dri­ver for the ATI graph­ics accel­er­a­tor”, and some­thing below the title like “fglrx — 2:8.723.1-0ubuntu3” but the ver­sion num­ber should not mat­ter. Click the arrow to the right, hit “Apply” and after reboot­ing, every­thing should per­fect­ly with­out any con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Good luck. 😉

Prob­lems noticed so far: The dri­ver caus­es “Seg­men­ta­tion Fault” error mes­sages, e.g. when try­ing to open up the dis­play set­tings. That’s ugly, I know. But you can read in sev­er­al forum and blog posts, that the sup­port for the for­mer nice­ly work­ing dri­ver for the ATI X1400 has been dis­con­tin­ued since 10.04, hence, it’s just good luck that the fglrx works some­how — good to know *after* upgrad­ing, right. But still, the flick­er­ing was unbear­able for me, thus, I accept the issues for now. I will keep my eyes peeled hop­ing for a prop­er solu­tion in the future.

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