Using the Graphics Card with the radeon driver


You can create new configuration files suitable for the radeon driver with the text-based xorgconfig tool or run

X -configure

to let probe your hardware and write a configuration file, alternatively you can also use the graphic application xorgcfg to change configuration parameters. Better backup /etc/X11/xorg.conf before using either of these utilities.

Supported modes for multi-monitor setups

Attached at the bottom of the page you can find the xorg.conf files I use for the various multi-monitor modes that the radeon driver supports. A few notes:

  • the external display I use has a max. resolution of 1280x1200, if your monitor supports less be sure to check the HorizSync, VertRefresh, HSync2 and VRefresh2 options.
  • I have configured my input devices (TouchPad, Trackpoint, external mouse) with their special files in /dev/input and not /dev/input/mice. There's a good chance that your file-to-device mapping looks different, so check if you're using the correct device files in /dev/bus/input/devices. Or just use /dev/input/mice in which case you'll lose the ability to configure some settings per device.
  • TV-Out is currently not supported by the opensource radeon driver, use the fglrx driver if you need this feature.
  • real dual-head support (as in two seperate independent screens) seems to be broken at the moment, see bug #332548 in the Debian bug tracking system.



With the setup you use, when you start your laptop with the mouse not plugged in, then add your mouse later on - does it work?
Because that is why I'm using /dev/input/mice - this device node is always present at x11 start, while the mouse2 node will only be if I plug in my mouse before starting X11...

Wolfgang Karall-Ahlborn's picture

this is a rather annoying thing about X, that it can't detect hotplugged input devices (people are working on XInputHotplug). And using the Linux kernel-based /dev/input/mice has problems too, see my Todo List (point 3), you get configurations that are overlapping between different devices.

Currently, I don't care much about it since I'm almost always using the TrackPoint (apart from CircularScrolling through large websites/documents with the Touchpad), but if you find a solution I'd very much like to hear about it.