Install Catalyst Drivers on Arch Linux

This week, I installed Arch Linux on a brand new Toshiba C75D-B7200 laptop. It features an AMD A6-6310 APU, which I needed the Catalyst drivers for on Arch for two reasons.

  • Too many OpenGL errors with the open source driver on Steam.
  • Absent any real configuration tools to adjust and calibrate my display, which was admittedly bright and the contrast was too high.

According to the latest install catalyst-utils in AUR needs xorg-server version 1.16.0 and below. Arch installs the latest version from the core repositories of 1.16.1. So, the alternative? Install catalyst-test instead. Here are the step by step instructions if you are new to Arch.

Catalyst Control Center_002

INSTRUCTIONS

=======
IMPORTANT ! :
“catalyst-test”, from AUR, contain the “latest” AMD/ATI testing/beta drivers, primarily for newer cards.
Please note that Radeons HD 2 3 4 xxx ARE NOT SUPPORTED
References: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/catalyst-test/
=======

1. Install Yaourt

In your terminal window, do the following:

sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf

Add the following repository:

[archlinuxfr]
SigLevel = Never
Server = http://repo.archlinux.fr/$arch

Then update and install:

sudo pacman -Sy yaourt

2. Install Catalyst

Keep your terminal open and type the following:

yaourt catalyst-test

When it asks you to remove any conflicting packages, response with yes [y].

3. Post Install

We’re not done yet. If you haven’t installed it yet, install acpid but typing the following:

sudo pacman -S acpid

Then, enter each command below:

sudo systemctl enable atieventsd
sudo systemctl start atieventsd
sudo systemctl enable catalyst-hook
sudo systemctl start catalyst-hook

Next, we need to write the initial config. To do so, type the following:

sudo aticonfig --initial

Lastly, we need to configure our bootloader. I use Grub2 but others may use syslinux. Follow the appropriate instructions for your bootloader:

Syslinux
Edit “/boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg” and add nomodeset to the APPEND line, e.g.:

APPEND root=/dev/sda[x] rw nomodeset

Grub2
Edit the “/etc/default/grub” file, and modify the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX= line so it looks like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nomodeset"

Then:

sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

3. Last But Not Least…

Reboot:

sudo reboot

Please note: I am running Kernel 3.17.1-1-ARCH on a x86_64 build and the instructions reflect as such.

Angela

About The Author

is a blogger, writer, self-proclaimed geek & nerd, and the gyrl behind Ramblings of a Gyrl. A few cats shy of ‘crazy cat lady’ status and fully embraces her love of video games, films, cooking, and literature. She is currently writing her first novel for publication.

This article has 12 comments

  1. Thank you for this exellent guide. Never got the catalyst drivers to work before on my laptop but with this guide it worked the first time 😀
    Finally I can start using steam they way I want.

    Thanks again

  2. Angela

    I assume you got the OpenGL direct rendering errors when you launched Steam on open source drivers? You can run Steam without catalyst. This is a common error and can be solved by deleting the following:

    ~/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6

    Admittedly though, the catalyst drivers are nicer to have. Since I’m running an APU, the catalyst suite gave me more control versus the open source drivers.

    Anyway, glad you found this helpful.

  3. Thanks Angela! I have always used the fglrx driver but I like open source so I am trying to stay with that; I was wondering if those errors were abnormal. After I removed that file it stopped appearing. What is your experience with the open source driver vs proprietary?

    • Angela

      I had issues controlling color profiles and brightness with the open source driver. I am running and APU, so catalyst helped me utilize the extended features. It’s a personal preference more than anything.

  4. Help! when i type

    sudo systemctl enable atieventsd i get this:

    Failed to start atieventsd.service: Unit acpid.socket failed to load: No such file or directory.

    I installed acpid!

    Should I install acpid again?

    • Angela

      I would suggest reading this thread: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=191029

      I haven’t had an opportunity to install the package since I first posted this to see if there are any changes, but it looks as if the catalyst-test package needs to be updated possibly.

      You might try the normal catalyst or catalyst-total packages, but that solely depends on the card you are wanting to install drivers for. Some are inherently suited to work with some cards or cause critical errors with others.

  5. Hi! Great tutorial! Maybe im gonna buy this laptop, and of course i will use it with Arch Linux. How it goes with wireless and touchpad?
    Thanks!

    • Angela

      The laptop I have is fine. The WiFi is a hybrid adapter and only the WiFi works under Linux with the broadcom-wl drivers from AUR. Support for Bluetooth is nonexistant at the moment.

      It’s not a bad laptop for the price, but it is a closed system, and if you want to upgrade the memory, you need to take it to an authorized Toshiba service center to upgrade to avoid voiding your warranty, but with 4 Gb, that’s more than enough for Linux. That’s really my only complaint about the laptop, to be honest.

      • 4Gb its not bad at all, broadcom-wl sometimes become a nightmare every kernel update. And, as you, I dont like the fact that its a closed system, but anyway it still worth the price.

        • Angela

          I’ve not had any issues with the broadcom-wl driver. It’s only a pain because it’s not usually recognized by default and is usually a post install task to get it up and running. It’s solid once installed. It’s been a very solid laptop for Linux. I had more problems trying to downgrade to Windows 7 over Linux, which was a breeze.

          • I had a Broadcom wireless working with that AUR driver and sometimes after a kernel update I needed to disable it, and enable it again when the manteiner updated it. (my fault, using pacman -Syu irresponsibly). And installing Windows (and drivers) is usually more stressful than do it with GNU/Linux 😛

            Anyway, its only a fly in the air. I will check out about RAM update in my Country and buy it. Thanks a lot! and again, great tutorial.

  6. Ramblings of a Gyrl

    I’ve since moved from using my Toshiba laptop with the AMD APU and have not had the time to test the latest version. I’m using a Lenovo T440, which has an Intel architecture. I will help answer questions to the best of my ability should you have them, however, or at least point you in the right direction.

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