Direct rendering with OpenSUSE 12.1 and official Radeon driver (fglrx)

Installation of the official ATI (fglrx) driver with 1-click install link on the openSUSE wiki, or by adding the repository also listed on the wiki, seems not to work properly, that is, direct rendering seems to stay disabled after installation. The fix is quite simple, as root, copy paste this into terminal:

cd /usr/lib64
rm /usr/lib64/
rm /usr/lib64/
rm /usr/lib64/
ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib64/fglrx/
ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib64/fglrx/
ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib64/fglrx/

Optionally, backup the original and files in /usr/lib64. If the system is not 64bit, remove the 64 part of lib64 everywhere. That’s it. After log out – log in, direct rendering should be working. Fire up a terminal and execute glxgears. If it doesn’t complain in the terminal there is no direct rendering, everything works, like in the pic below.

How glxgears start when direct rendering works


Tips to improve KDE 4 compositing performance

Before 4.0 i loved KDE. Since 4.0 I switched to Gnome. But lately, after half a year of exposure to Unity and Gnome 3 and jumping from one to the other, I could no longer resist the temptation to try and see if KDE has been fixed. And the reason is I could never really say Unity was good, and.. Gnome 3 sucks.

The point is, KDE is good again, and the only thing that can ruin the experience are all the effects that are enabled by default when using 3D compositing. Probably not noticeable with powerful processors, but on netbooks or older ones like my Athlon x2 4800 things can get really choppy, even more so with ATI graphics. Good news is, you can significantly improve the performance without noticeable eye candy loss.

  1. Disable Blur in System Settings -> Desktop Effects -> All Effects
  2. Uncheck “Use VSync” in System Settings -> Desktop Effects -> Advanced
  3. Set Scale method to Smooth or Crisp in System Settings -> Desktop Effects -> Advanced
  4. In System Settings -> Application appearance -> Style -> Fine tuning tab -> Set graphical effects to “Low display resolution and low CPU”.
Additionally, disable widget animations and window decorations’ animations:
  1. Press alt+f2 and enter oxygen-settings
  2. In Widget style -> Animations unselect “Enable animations”
  3. In Window decorations -> General unselect “Enable animations”
After all this, KDE with compositing will be noticeably faster and usable… Hope it helped!
Found this info in a few places on different occasions:

Fixing slow Unity 3D in Ubuntu 11.04

I tried Unity the day Ubuntu 11.04 was launched on my Lenovo edge 13 packing a 1.3GHz Athlon Neo. I upgraded from Ubuntu 10.10 and the result was really bad. Suddenly desktop became slow and laggy, parts of the interface would constantly get corrupted, so a Fedora installation was called upon to purge the crappy new Ubuntu. A month later, I upgraded my desktop Ubuntu hoping I wouldn’t have to replace it with some other distribution, and as it turns out, it’s usable now. It can still be slow on Radeon hardware and after a little amount of googling these things came up:

  • From CCSM composite: disable Detect Refresh Rate
  • From CCSM OpenGL: disable Sync to Vblanc and set texture filter to fast
  • From Catalyst Control Center in display options disable Tear Free

Immediately after tweaking these settings, performance should be boosted noticeably.