How to install AMD 13.1 legacy drivers on Ubuntu 13.04 [Guide]

ubuntu_logoSo you are a Ubuntu user and want to upgrade to Ubuntu 13.04 but can’t because you use AMD and your drivers won’t work on the latest Ubuntu. If that is the situation for you, then you have come to the right please because this guide shows you how to install AMD drivers on Ubuntu 13.04!


First thing’s first, you’ll need to downgrade xserver to 1.12. Open up a terminal and enter the following commands:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:makson96/fglrx
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade

Now, before we can proceed further, it is very important that you install linux-headers-generic. Do it by entering the command below in your terminal:

  •  sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic

After installing the ppa, and downgrading your xserver to 1.12 and installing linux-generic-headers, you’ll need to download the modified drivers. These are patched drivers.

Next we need to check and see that one header file is present. If a header file is not present, the installation will fail and output an error. The installer is looking for /usr/lib/modules/3.8.0-**-generic/build/version.h. If this file is not there, you will be able to find it at /usr/src/linux-headers-3.8.0-**-generic/include/linux/version.h. If you couldn’t find the file in /usr/lib/modules/ you should use the command below to copy it:

  •  sudo cp /usr/src/linux-headers-3.8.0-**-generic/include/linux/version.h /usr/lib/modules/3.8.0-**-generic/build
In your terminal window, cd into the directory in which you’ve extracted the patched drivers and enter the following command. This will start the install process:
  • sudo ./ –install
After installation has completed, it is time to configure:
  • sudo amdconfig –initial
After doing amdconfig you’ll need to reboot your machine. Once you’ve rebooted back into Ubuntu 13.04, verify that FGLRX is working. Do this by opening terminal and entering fglrxinfo. It should look something similar to this:

display: :0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon 3100 Graphics 
OpenGL version string: 3.3.11672 Compatibility Profile Context

Done! Enjoy!

[via minus-code]

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  • Vali

    Is not working:

    cat /usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log
    Check if system has the tools required for installation.
    Uninstalling any previously installed drivers.

    Creating symlink /var/lib/dkms/fglrx/ ->

    DKMS: add completed.

    Kernel preparation unnecessary for this kernel. Skipping…

    Building module:
    cleaning build area….
    cd /var/lib/dkms/fglrx/; sh –nohints –uname_r=3.8.0-29-generic –norootcheck….(bad exit status: 1)
    [Error] Kernel Module : Failed to build fglrx- with DKMS
    [Error] Kernel Module : Removing fglrx- from DKMS

    Deleting module version:
    completely from the DKMS tree.

  • Hermann

    There wasn’t any version.h in that folder. There are others. What should i do?

  • pingwin

    i have done all the steps above but at the installation of the driver i got error:

    DKMS part of installation failed.

    then all the steps got error

    X Error of failed request: BadRequest (invalid request code or no such operation)
    Major opcode of failed request: 138 (ATIFGLEXTENSION)
    Minor opcode of failed request: 66 ()
    Serial number of failed request: 13
    Current serial number in output stream: 13
    as i see just like andrew

  • iH8SudoM8IllRekU

    Bruce, you are an idiot or a troll, possibly both.

  • Andrew

    Ok, I haven’t tinkered with this since the end of April but I did submit a bug report to Ubuntu which can be found here:

    This morning I went through the instructions precisely one more time and everything went as described except once I was done and rebooted, when I ran fglrxinfo, I got an error (previously it returned the successful results). The error is as follows:

    X Error of failed request: BadRequest (invalid request code or no such operation)

    Major opcode of failed request: 138 (ATIFGLEXTENSION)
    Minor opcode of failed request: 66 ()
    Serial number of failed request: 13
    Current serial number in output stream: 13

    I don’t know if this will help move forward but I thought it was interesting none the less.


  • Biff

    if sudo apt-get upgrade returns errors that it’s holding back packages, use

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    instead, this will install any dependencies as well.

  • Sascha

    Hello Derrik,

    Does this driver support my ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4225 card?

    With best regards,

  • Andrew

    Hi Derrik,
    Yes I did. The switch is “dash dash initial”, correct? It looks like a long dash in your instructions but I assume it’s the blogging software that’s changing double dashes into an m-dash or something.

    I’ve done the process several times using either the .sh installer that I was able to download or sudo apt-get install fglrx-legacy.

    If I run fglrxinfo, I get the correct results.

    Maybe it’s an edge case and something went wrong in the upgrade from Ubuntu 12.10 to 13.04 but I’ve been running Ubuntu on this machine for about the last 4 years. I think I’ll save my home directory and do a fresh install to see what happens.


  • [@Andrew] Did you remember to do amdconfig –initial? I’ve done it myself a couple times and I’ve had no trouble. Not entirely sure what’s going on with it. Perhaps you might want to try the install again fresh and do sudo apt-get install fglrx-legacy once the repository is added.

  • Bruce

    Yes, it’s not just the AMD situation. They just seem to make things harder with every release.

    I hate sudo!

  • Andrew

    Hi Derrik,

    First thanks for the step-by-step workaround for this.

    I feel Bruce’s pain… I switched from Redhat & Fedora to Knoppix Debian and then to Ubuntu and both 12.10 and 13.04 are causing me trouble. You would think that the upgrading scripts would detect the video hardware and then rollback the drivers to allow them to work. Currently, you log in (Radeon 3100 Graphics) and you get a lovely blank wallpaper. I have to launch everything from the terminal.

    So, I’ve followed your instructions but I was not able to get your patched drivers (server down) so I ran sudo apt-get install fglrx-legacy.

    This enabled me to run fglrxinfo but I still have a blank wallpaper screen. Any thoughts?


  • [@Barne] Also, if you’re having a bit of trouble getting it installed an alternate way of installing legacy without using the .sh installer is to enter
    sudo apt-get install fglrx-legacy

  • [@Barne] For some reason the files aren’t always present. Just look over that step and should be fine.

  • Barne

    If follow you up to downloading the pathed drivers. I download them and install them automatically. I can not find the files you describe after that… /usr/lib/modules/3.8.0-**-generic/build/version.h. In any of the lib you suggest. Can you describe that part of the installation a bit more in detail for a n00b like me?

  • [@Bruce] The reason this is done is because of AMD. Stop blaming Canonical for AMDs lack of legacy support.

  • Bruce

    Every new release of Ubuntu brings with the need for ever more sudo stuff to make things work the way you want them to work. Canonical has become as arrogant as Apple in deciding what’s right for you.