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Adept I

Nvidia and AMD 6970 under LINUX ==> didn't get it to work - please help



So when i boot with the AMD 6970 as boot device (bios option by default) then everything works fine, except that of course the AMD 6970 also gets used by the OS. The OS is OpenSuse 11.2.

The hardware is AMD 8356 (16 cores) @ 4 sockets at an S4985 mainboard and a tad of RAM.


Built in videocard in mainboard is XGI20 from nvidia.


What i want to accomplish is have the OS run on the XGI20 and have the AMD 6970 completely 100% for gpgpu. 


After some time fiddling i accomplished to boot with the XGI20. 

I did do this by creating a file called xorg.conf in /etc/X11 and only allow the vesa driver for the XGI (later on using the sis driver is probably better). It doesn't work 100%, but now it boots the display at the XGI20.


Regrettably now AMD-CAL no longer works.


The error it gives: "There was an error opening the device 0"


With lspci (and being root) i figured out that the device ID from the ATI card is 6718 in this kernel (can be different kernel to kernel).


Basically lspci-v already shows the correct number behind 'Device'.

Running sample programs with -d 6718 gives the error:   

   "There was an error opening the device 6718"


How to get this to work?




12 Replies

you need run Xserver with loaded fglrx and setted DISPLAY to correct session. so running Xserver with nvidia card is meaningless.


Originally posted by: nou you need run Xserver with loaded fglrx and setted DISPLAY to correct session. so running Xserver with nvidia card is meaningless.



Thanks for your quick answer. Not sure what you mean though.

Does this mean that if i boot it with the nvidia card, but also load in xorg.conf a driver for the AMD card, that it will work?





ok Nou, i guess i'm understanding what you mean.


boot the AMD-ATI card as the main boot device, so that'll be device 0 then internally. Then with xserver forward the actual output device to the nvidia graphics card.


Now AMD-CAL will work, say they hardcoded somewhere in the *.so drivers somewhere to only work with device 0, because it is device 0. 


And the video gets handled by the built in nvidia card.


I'll try that now!

Many thanks,



hi Nou,


Didn't get that to work yet. Mind sharing how you do that with under openSuse?


It doesn't have a xorg.conf.

The ATI card doesn't work at all when i created a simple one.

Just the nvidia one does then.


Would i need to create xorg.conf and define both videocards in it in order to forward it to the videocard?

Does give it a display number then, which it doesn't have now?


lspci sees the nvidia videocard now (so without using xorg.conf); for other equipment that's enough to then communicate with it using a driver in the linux kernel (no need for there). Obviously isn't listing the device,

is that needed to forward to it?


If gets in between, isn't that a slow layer in between that slows it down a lot? Or can't i do without it?


Thanks in advance for answerring any of the above questions,



there is no way to get AMD GPU work without xserver. xserver load fglrx driver so forget about nvidia card.

create xorg.conf with aticonfig --initial -f


hi. That all won't work, as there is no driver for it in linux.

The aticonfig always gives: "unsupported hardware".





Good news is that you can try out 11.1, as it is available for both Win & Linux platforms.


Originally posted by: himanshu.gautam diepchess,


Good news is that you can try out 11.1, as it is available for both Win & Linux platforms.



Great, good notification, i will try it!

Thanks for the quick availability!





You might consider setting COMPUTE variable instead of DISPLAY, as it points CAL to the proper cards but will not interfere with Xserver window forwarding.


Hi diepchess,

did you manage to get both NVIDIA and AMD GPU working on Linux?

If so, could you provide details on how you did it?

Thank you


I have three GPUs installed on my GNU/Debian machine: two AMDs (HD6970 and HD7970) and an Nvidia GTX-580. The HD6970 GPU is mainly used for display, while HD7970 and GTX-580 are exclusively used for GP-GPU computing through OpenCL.

I've installed the fglrx driver (12.3) and the nvidia driver (295-33) from Debian's repository. Then, I've configured Xorg to recognize the AMD GPUs by executing 'aticonfig --initial --adapter=all'.

In order to be able to start X I had to blacklist the nvidia driver (echo "blacklist nvidia" > /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia.conf), otherwise the fglrx driver hangs while trying to start X. Fortunately, this didn't stop the nvidia driver from being automatically loaded whenever some process (such as OpenCL programs) attempts to use the hardware.


Thanks, d.a.a.

I did a fresh install today with only Radeon GPU installed, then successfully loaded installed driver. After that I inserted GTX 470 back in the first slot (otherwise it does not fit in my case) -- the system continued to boot with nouveau driver and AMD-opencl applications remained operational. When I installed nvidia driver it stopped booting with the symptoms you'd described -- fgrlx hung while trying to start X. Blacklisting of nvidia driver did not help, so I ended up uninstalling nvidia drivers.

The only difference between our systems is that your first GPU is an AMD one, while mine is NVIDIA. I'm using openSUSE 11.4, but I don't think this matters.