Upgrade Ubuntu 10.04 to Ubuntu 10.10 with ATI Proprietary Driver

I’ve just upgraded my Ubuntu 10.04 installation to 10.10 Maverick Meercat and encountered an issue with X failing to load.
During the upgrade, Ubuntu complained about the upgrade of the fglrx proprietary driver. I didn’t think too much of it – I was of course going to let it continue.
After the reboot, the screen stopped at a purple screen of death. Not good.
Rebooting, the same thing happened.


  • At the Grub menu choose Rescue Mode
  • Choose drop to netroot shell
    (WARNING: Don’t select drop to root shell unless you’ve set a root password, most default Ubuntu installs won’t have this set)
  • Log in as yourself
  • Sudo edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and make sure it only contains these lines:
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
        Driver          "vesa"
Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Configured Monitor"
Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
        Device          "Configured Video Device"
  • Type startx
  • On your desktop’s menu choose “System… Administration… Additional Drivers”
  • Choose “ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver”
  • Restart your computer