Getting ATI Radeon HD Drivers to work on a Linux laptop - the Saga

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I never thought I’d be switching to Ubuntu — but I can’t believe how painless this Ubuntu 9.04 install just was.

After years on RPM-based distros, I was stymied just now, trying to get Linux back up and running on my HP Pavilion dv7 laptop, running in to all sorts of dorky installation issues that I never seemed to have difficulty with in the past. I’ve always stuck to RPM-based distros (Fedora, RHEL, CENT, OpenSUSE) just because they were what I knew, and always shied away from Ubuntu since I didn’t want to have to learn a new package manager.

That was a pretty dumb reason to stay away from what’s turned out to be an amazingly slick distro and installation process. Just staggeringly smooth, actually.

I’ve got quite a bit more I want to catalog on this, but I’ll give you the overview of what I’ve just experienced with this, just in case you’re running into the same:

rest here