AMD driver/Xorg/KDE5 issue

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Sep 14 23:00:34 UTC 2019

On Sat, 14 Sep 2019 23:06:29 +0100, Rob via freebsd-questions wrote:
> Dear FreeBSD questions
> I have for a number of weeks been attempting to install FreeBSD 12.0, 
> after a lot of frustration I have got it to boot on an old (~7yr old) 
> laptop of mine. I have got to the point where I am attempting to install 
> KDE5 but before that I have tried to see if startx works first, it doesn't.
> I have an odd dual AMD graphics set-up (a Radeon HD 6400M/7400M with an 
> APU whose model I don't remember) so I tried to install the drm-kmod 
> package as the xorg var log file didn't seem to be able to find a usable 
> driver, but when I do I get:
> [1/3] Extracting gpu-firmware-kmod-g20190620: 0%
> [1/3] pkg: Fail to create /boot/modules:No such file or directory
> [1/3] Extracting gpu-firmware-kmod-g20190620: 100%
> Having found this problem, I wiped the drive, reinstalled FreeBSD again 
> and before rebooting the system, I created this directory in case it was 
> some odd permissions issue, but I get the same message.

Are you sure your base OS installation went without problems?
That bessage doesn't look right...

Wiping and re-installing sounds a bit drastic for a non-working
graphics driver. This isn't "Windows", you know? ;-)

In order to get AMD / ex ATi Radeon HD working - I had a similar
problem on an older laptop / almost-netbook -, you need to install
the following:


Sadly, with AMD, I'm never sure which one is correct: is it amdgpu,
or radeon-something, or what? I can fully understand your problems
described here, even though the error message looks strange...

In /boot/loader.conf, add:


I'm not sure X would load it automatically, and the hints for


to /etc/rc.conf (as explained somewhere I can't remember) didn't
work on my system (X always loaded VESA).

Regarding X, make sure you have installed the appropriate drivers.
I had success with


Except the 3D results are terrible (like with Intel desktop graphics).
This setup worked for what I have in this laptop.

In ports there are "radeontool" and "radeontop", but no further X
video drivers named "ati", so I assume the "ati" one is correct,
as there doesn't seem to be any "radeonhd" anymore, even though
"man radeon" leads to a manual page (it probably comes from the
ati driver package, not entirely sure).

More information here:

Make sure you start X without any configuration first.

Examine /var/log/Xorg.0.log in case X doesn't start properly.

Sidenote: When your "text" console becomes unreadable due to
ant-tiny letters, you did load the correct driver successfully. ;-)

> If anyone more competent than me (i.e. everyone) has an idea how I could 
> fix this I would be grateful.

Small steps: simple things (X) first, complex things (KDE) second.
Check log files and error messages. Provide commands and responses
of what you tried.

> Also, I sent an email to the mailman on the FreeBSD mailing list 
> regarding this issue but other than an 'awaiting approval' email I have 
> not heard any more.

You probably used the address of the list manager. That is not a
place to ask for technical help - the list itself is there for it.

> I believe that I am supposed to register as a 
> member, I have registered on the forums as user In_Over_My_Head but I am 
> not sure if that is the type of registration that the mailman is 
> referring to.

The web forum is totally independent from this mailing list. You
_can_ register to post to the list, but you _need_ to register if
you want to receive the list's messages.

> It would help if certain things such as this were made 
> clearer, especially if those heavily involved with this project wish to 
> reach a potentially wider user base as some may consider such behaviour 
> as rude.

Rude is something absolutely different. Over the many years I'm
on this list, I am still pleased about the friendly tone and the
helpful answers on this list. Other places are, compared to this
list, hostile.

You can find descriptions of the FreeBSD mailing lists here:

I'd say _this_ mailing list is the right place to ask.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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