well I had partial success, my idea in the above post did not work but I had some success adding the paths to /etc/ld.so.conf.
I can redirect the nvidia drivers to /usr/nvidia. Then add /usr/nvidia/lib to /etc/ld.so.conf and have the nvidia drivers work (after running ldconfig).
This worked on machine A with a nvidia card.
ati on the other hand offers no redirection (that I can find), I have tried manually extracting the debs files:
dpkg-deb -c /var/cache/apt/archives/fglrx_2%3a8.801-0ubuntu1~xup~maverick_i386.deb
and placing the contents of package:/usr/lib into /usr/ati/lib. I then added /usr/ati/lib to /etc/ld.so.conf but it still fails to load the glx libs, it actually seems to be trying to load nvidia libs still, though the xorg.conf is generated by the ati tool:
aticonfig --initial -f --resolution=0,1024x768
This failed on Machine B with a ati card.
output of attempted x start:
Is it possible to install ati drivers into a different location without it modifying /usr/lib symlinks ?
X.Org X Server 1.9.0
Release Date: 2010-08-20
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.24-28-server i686 Ubuntu
Current Operating System: Linux drbl1101 2.6.35-28-generic-pae #50-Ubuntu SMP Fri Mar 18 20:43:15 UTC 2011 i686
Kernel command line: initrd=initrd-pxe.img devfs=nomount drblthincli=off selinux=0 edd=on BOOT_IMAGE=vmlinuz-pxe
Build Date: 09 January 2011 12:14:58PM
xorg-server 2:1.9.0-0ubuntu7.3 (For technical support please see http://www.ubuntu.com/support)
Current version of pixman: 0.18.4
Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
to make sure that you have the latest version.
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Tue May 3 20:27:09 2011
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"
(==) Using system config directory "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d"
dlopen: libnvidia-tls.so.270.41.06: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
(EE) Failed to load /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/libglx.so
(EE) Failed to load module "glx" (loader failed, 7)