X configuration

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Revision as of 19:34, 24 August 2005 by (talk)
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Overview of contents

The /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file holds configuration information for the XF86 windowing system. This includes information on the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and video card, as well as some special options for resolution, fancy graphics display, and multi-headed systems. The file is broken up into sections such as "InputDevice" for mice and keyboards, "Monitor" for monitors, and just plain "Device" for video cards themselves. The "Screen" section has meta information about combining all the pieces together correctly.

We are going to have to deal with this file most often because magix somehow fails to create it correctly. In these situations, we need to make small tweaks to fix things.

How to edit the file

Using nano or another command line editor as root, you open up the file:

nano -w /etc/X11/XF86Config-4

Then you'll need to look for what you have to change. One common change is the video driver, for instance from "nvidia" to "nv" (closed source to open source drivers for nVidia cards). Look through the file until you find the "Device" section, and change the value of the Driver line to match the correct driver. Another common change is the default color depth, which is under the "Screen" section, on a line labeled DefaultDepth.

Make your changes and save the file, then quit out of the editor. As root, you'll want to try to start X again, which you accomplish by:

/etc/init.d/kdm restart

If this doesn't work again, check the log file:

less /var/log/XFree86.0.log

and try again.

You can ask X to attempt to configure itself, with this command

X -configure

It saves the XF86Config-4 file in the local directory, so you'll need to move it, or tell X to work with it. For example, you can try your local XF86Config-4 file with this command:

X --xf86config XF86Config-4

This will produce a grey screen with a working mouse if it works.

For more information, type:

man XF86Config-4 

at the command line.