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Old 02-04-2007, 12:02 PM   #1
Tischbein
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how to install xfce instead of Gnome/kde?


Dear All,

I'm trying to get xfce working on Debian. Not working so far, but I feel that this must be a well trodden path, so I'm probably missing something very obvious and basic. I don't know how to work X11 (once looked at the X11 site and the documentation was so vast and inaccessible that I soon gave up) so maybe there are some X11 basics that I'm getting wrong?

Anyway, here's my trail so far:

# Installed a brand new minimal Debian system.

- apt-get update
- apt-cache search xfce # this showed xfce4 as the latest xfce so:
- apt-cache install xfce4 # installs, no problem.
# At the end of the install I'm asked how I'd like the fonts to be
# managed. There's an automatic and a manual option.
# I went for the automatic option, as I know nix about fonts.
# That's all.

# I rebooted. xfce didn't come up.

# man pages aren't there for xfce or xfce4.

# I searched for all commands in my path containing xfce and a couple looked interesting:
- startxfce # produced an error
- xfce_setup # Ran ok.
# Amongst the five or so lines it printed was "This will set up xfce for user root". According to the xfce_startup man page each user has to call xfce_setup themselves, presumably so that users can run their own choice of graphical landscape.
# The man page for xfce_setup says "this will make the user able to use Xfce4 just by typing startx". So:

- startx # No good:
# The first error message is "/usr/bin/X11/X" no such file or directory". Now /usr/bin/X11/ exists but contains no X or X11, which I guess is probably an executable?

So.. what is that X and how do I get it? I doubt it's a package because otherwise apt-get would have noted it as a dependency and got it. So it seems more likely to be generated by an install script that I haven't run. But I'm just guessing. If anyone has been through this and knows how it works I'd greatly appreciate some direction.

Regards, Grillenbein

Last edited by Tischbein; 02-04-2007 at 12:05 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 12:14 PM   #2
HappyTux
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Quote:
- startx # No good:
# The first error message is "/usr/bin/X11/X" no such file or directory". Now /usr/bin/X11/ exists but contains no X or X11, which I guess is probably an executable?
apt-get install x-window-system

Edit: I should add to make sure that you have the horizontal and vertical refresh rate settings for your monitor handy so you can enter them when asked as Debian always sets these too low resulting in not being able to use the higher resolutions/refresh rates most monitors support.

Last edited by HappyTux; 02-04-2007 at 12:18 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 01:10 PM   #3
Tischbein
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Thank you for your very quick reply!

I've apt-got and went through the menus. I made a boo-boo when I entered the keyboard type as "UK" (should be "GB"). After the install finished I grepped all recent files for "uk" and got a dozen or so hits, the most plausible one being in

/etc/X11/XF86Config-4: "XkbLayout" "uk"

xstart gives three errors, of which that is one, so I'll try to fix that first.

Many thanks again for your quick and helpful advice!

Regards, Entenbein
 
Old 02-04-2007, 01:20 PM   #4
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tischbein
Thank you for your very quick reply!

I've apt-got and went through the menus. I made a boo-boo when I entered the keyboard type as "UK" (should be "GB"). After the install finished I grepped all recent files for "uk" and got a dozen or so hits, the most plausible one being in

/etc/X11/XF86Config-4: "XkbLayout" "uk"

xstart gives three errors, of which that is one, so I'll try to fix that first.

Many thanks again for your quick and helpful advice!

Regards, Entenbein
Your welcome use dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 as root to reconfigure and put in the correct settings.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 01:46 PM   #5
Tischbein
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Done, thanks. Alas the battle's finished but not the war:

Error the next from startx is "xf86OpenSerial: Cannot open device /dev/input/mice \n No such device". and then it keels over with "No core pointer" "failed to initialise core devices".

/dev/input/mice certainly exists so I'm not sure what this is on about. Options that spring to mind are that the mouse driver isn't in the kernel, in which case I'll have to try to track down a suitable one. How do I check whether that's plausible?

A peek at the XF86Config file has:

Code:
Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier   "Configured Mouse"
        Driver       "mouse"
        Option       "CorePointer"
        Option       "Device"           "/dev/input/mice"
        Option       "Protocol"         "ImPS/2"
        Option       "Emulate£Buttons"  "true"
        Option       "ZAxisMapping"     "4 5"
and that's its only reference to /dev/input/mice. Humm.. what to do. I'll start looking for ways to check whether the device driver is loaded.


Regards, Radlerbein

Last edited by Tischbein; 02-04-2007 at 01:48 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 02:04 PM   #6
HappyTux
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Try the reconfigure command again using /dev/psaux as the mouse device.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 02:06 PM   #7
Tischbein
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Hah, step by step does it!

lsmod # doesn't list "mouse", though I suppose it might be statically linked.
modprobe mousedev
lsmod # Now there's a mousedev comment to the right of one of the modules

startx # now starts, but the mouse pointer won't move.

So I'm rebooting and will let you know when that intransigent fleck on my screen starts to cooperate.

Regards, Wackerbein

Last edited by Tischbein; 02-04-2007 at 02:17 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 02:09 PM   #8
Indiestory
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could you maybe post you xinitrc? it could be as simple as the script not set up properly for that. Is there a standard way to launch xfce? I think on slackware theres a special script that it uses as its own sort of init in the same way kdeinit works?
 
Old 02-04-2007, 02:21 PM   #9
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tischbein
Hah, step by step does it!

lsmod # doesn't list "mouse", though I suppose it might be statically linked.
modprobe mousedev
lsmod # Now there's a mousedev comment to the right of one of the modules

startx # now starts, but the mouse pointer won't move.

So I'm rebooting and will let you know when that intransigent fleck on my screen starts to cooperate.

Regards, Wackerbein
Ok getting closer can you tell us what the hardware is in the machine you are using and post the /var/log/XFree86.0.log file so we can see how everything gets detected? This file is rather large so you will need to split it into two posts.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 02:36 PM   #10
Tischbein
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cat /dev/psaux (as recommended by google) shows you to be right.

<symphony><dimmed lights>

And the mouse moves... like a crazy thing.

<rude interruption>

So I'll try changing the mouse protocol. Or maybe there are speed of mouse-movement settings somewhere.

Thank you very much in getting me this far gently and painlessly. No RTFM, just the info I needed.

Regards, Wankelbein
 
Old 02-04-2007, 03:02 PM   #11
Tischbein
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Changing the protocol to PS2 did it. Thank you all for contributing.

HappyTux - I haven't looked at the log file for hardware detection, but that's good to know. I'll have a peek.

Regards, Quasiturbine
 
Old 02-06-2007, 08:44 AM   #12
craigevil
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Debian Xfce Group
Quote:
Packages are available in sid/unstable, etch/testing and sarge/stable distributions. You can install xfce4 as follows:

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install xfce4 $ apt-get install xfce4-goodies

Recently released Xfce 4.4RC2 (4.3.99.2) should be available soon in Debian unstable but we may release more cutting-edge bits to Corsac's repository as below. Source and binary packages for i386, powerpc and sparc are available at:

deb http://debian.corsac.net unstable/
deb-src http://debian.corsac.net unstable/

The key used to sign this repository is available here (key id E7710DEC).

For sarge/stable distribution, there are official packages (rebuilt from testing sources) available on backports.org - see their instructions for details.
 
  


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