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I installed Slackware 10.1 on an older system today, after formatting Slackware 10 a while ago for lack of space on my primary (currently windows) computer. I hazarded through an install while looking up guides and references all throughout. My problem now, though, is getting a working GUI. The command line interface will work just fine, but when I try to start a GUI (I've tried KDE, Gnome, Blackbox, Fluxbox, WindowMaker, Tab Window Manager, plus others, which all came with my Slackware distro), my computer will boot for a short time, then I get an indefinite black screen. I used ctrl-alt-bkspce and did get a working command line, but each GUI provides various error messages all relating to problems reading/loading files.
I've been googling this for hours, and from the best I can see is that my hardware may just not be up to it. I'm running an emachines etower is600 with Slackware 10.1; 600mhz, 32 megs ram, and I think a 1mb built-in video card. A ram upgrade, though something I'd like to avoid, is a viable solution if needed. If any of you think my hardware may not be the problem, I'll next post the error messages from my first-choice GUIs, although I have a suspicion that a problem with a single solution may be the answer to most. Please keep answers fairly simple, as I'm not much accustomed to Linux at all. And for those of you who've gotten this far, congratulations, because even I usually can't even finish reading my own writing.
Tinkster: I found out today that KDE and Gnome are much more demanding than other GUIs, but I did try them anyway to see if the problem was specific to certain ones. Currently my swap is ~98 MB (meant to be 64, but oops).
Poetics: After doing some reading I determined that fluxbox was probably my first choice. I have tried leaving it on for 15+ minutes with no change, and am trying again now. I couldn't even get the Tab Window Manager, which is considered primitive enough to put "(very basic)" after it.
Now that I think about it, I may be able to snag some ram from an old computer in our garage. My older brother, although no more tech savvy than I, is a hoarder of electronic goods and has some 5 or more old computers out there,
including my first computer ever, a 200 mhz pc running win 95. I more and more wish my roots (quite weak, but there) weren't in Windows, because the more I deal with Linux, the more I come to dislike it (especially spyware.. ewww!).
Back to topic: How much of my computer's resources is the Tab Window Manager expected to use? Is it possible to guess by this whether or not this is a hardware or software issue?
Software, I'd imagine twm would run on less than what you're offering. Considering I've run Win95 on a 486DX/50 with 16MB RAM and it's been very usable, I'm guessing that you can run twm without a drama. Fluxbox should be fine as well as long as you don't use a pixmap-based theme.
Post the error messages, they'll help a lot. Have you run xorgconfig? You have to do that before you try anything. X -configure will do that job as well
Some of my personal notes might be mixed into here, so without further ado, the most typing I've done all day:
*edit: I should add that I did configure X with "X -configure." :P*
When I run
X -config /root/xorg.conf.new
Build Operating Systerm: Linux 2.4.29 i686 [ELF]
Current Operating System: Linux ariox 2.4.29 #6 The Jan 20 16:30:37 PST 2005 i686
Build Date: 23 January 2005
Before reporting problems, blah blah blah
Module Loader present
Markers: (--) probed, (**) fron 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: Wed Aug 24 01:36:06 2005
(++) Using config file: "/root/xorg.conf.new"
(EE) 1810(0): Less than 6 MB of AGP memory is available. Cannot Procees.
(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.
Fatal server error:
no screens found
Please consult the X.Org Foundation support
at [their url]
Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for addition information.
Although new to Linux, I don't believe in total ineptitude, so I went to see what "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" had to say.
The log file was pretty big, and since I have no way to copy text from that computer to this one, I'll give you what seems most important:
_XSERVTransSocketOpenCOTSServer: Unable to open socket for inet6
_XSERVTransOpen: transport open failed for inet6/ariox:0
_XSERVTransMakeALLCOTSServerListeners: failed to open listener for inet6
X Window System vertion 6.8.1
And from the top, skipping all the way to the bottom of "/var/log/Xorg.0.log:
Fatal server error:
no screens found
And trying "startx" gives me (In addition to information that can be found above):
fatal IO error 104 (Connection reset by peer) on X server ":0.0"
after 0 requests (0 known processed) with 0 events remaining.
I hope this really gives you something to work with, because I'm rather lost. Oh, I'm also picking up "Running Linux" tomorrow, so if any of you are familiar with it you can go ahead and refer me to a page in there.
It'd be well worth finding the extra RAM, and while you're digging in the garage see if there's a PCI graphics card kicking around. 1MB onboard is next to useless, although I have had IceWM "running" on similar specs. A 600MHz CPU shouldn't go to waste - it's still perfectly usable!
*wishes for 5 old computers and a garage to play in...*
I wish I had 5 old computers to play around with... My brother had to quiz me over keeping an old floppy drive floating around (plenty of which he has, even in broken computers). Yes, the floppy on my nice computer did break. Never shop at Fry's. Ever. Scary time.
I agree, a 600 mhz computer is still perfectly fine. Although it was about before I was old enough to really have an interest in computers, I have noticed that similar models made around the same time tend to have 128 MBs' RAM, so I'm assuming that this one was a cheaper model (It IS an emachine after all).
Actually, there is an old computer (but much more recent than mine) in the garage running at 500 mhz but with lots more ram and perhaps a reasonable graphics card. The only problem is that the Windows installation is corrupted (surprise... I have nightmares about Windows crashing. ...maybe). By my knowledge, it would be possible to use these nice Slackware ISOs here and format the sucker... But there's no way I could ever get my always-irate brother to give it up, even though he has 3 (three, yes three) of the same exact model. Hmm... Now that I count, theres a 166 mhz, a 200, three 500's, and a 1.8 Ghz comp without a PSU that's been there since my mom got a G5 (quite spiffy) recently. If I could get the PSU back from my electronically inept dad that would rock...
But I'm going off on a tangent (no duh). So please, those select few entertained by this, go read my previous post and help me out.
Xorg is, obviously, not recognizing your video setup. From the command line, run "lspci -vv" and write down what it says about your video card, especially how much memory it has. Then dig up the specs on your monitor, most notably the vertical and horizontal refresh rates, as well as the resolution capabilities. Then run "xorgconfig" from the command line, and it will walk you through setting up an xorg.conf file that's more suitable for your system.
IMHO, you would be best served by going to your local hardware shop and picking up a couple of used 64 Meg DIMMS to enhance your ram, and an old agp (if you have the slot) or pci (if you don't) video card. I'm not a big fan of on-board graphics.