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I am a windows user so please bear with me. I have mandrake 9.2 installed with gnome. The gnome gui starts up right at startup.
Now I logged out of gnome to install xfree86 4.4.0 that I needed in order to install gtk, or so I had understood. I am stupid. So, after installing xfree now I am at the command prompt. I type 'gnome'. Nothing happens. I type 'X'. Now I'm in a some sort of a gui, with three system windows and a console window. (what is this? -Xwindow?)
Logging out of whatever that was, I get to a some sort of a gnome/mandrake menu. I have the option to open up a session or to shutdown. Every item in the menu returns to that odd blue screen with three system windows and the console.
At the install I wrote over all of existing conf files the installer asked.
So, uh, what is this? What did I do? Where did my gnome session go? I already escaped back to my windows system. I hope I don't have to stay here.
How did you install xfree86 4.4.0? Did you install from source or find Mandrake packages somewhere? Xfree86 is a large complex peice of software that many other programs rely on, so there are numerous ways to foul things up. Do you get a graphical login screen that you can actually read? (meaning X actually starts and your display is configured properly) Did you try re-booting the machine after installation or pressing ctrl+alt+backspace to re-start X? Did you try running "drakconf" from the command line to re-configure X?
I downloaded all the numerous files for xfree86 and installed it as root after logging out from gnome. Actually at the logout I got a blue screen and a wait cursor, and after a while of waiting, nothing seemed to happen and I had to reset. After loading linux again I end up in the shell. Now I run "sh Xinstall -check" as in the installation instructions told to. It installs without errors (that I notice) and now I find myself in this situation.
From your shell, try typing the command "drakconf" as root. That will open the text version of the Mandrake Control Center. You can then try re-configuring X-windows there. It may be possible that your configuration was wiped out when you installed the new version.
drakconf does not offer real help to me. perhaps i should clear out the situation here.
i am using my linux os at the moment. i am posting this from lynx. X will not start anymore. i can't give a clearer picture of the situation, as i have very poor understanding of what linux exactly is. that is the very problem here.
i realize that the command prompt, or the linux/unix shell is the os. i have heard mentions of Xwindows and of many 'X-mishmash' applications, and i believe that X is the core of linux's graphical facade. gnome, kde, etc work on the basis of Xwindow/XFree system. (is this correct?)
when i installed the mandrake 9.2 distro, i chose the gnome gui. mandrake boots up with a graphical desktop with a few basic operational applications. so, now as i so foolishly updated XFree, and let the installer overwrite every possible conf file, i lost that gnome desktop and was left with the basic Xwindow gui, or at least so i believe. i just learned the ctrl-alt-backspace shortcut to 'kill' that session and return to login prompt to shell. so i did and this is where i am.
a) so, what can/should i do - besides re-install - to get gnome/kde/etc working?
b) what exactly is XFree, and is my understanding above correct?