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Okay, I ran XFdrake (I'm running Mandrake 9.1 right now) and everything seemed already in order. It recognized my Radeon card and my monitor, but I keep getting the same error. I tried fiddling with some settings but to no avail. If I can somehow fix that darn "unable to open display" message, that should be the key. By the way, I appreciate all the help you've been giving me.
No problem. I can think of two more things to try.
First, get root permission and type in and go cd /etc/X11 and then dir and see if there is a file called XF86Config-4 . If there is you want to type in mv /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 /home/(your user name) because you want to get it out of the X11 directory but not delete it. Then run XF86Config and try startx again.
The second thing I can think of is getting ATI drivers for your card from this site
Let's hope this works
Thanks, I'll try your additional suggestions re: the xf86config file. Last time I typed X and X11 my monitor shut off and my computer froze. I'm not home right now so it will have to wait a couple of hours, though. As for the ATI drivers, I already looked there. The ATI website just referred me to the XFree86 website, and according to that website XFree86 4.3 already has the correct Radeon driver on it, and Mandrake 9.1 has XFree86 4.3 pre-installed, at least according the the Mandrake website. So it seems to me that at least my Mandrake 9.1 should work. Maybe you could take at look at http://www.xfree86.org/4.3.0/radeon.4.html and let me know if you see something useful that I'm missing (which is entirely possible since I have a whopping two days worth of Linux/Unix experience). I'm almost positive now that my problem is with XFree86 and not just KDE, because I can't load any GUI or even startx itself. The monitor immediately shuts off and my computer freezes. Can't reboot or anything.
Haha, that's funny you suggested that because I did that about two hours before that post. But, I have good news: you rock! I moved the XF86Config-4 file like you suggested and that worked (for the most part). My monitor no longer turns off, and I actually can get KDE to start up when I type startx, but not when I type startkde, when I do that I get the same error messages as before. And even though I can get into KDE now, my mouse doesn't work -- it's stuck at the top of the screen. Do you know any quick fixes for that one, too? And is it possible to set up Linux so that KDE will start automatically now? So does that tell you what the problem was? Can you explain it to me in English because I have no idea what you had me do, really. Lots of questions, I know. Sorry.
Sure, for some reason, which I don't know why, Mandrake's graphical server goes to the setting in XF86Config-4 instead of the one you configured which was plain old XF86Config, so by removing it the graphical server sort of went "Well, I don't see XF86Config-4, I'll just use the other one instead" As for the mouse, first try making sure you have the right one set in XF86Config, or just try a generic mouse instead, like a serial or something. As for bringing up X on startup go into your start menu, go the the configuration tab and like mandrake 9.1 control center. From there on the left of the screen you will see a couple of different tabs, click the boot tab. Go to drake boot in the upper right hand corner. From there you can select "launch graphical enviroment on boot" and even have yourself automatically logged in.
Thanks for the info. I'll set KDE to boot automatically once I get my mouse to work, but right now I can't really do anything in KDE without it. I tried all the different settings in xf86config to get my mouse to work and nothing seemed to help. I can the see cursor, but when I try to move it it just goes crazy all over the screen, and it always tends to migrate towards the top of the screen. Any more suggestions?
It's a Logitech optical mouse. It's a USB mouse but I have it connected via a PS/2 adapter. I tried getting rid of the PS/2 adapter and connecting it to the USB port, but that didn't seem to help. Oh, and it's not a wireless mouse, it's got a cord.
Plug it in ps/2 and run xf86config and select auto(#1). Startx and see if that works. If it doesn't try #17 as ps/2 or usb and make sure to start a different x server each time (startx -- :1, startx -- :2 brings up x servers in conrtol-alt-f8 and f9. The usb optical mouse is pretty new and you could get to work in time. See if you can find a nice old serial mouse. Those always work. Then you can get into the mandrake 9.1 control Center and select USB mouse and which one matches the closest.
I finally got the mouse to work! I had already tried switching the mouse to "Auto," but it didn't work before. But this time I logged in as root rather than my user name and I switched to "Auto" and that did the trick. I guess I just had to make the change as root! Anyway, everything works great now -- I just have to figure out how to use Linux -- the file structure is very different from the world of Windows that I am used to. Again, thanks for your help.