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Old 12-09-2004, 02:25 AM   #1
mike rodent
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Registered: Dec 2004
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xwindows failure on Dell laptop


hello, can anyone help this linux newbie?

I'm very keen on getting started with linux but when I install RedHat 9 on my Dell C600 laptop, xwindows won't start... I have the command line and that's all... but it's odd because the installation process was able to use the graphics environment without any difficulty...

having done various Google searches it seems other people have had the same problem with C600s and the answer may possibly lie in a file called XF86Config, which I have tried editing a little bit to no avail... nowhere did I find anyone who could give me chapter and verse on how to solve this probl.

it's quite frustrating because I understand getting on top of the CLI is important, but using the GUI is pretty necessary for a newbie... particularly as I want to start exploring the use under Linux of the Windows apps I have to use all the time

NB for anyone interested, the card in the machine is an ATI Rage 128 Mobility, apparently, and the messages I get are "cannot start X server", "ddcprobe returned bogus values".
when I run startx from the CL I get
"(EE) R128(0): No valid modes found
(EE) Screen(s) found, but non have [sic] a usable configuration"

help!
 
Old 12-09-2004, 02:50 AM   #2
jschiwal
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Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
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You need to have both the video driver installed and select the monitor and modes for the monitor.
I't may make sense to break the problem into two separate parts. First, you may want to use the generic vesa driver to begin with. This driver will work with nearly any card. Now you can tackle selecting the proper monitor settings first. When that is finished, you should have a working (non-accelerated) system, and can move on to installing the driver for your ATI card.
 
Old 12-09-2004, 02:50 AM   #3
tripmix
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Try changeing XF86Config-4 (migth me called somthing else), were it say "R128", under "device" probably, to "vesa". It's not the Ideal driver but it should get you a picture til you find something better.

Maybe you could post your xfree log file.

Edit: I finaly find somthing I can help whit and someone beats me to it. Just my luck....

Last edited by tripmix; 12-09-2004 at 02:52 AM.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 02:41 PM   #4
mike rodent
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Registered: Dec 2004
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thanks very much... these 2 comments have led to some success

first the good news: I can log on to RH9 (Fedora Core, whatever that means...) in graphics mode!

the bad news is that every time I want to do this it takes a long time because the machine's "preparing system disks" or sthg... but the system is now usable!

I changed the device in XF86Config (there is no XF86Config-4, BTW) to "vesa"... but obviously Linux is not entirely happy with this as an explanation...

I can quote you lines from xfree log file perhaps, if you tell me how I find and then list this file on my screen... or indeed lines from XF86Config... but at the moment I don't know anything about downloading files...

anyway this is a good sign! thanks again to you both

Mike
 
Old 12-17-2004, 05:29 AM   #5
jschiwal
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The XF86config-4 is a filename used for the transition from a previous version of X windows. If you only have an XF86config file, that is the one that will be used.

The "preparing system disks" message sounds more like a message from the windows manager, such as KDE or Gnome, rather than a XFree86 issue.

Which windows manager are you using?
 
Old 12-17-2004, 05:30 AM   #6
jschiwal
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Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
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The XF86config-4 is a filename used for the transition from a previous version of X windows. If you only have an XF86config file, that is the one that will be used.

The "preparing system disks" message sounds more like a message from the windows manager, such as KDE or Gnome, rather than a XFree86 issue. There are certain services which must start up when going from init level 3 to init level 5. This may be the part that is taking a long time.

Which windows manager are you using?
 
Old 12-17-2004, 07:04 AM   #7
mike rodent
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Registered: Dec 2004
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windows manager... GNOME, rather than KDE... GNOME is the RH9 default

what should I do next?

Mike
 
Old 12-17-2004, 07:21 AM   #8
0pal_t0ad
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Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Southampton, England
Distribution: Laptop:Gentoo-i686-2.6.9-r9 Desktop:Slackware10 2.4.26
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the vesa driver is just a std video driver, to get better use out of ur card(to use glx) try this out
http://www.start-linux.com/articles/article_53.php

but before you do that run 'lsmod' from a terminal and make sure that 'r128' is in the list
if not run 'modprobe r128' if u get an error it means u don't have the needed module compiled and u need to reconfigure and compile the kernel.... so now would be a good time to start praying

if that wen't alright add these two lines to XF86Config:
Load "dri"
Load "glx"

somewhere at the bottom u should see 'Section Dri' with some evil no like 666 or something. if that's commented(has # before the line) u need to uncomment it.
so it should look like this:
Section "DRI"
***** 666
End Section


if everything went according to plan, X should start up alright. try typing 'glxgears' into a terminal and if u see some spinning gears....mission accomplished!!!! u got hardware 3D acceleration and should be able to play games like quake3.
 
  


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