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-   -   DISCUSSION: Configuring XFree86 for a Non-Specific Linux Distribution (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linuxanswers-discussion-27/discussion-configuring-xfree86-for-a-non-specific-linux-distribution-71628/)

trickykid 07-10-2003 02:29 PM

DISCUSSION: Configuring XFree86 for a Non-Specific Linux Distribution
 
This thread is to discuss the article titled: Configuring XFree86 for a Non-Specific Linux Distribution

moses 07-16-2003 02:20 AM

With XFree86 4.x, "X -configure" will answer most of the questions xf86config poses and build you an XF86Config.new file in your home directory.
Generally, I run
Code:

X -configure
(as root), edit the resulting ~/XF86Config.new file to my specific needs, and then copy that to /etc/X11/XF86Config.
"The specific needs" seems to, usually, be the biggest problem for most people who haven't done that a million times.
One gotcha is that XFree86 still expects the mouse device to be /dev/mouse, and it is for most people. However, if you set up devfs and followed the recommendations in the Documentation, you probably don't have a /dev/mouse anymore. You'll need to fix that in the XF86Config file. . .

The HOW-TO doesn't (and I don't think it's designed to) answer questions about setting up OpenGL acceleration. That's a topic that might be ready for a HOW-TO. I don't know if I can do a good job, but I'll consider writing something up, maybe this weekend. . .

trickykid 07-16-2003 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by moses
The HOW-TO doesn't (and I don't think it's designed to) answer questions about setting up OpenGL acceleration. That's a topic that might be ready for a HOW-TO. I don't know if I can do a good job, but I'll consider writing something up, maybe this weekend. . .
Yah I should have stated in the howto that it would not cover any special instructions to setup any additional drivers or even compiling XFree86 from scratch. This howto was designed to be as basic as possible on a non-specific distribution using xf86config and etc, the basic commands that come with it.

But yah, thanks for the tips regarding the mouse. Yah, in most cases it will link to /dev/mouse but not in all cases. You can actually specify this during the configuration instead of waiting to edit the file afterwards. That's if you know the path to the device.

Thanks for the feedback and response moses.

moses 07-17-2003 02:20 AM

I also screwed up above.
Quote:

Code:

X -configure

should be:
Code:

XFree86 -configure
Sorry.
I still think this may be an easier way for newbies to configure their XF86Config file. . . It doesn't ask any questions that could potentially confuse the user. For example, with xf86config, there are 566 options for video cards, but XFree86 -configure will load modules itself, and it will usually FIND the correct driver. I know that when I used to use xf86config, I'd have to page through several times before I found the correct driver, and if I typed in the wrong number, I'd have to ^c out and start over.
While "my" way isn't perfect, it does nice things like set up dual heads if it discovers two video cards. There are still things missing, like the ability to find the correct mouse if it isn't /dev/mouse, ask about keyboard or languag, but on the whole, it's a pretty nice way of setting up X. . .

grym 07-17-2003 03:05 PM

Nice run thru for a basic setup. However, not all distros use runlevel 5 for X. One notable exception:

# These are the default runlevels in Slackware:
# 0 = halt
# 1 = single user mode
# 2 = unused (but configured the same as runlevel 3)
# 3 = multiuser mode (default Slackware runlevel)
# 4 = X11 with KDM/GDM/XDM (session managers)
# 5 = unused (but configured the same as runlevel 3)
# 6 = reboot

This is from the actual default Slackware inittab file since no matter how many times I post it someone always says "Oh no so and so is right it's 5".
Guess some people are still in the "it can only be done one way" windows type mentality. Other than that I feel it is a good article for newer users.
It would be nice to have some new user comments tho to see if they could follow it easily.

trickykid 07-17-2003 03:26 PM

Yeah, I could have sworn I added that in my howto, must have been thinking it but didn't type it. Thanks for the heads up though.

arunshivanandan 08-03-2003 01:32 AM

When it asks whether you want to look at the card data base,if you just press enter ,what will happen??And what if you dont have your card in the list and no other card in that matches your card's specs??

grym 08-03-2003 07:59 AM

I remember right pressing enter scrolls thru the selections in the card database. You have to enter a number for a driver and press enter to select a specific driver.

arunshivanandan 08-03-2003 10:59 PM

but when it asked me whether i want to look at the card database,i just pressed enter.
the result:it didnt include my card in the new XF86Config,it contained only my monitor
(no cards)and a vga driver!

JZL240I-U 08-05-2003 06:19 AM

I don't want to run my equipment at max specs. My monitor can do 120 vertical refreshes / second but I want only 90. How then do I set up 800 * 600 @ 90 hz when I could do 1200*1078 @120 and have only the max specs from the manufacturer? What I mean is, how do I calculate the (reduced) maximum horizontal and vertical refresh rates? Or is it done in a different way?

trickykid 09-10-2003 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by arunshivanandan
but when it asked me whether i want to look at the card database,i just pressed enter.
the result:it didnt include my card in the new XF86Config,it contained only my monitor
(no cards)and a vga driver!

You do have to manually type yes then enter to look at the card database. If your card isn't listed, you'll want to try a generic driver until you can find a suitable driver to use, by either downloading and installing, etc.

trickykid 09-10-2003 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by JZL240I-U
I don't want to run my equipment at max specs. My monitor can do 120 vertical refreshes / second but I want only 90. How then do I set up 800 * 600 @ 90 hz when I could do 1200*1078 @120 and have only the max specs from the manufacturer? What I mean is, how do I calculate the (reduced) maximum horizontal and vertical refresh rates? Or is it done in a different way?
Under the monitor section in your XF86Config you should see a line for you to change your vertical refresh rate.

Should be like:

VertRefresh 90

Or something along those lines.

JZL240I-U 09-18-2003 06:57 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by trickykid
Under the monitor section in your XF86Config you should see a line for you to change your vertical refresh rate.

Should be like:

VertRefresh 90

Or something along those lines.

Back from my holidays :)

Thank you, I will try soonest (and I hope SuSE didn't mangle that too ... ).

trickykid 10-01-2003 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by JZL240I-U
Back from my holidays :)

Thank you, I will try soonest (and I hope SuSE didn't mangle that too ... ).

Just wanted to follow up and see if that actually worked for you or not. Let us know.

JZL240I-U 10-02-2003 09:30 AM

Well, yes and no -- or perhaps? :D

Here are the facts:

There is no VertRefresh 90 in my XF86Config.

Now, if you look at this thread (follow the -many- links in this thread, they are pretty interesting), you see a different solution: VertRefresh 48.0 - 120.0. The range had my brains addled :( , but when I actually used VertRefresh 48.0 - 90.0, the rate went down to 90 hz.

Remarks:

#1: xf86config uses a minimum template, stored somewhere in the system. If one interchanges that with the actual XF86Config, one can save a lot of work (possibly laced with errors).

#2: What I really wanted was a gizmo like in Windows (sorry folks), like right clicking on the desktop -> properties -> display -> (choose a refresh rate) ... and whoeee, new frequency is set. All this without lowering the maximum possibility of vertical refreshes, which is a hardware protection thing, and should not be fiddled with (as opposed to the actual refresh rate within its acceptable range).

#3: SuSE 8.1 did in fact manage to mangle the whole thing. They have a utility (SAX2), probably graphical front-end to xf86config, to change the settings in XF86Config. So they print in capital letters DO NOT EDIT BY HAND right at the top of XF86Config -- which I ignored in the end (I'll end up with slackware or gentoo one of these days :mad: ). But the dastardly thing gave me an error: "File-Error: file desktop is locked" and thus it stood and didn't budge. So in the end I had to edit it in spite of all warnings by hand ...

Resume: I achieved my goal in a suboptimal way.

Ah, well, I learned some things as well, so what the heck :).


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