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I've been lurking for a while, gotten a lot of great answers from just searching, but I'm having trouble with starting X on one of my systems.
It's a P120 w/64 MB of RAM and an ATI Mach64 (264VT) video card.
I installed slack8.1. I ran xf86config and set everything up correctly as far as I can tell.
When I type startx, the screen goes black like is initializing, but after about 4-5 seconds, the power light turns from green to amber like the monitor is going into power save mode or something. It never turns red for no signal, but the screen just stays black.
When I look at the X log, the last line is XINPUT: Adding extended input device "Mouse1" (type: MOUSE)
I never see any errors though. The mouse works on the command line, I can cut and paste, etc. I've tried different mouse protocols and still no luck on X though. It's an IO Gear 4D Web Cruiser mouse that came free with my KVM.
This onboard video card only has 1 MB of video ram, but I've set the default to 800X600 and I know it can push that. At one point I did use Mandrake on this system with KDE and it had no problems, but that's been a couple of years.
I would think the easiest and quickest would be to use framebuffer mode. If you are running a stock Slack kernel then you should be able to set the vga=771 in the /etc/lilo.conf file and then run "lilo" to write the change. Reboot and you should get a console at 800x600 w/256 colors. The different values should be listed in the lilo.conf. You might even would want to start at vga=769 for testing purposes, 640x480x256 mode. Or another option would be vga=ask. It should then request the value when you boot. That might be the safest to start with.
For the X config use the /etc/X11/XF86Config-fbdev config file, just copy it to XF86Config in the same directory. It should use the /dev/mouse as the mouse device so you can set that symlink to what you need it to be. I think it should be defaulted to /dev/psaux as the PS/2 mouse port.
Perhaps it will help. I have a close cousin to it running Slack 8.1 but I think it is a 4 MByte ATI 3D Rage II chip with the video outputs and AMC channel etc. I seem to recall it being called a Video Expression+.