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Old 10-03-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
SaintDanBert
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need help with X11 configuration


Folks,
I need help with X11 configuration on my Ubuntu 10.04 and 11.04 workstations. I'm completely lost seeking "the preferred way" to implement and optimize my video configuration. Now that X11 configuration uses the event-based device detection and configuration automation, power-on ... a miracle happens ... video+X11 sort-of work.

When I say, "the preferred way" I acknowledge that there may be a dozen ways to hack X11 into doing what I want it to do. From what I've suss'd out, I'm looking for details along the following lines:
  • device detected -- video controller
  • device detected -- keyboard
  • device detected -- display (primary)
  • device detected -- display (alternate) [optional]
  • device detected -- pointing device (primary)
  • device detected -- pointing device (alternate) [optional]
  • for each thisDevice in deviceList DO configure( thisDevice ) DONE
  • when isConfigured( deviceList ) then launch( X-server )
I expect to find "jobs" or "tasks" or "events" or something as files
for each device but I don't find anything. I expect that the various device drivers {aka, kernel modules} throw events that get caught by something {is that udev?}

Every article that I find speaks to edits in xorg.conf. That's nice but I don't find that file on any of my workstations. (While searching for solutions, I don't find documentation either.)

Completely lost and stumped,
~~~ 0;-/ Dan

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 10-03-2011 at 01:07 PM.
 
Old 10-03-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

to be honest, X11 configuration in Ubuntu seems like a miracle to me, too. Rumor has it that Ubuntu doesn't store any information about the system configuration, but instead probes it again every time you boot. That's fine, 'cause it means that after changing the hardware configuration you have a fair chance of Ubuntu starting up as usual without doing anything.
However, once you wish to move away from standard procedures and configuration, things get tricky. I had to learn that a few months ago when I tried to get Ubuntu to work with an onboard VGA as the primary display, and a PCI graphics adapter as the secondary display. I didn't succeed, and finally I ended up using *only* a PCI graphics adapter that drives two monitors (and it's even faster than the onboard VGA).

A good friend of mine told me that Ubuntu stops probing for graphics adapters once it found one. So a configuration with two graphics adapters can never work using auto-configuration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
Every article that I find speaks to edits in xorg.conf. That's nice but I don't find that file on any of my workstations.
Yea, that's another Ubuntu miracle. You only need the xorg.conf if you're using a non-standard configuration. However, I didn't get that working either. Whatever I tried - the only thing I achieved was a completely inoperable X server (Ubuntu just booted into the text console) with a message "No screens found" appearing several times in the log file. :-(

Sorry I can't help you with that one, but I'll keep coming back to this thread hoping I can learn something myself.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 10-04-2011, 07:39 AM   #3
onebuck
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in <Ubuntu> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 10-04-2011, 09:22 AM   #4
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Moved: This thread is more suitable in <Ubuntu> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
Moved to where? I'm missing something. Why isn't drivers and hardware detection
a "Hardware" forum issue?

Thanks for moderating...
~~~ 0;-Dan
 
Old 10-04-2011, 12:48 PM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Your Welcome!

More exposure in the Ubuntu forum for distro specific tweaking assistance.

Limited opportunity for Ubuntu specific configurations in Linux-Hardware. At least that is what history shows.
 
Old 10-04-2011, 07:24 PM   #6
RockDoctor
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Xorg no longer generates the xorg.conf file by default. It's supposed to just work. In my experience, for some systems it does, for some it sort-of does, and for others it doesn't. It's not just an Ubuntu thing.

Optimizing video may indeed require an xorg.conf file - it does on my desktop system because my monitor does not want to emit a valid EDID. I've got an xorg.conf file that works, I just copy it from distro to distro, changing the module path as necessary when moving between 32-bit and 64-bit installs. So, how to generate that first decent xorg.conf file? As root:
Code:
Xorg -configure :1
. Copy to /etc/X11/xorg.conf, tweak as needed, and restart X (or reboot).

What I'll sometimes do to get going is to force the use of the vesa driver, editing the kernel line when booting adding:
Code:
 nomodeset vga=795
to get 1280x1024 24-bit color (use 799 for 1600x1200 or 792 for 1024x768).

HTH
 
Old 10-05-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockDoctor View Post
Xorg no longer generates the xorg.conf file by default. It's supposed to just work. In my experience, for some systems it does, for some it sort-of does, and for others it doesn't. It's not just an Ubuntu thing.
ah, thank you for that insight - I was sure it was just an Ubuntu spleen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockDoctor View Post
So, how to generate that first decent xorg.conf file? As root:
Code:
Xorg -configure :1
. Copy to /etc/X11/xorg.conf, tweak as needed, and restart X (or reboot).
If I try that, I keep getting the message:
Fatal server error
Server is already active for display 1

So there must be some trick about that, right?

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 10-05-2011, 05:17 PM   #8
RockDoctor
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If display 1 is already active, try display 0. Fedora defaults to display 0; so I run the configuration on display 1.
 
Old 10-05-2011, 06:29 PM   #9
Larry Webb
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Have you looked at xrandr, it may be what you are looking for. It will let you configure 2 monitors.

Last edited by Larry Webb; 10-05-2011 at 06:30 PM.
 
Old 10-05-2011, 11:10 PM   #10
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockDoctor View Post
Xorg no longer generates the xorg.conf file by default. It's supposed to just work.
...
So, how to generate that first decent xorg.conf file? As root:
Code:
Xorg -configure :1
. Copy to /etc/X11/xorg.conf, tweak as needed, and restart X (or reboot).
...
If I hook up and power up all my X11 related hardware and then use
Xorg -configure does the generated file stomp on whatever I have
running now or is the file available for whatever XX-somename.conf hacking I might want to do with the details?

Given the new X11 order -- using the XX-somename.conf files -- why don't
we have an inventory of files: XX-thisdisplay.conf ... XX-thatdisplay.conf, XX-thispointer.conf ... XX-thatpointer.conf and so on? Isn't that what the new order calls for?

Thanks,
~===$= 0;-Dan
 
Old 10-06-2011, 11:27 AM   #11
RockDoctor
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The generated file is /root/xorg.conf.new - you have to manually move back up the old file and move the new one into place. I haven't tried to make use of xorg.conf.d and the little conf file snippets yet. but I agree, it seems that what you suggest should be possible. I suppose at some point I should figure out what file snippets I really need and set my system up to use xorg.conf.d
 
Old 10-07-2011, 01:06 PM   #12
SaintDanBert
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About the folder approach using xorg.conf.d and its set of little
file contents:

There is a man page,
Code:
man Xorg.conf # capital X
that details all of the X11 configuration options and describes the folder approach. A fog
of war still exists because so much X11 config (a) happens automatically, and (b)works pretty well without any manual settings. This leaves folks that want or need manual settings in the fog about the preferred way to install those settings.

==================
The following might be slightly off topic, but it offers details about X11 configuration. http://www.innovationsts.com/blog/?p=3040

The "off topic" part is "touch calibration".

The relevant part is that it speaks to part of X11 calibration for some folks.
I'm hoping that this thread will accumulate a reasonably complete set of similar Do THIS ... THAT way. links.

Cheers,
~~~ 0;-Dan
 
Old 10-07-2011, 01:13 PM   #13
SaintDanBert
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I ran the command
Code:
Xorg -configure :1
both from a console and within an xterm. The resulting xorg.conf.new held exactly the same contents.

What it did not hold was anything about my keyboard or my tablet/digitizer input device. This omission in spite of the fact that
Code:
xinput -list
mentions both of these items.

Can anyone answer this question: What is the difference, if any, between what happens automatically during startup
and what happens during Xorg -configure?

[rant]
This issue is seriously in my way to getting real work done.
We castigate the other OS for requesting payment for configuration details.
Are we any better when details are known but are either not published or
they are published in places that are obscure to the average power user?
[/rant]

Thanks in advance,
~~~ 0;-Dan

Please excuse the rant.
 
Old 10-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #14
widget
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I have no idea if this will be of help or not but you might glean some info from it;
http://www.x.org/archive/X11R6.8.0/doc/xorg.conf.5.html

http://www.x.org/wiki/
may also be of interest.
 
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:29 AM   #15
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
I have no idea if this will be of help or not but you might glean some info from it;
http://www.x.org/archive/X11R6.8.0/doc/xorg.conf.5.html
This page appears to be the same content as man xorg.conf. It is useful and valuable in its description of the various configuration file contents. It is written from the perspective of the monolithic 'xorg.conf' file rather than multiple, small 'xorg.conf.d' files named XX-somename.conf. Also, it describes X11R6 and my *buntu workstations are X11R7 with R8 on the near horizon. I appreciate the link as it is much easier to read than man pages.
Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
http://www.x.org/wiki/
may also be of interest.
This link led me to http://ftp.x.org/pub/X11R7.0/doc/html/ with its list of numerous things to read. Following a link that reads "Installation Details ..." I find a single paragraph that disclaims distribution of binary distributions. The Next link goes nowhere. This sort of pages that don't inform is the rule and not the exception in my search for "how to configure" documentation.

I **am** grateful for your effort to supply details trying to help.
=$===~ 0;-Dan
 
  


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