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Old 12-31-2007, 12:48 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: USA
Distribution: Xubuntu, Arch
Posts: 231

Rep: Reputation: 31
Fatal X error - Solved

Yesterday one of my old pcs (still running RH9!!) was unable to start up X windows & since it was set up to boot directly into runlevel 5 it was just stuck repeatedly trying & failing to bring up X. I had to use a Knoppix cd to boot it up & edit /etc/inittab to get it to boot up without X so I could see what was wrong.

When I tried "startx" I got these error messages:

"Could not init font path element Unix/:7100, removing from list"

"Fatal server error: could not open default font 'fixed'."

Also, /var/log/messages showed a bunch of errors like this (each one with a different process number):
"localhost gdm[process number]: gdm_slave_xioerror_handler: Fatal X error"

It took quite a while to figure out that the problem was just a full disk (actually just the partition containing the linux root filesystem was full.)

And this full disk occurred because a few days earlier I had misconfigured a remote printer in cups, and cups had filled the disk with several gigabytes of error logs with an error message "...unable to get printer status..." repeated over and over and over...

Deleting the misconfigured printer and the cups error logs fixed it.

Just thought this might save someone else some time.
Old 01-02-2008, 06:15 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Stroud, UK
Distribution: Kubuntu, Debian
Posts: 149

Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks. It sounds like quite an extreme case, but you never know when it might come up.


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