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Old 07-28-2009, 01:00 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2009
Distribution: Debian "Lenny"
Posts: 7

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Unhappy (Debian) xorg.conf file, (EE) Problem parsing the config file

Hi, I'm running Debian Lenny, just reinstalled the OS.

I'm installing Compiz using this guide (
I've gotten up to the point where I configure the xorg.conf file.

The file was empty to begin with (I know it for sure, I used the point-and-click method of finding and editing the file in gedit), so I went ahead and added all of the required text provided in the guide.

xorg.conf :
Section "Screen"
	Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "true"
	Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"
Section "Device"
	Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
	Option "RenderAccel" "true"
Section "Server Layout"
	Option "AIGLX" "on"
Section "Extensions"
	Options "Composite" "enable"
I restarted the system before adding “compiz --replace” to “Desktop -> Preferences -> Sessions -> Startup Programs”.

As the system was booting up, a box said the X system had an error.

Parse Error on line 4 of the section Screen in file /etc/X11/xorg.conf
This section must have an identifier line
(EE) Problem parsing the config file
(EE) Error parsing the config file
Fatal Service error:
no screens found.

At the prompt, I moved the xorg.conf file to the Desktop for viewing, and the system booted up properly.

I'm assuming I screwed up somewhere in the xorg.conf file; something with the "identifier line".
If anyone knows the problem, could they provide the correct text for the xorg.conf file as well?

EDIT: And if anyone knows how to correctly install Compiz, can you provide a short guide on how to?


Last edited by unclerick94; 07-28-2009 at 02:55 PM.
Old 07-28-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
the trooper
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: England
Distribution: Debian Bullseye
Posts: 1,508

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
It would appear that Debian does not generate an xorg.conf file by default anymore.
As you have correctly worked out you need to generate your own.
I think the easiest way forward is to delete the file you created and create a new one as follows:

To exit the gui.
Login as root.

# /etc/init.d/gdm stop  (to stop gdm/kdm as required.)
# X -configure
# mv ~/ /etc/X11/xorg.conf
# /etc/init.d/gdm start
You should now be back in the gui,but you need to logout as root:

ctrl-alt-f1 again.
Once you get to this point you should have a working xorg.conf file.
You should now be able to edit the file as necessary to enable compiz.
Can't help with compiz as i don't use it myself.


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