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Old 01-17-2006, 10:13 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Distribution: Ubuntu, DSL
Posts: 47

Rep: Reputation: 15
X Server won't start

I'm a Windows guy who's wanting to give Linux a go for the first time.
I'm using an HP Omnibook XE3. As cool as command line stuff is (reminds me of my high school days), I gotta have a desktop to be productive. I've dowloaded and installed Debian, and it seems to work. After it boots up, I get an X server error and then it shuts the X server down. It asks if I'd like to see the server output, but it when I say ok, it just lists the debian version and the xfree86 version. Is there a log file I'm supposed to view? I've tried reconfiguring the X Server, but I don't really know what I'm doing. What information do you need to understand my problem and how do I get it?

Also, I've looked everywhere and I can't seem to find a comprehensive list of the specs of my laptop's monitor (sync rates specifically). I don't have a manual for it anymore, and my google searches have proved fruitless. I did get some info from the Linux on Laptops page, but it seems incomplete to me.

Old 01-17-2006, 11:39 AM   #2
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: IN, USA
Distribution: debian etch
Posts: 402

Rep: Reputation: 30
I'm not at my linux box right now, so my details may be a little off. The log file for the xserver is at /var/log/XFree86.log (or something like that). Do this:
cd /var/log
Then find the log file. Then:
cat /var/log/XFree86.log
or whatever the correct filename is. That should give you some info on what went wrong. It could be your monitor sync settings or maybe too high resolution. You also may not have all of the packages installed that you need. You will need to have an internet connection set up (preferably high speed) or the install cds. Try this to make sure everything is installed:
apt-get update
apt-get install x-window-system
For gnome:
apt-get install gnome
For kde:
apt-get install kde
FYI, you will get a much better response if you post in the debian forum. There are lots of very helpful people there. I would still be treading water if not for them
Old 01-18-2006, 07:03 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Florida
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 319

Rep: Reputation: 30
Tab completion is the best thing since Linux, just type th first letter or so and hit tab to complete or tab twice to list all possible choices.
Depending on which Debian you installed you got either XFree86 or Xorg. The config file is in /etc/X11/xorg.conf or /etc/X11/XFConfig-4
Start by using safe values for everything then adjusting them one at a time, this makes it a lot easier to track down problems.
As root you can type "base-config" to get to the installer config screen again to select the install type and other settings.


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