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Old 08-25-2005, 10:55 PM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Distribution: Debian
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XFree86 Can't open display ""


I seem to be running into a common error after installing XFree86 on Sarge. My goal is to run XFree86, however when I type xhost +<localhost>
or other x commands, i get the following message:

#xhost: unable to open display""

Echoing $display on the screen prints out an empty line.
When I simple type in startx, it exits with a message saying

Cannot open device /dev/input/mice I've tried using insmod to add mice module from /lib/.../kernel/modules/. Loading startx after that loaded a blank X screen and hung up the system.

I have tried installing KDE and GNOME, However I received the same feedback not being able to open display.

Could you suggest any possible solutions or steps that I may take to get XFree up running?

Appreciate it
Old 08-25-2005, 11:01 PM   #2
bruno buys
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Rio
Distribution: Debian
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Seems like you have to do
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-sfree86
(or edit /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 by hand)
and play a little with those values.
Old 08-26-2005, 01:11 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: india
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 2

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Tricks to open the display ...

Hai friend ,

Xserver requires a core pointer ( the mouse) for starting up ... . In your case
the diagnostic msg tells that the core pointer is not accesssible by xserver
anyway.This may be due to a problem with device entry of corepointer.

To identify the device entry of core pointer
try the following one by one from a text terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F[1-7] .
If any of it shows some characters on the screen when u move the
mouse that one is ur device entry for core pointer.
Give this device when u configure x using dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86.

# cat /dev/psaux
# cat /dev/input/mice
# cat /dev/mouse
# cat /dev/input/mouse0
# cat /dev/usb/mouse0

Good Luck ... Thanks
Old 08-27-2005, 06:49 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 6

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Yes!! I can't believe that it works now. You just made somebody happier.

I figured the problem was in default. I was assigned a default /dev/input/mice to be my mouse that failed to work however after manually changing it to /dev/psaux/PS-2
it all went right again. Yeah.

Thanks a lot
Old 09-26-2005, 02:16 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
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It worked for me too...thanks
Old 10-11-2005, 04:28 PM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2005
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I need it to work me pls

ok i think i have the same problem as well. i installed debian 3.1 on a dual boot machine (XP). it tries to load gdm but then after 3 tries it fails and tells me that x server was not able to load gdm ... upon checking the /var/log/Xfree86.o.log i find

"cannot open /dev/input/mice" ...

how do i manually change it to /dev/psaux/PS-2 as well or anyother option ... ? which file do i have to edit ?

Old 10-12-2005, 08:56 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2005
Posts: 6

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HURRAYYYYYYYYY it works now...

just edit the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file if u encounter problems like above.... i simply put "/dev/psaux" in the device input option...

Why would debian even give /dev/input/mice as default when it doesnt even have that device listed...

neways, Good Luck new ppl


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