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Old 08-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2003
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Having trouble installing Mandrake 9.1

Yes, another newbie sob story here!
(That is, newbie to Linux...I've worked with various Unix flavors for oh...I don't know...17 years...never been a sysadmin, though.)

I am trying to install Mandrake 9.1 on my laptop, and got into trouble from the very beginning.

As far as I can tell, my installation is incomplete. When I start up in linux, I have a command line interface and
XFree86 seems to be missing in action. startx gives the "execve failed for /etc/X11/X (errno 2)" and complains that xinit does not exist. I can't find XFree86 does not exist in the /usr/X11R6/bin directory or anywhere else that I can think of to look for it.

Here's the history of my install.

I have the 3 installation CDs that I got from someone else.
When I put the first in my (admittedly rather fussy) laptop, and clicked the install option, it came up with the dialog box for exit-and-do-your-backup-first or install-now option. I clicked the install-now option, and it just sat there...that's when I knew I was in for trouble.

I read the installation readme and figured out how to install from a combination of floppy and CD (creating the floppy first).

I did the install, and as installation proceeded, as far as I could tell, everything went fine. I think I selected about 1.6 Gb worth of stuff, and had a partition of, I forget, but I think it was about 3 or 4 Gb. During installation it never asked me for a second or third CD, which is another reason I suspect incomplete installation.

When I started up linux after my install, it was in command line mode, which surprised me a little, but since I'm not afraid of a command line, I went about my business, trying to figure out how I could start some GUI.

My machine kept freezing up, after I had been on for no more than about 5 minutes. (After some research on this issue, my guess would have to be that my swap partition is too small. To my memory, the install never asked me to specify a swap partition, and I don't know how much was set up automatically.)

I did some research on the problems I was experiencing in starting the gui, and found out that some crucial files seem to be missing, such as XFree86. I ran xf86config to see if there were any issues with my setup, but I don't think this is the problem.

I would like to check (and hopefully fix) my swap space issue, but DiskDrake appears to run only in GUI mode (which I can't get into). There is also a drakxconfig or something of that sort which runs in command line mode and seems to have a partitioning functionality, but it seems to freeze up my machine whenever I try to run it (needs too much swap space? :-)

Here's my statistics:
Running on a bargain-basement laptop with a Celeron processor, 1.3 GHz. 128 Mb RAM (I think), 8 Mb. Video RAM. Glidepoint mouse (Microsoft Natural). I think my Windows Me installation runs with 1024X768 resolution at (I'm only says "default") 70Hz.

Any suggestions on what might have gone wrong with my install and how to fix it?????

Old 08-04-2003, 11:34 AM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: Kerala,India
Distribution: RedHat,Mandrake,Debian
Posts: 643

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you cant find /etc/X11/XF86Config even after xf86config?? and there is no /var/log/XFree.0.log??
Old 08-05-2003, 10:13 AM   #3
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Indeed, the /var/log/XFree.0.log is missing.

I did manage to find out last night that I have 384Mb in the swap partition...isn't that enough? How much is recommended?

Old 08-05-2003, 12:44 PM   #4
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Santa Barbara CA
Distribution: Slackware and Fedora
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The rule of thumb for swap space is to make it twice the physical memory of the pc. 64mb of RAM => 128 mb of swap space. If you have gobs of memory, like 512mb or more, you won't need a very large swap file...384mb sounds plenty big to me.
Old 08-06-2003, 03:04 AM   #5
Registered: May 2003
Location: Kerala,India
Distribution: RedHat,Mandrake,Debian
Posts: 643

Rep: Reputation: 30
Well,by /var/log/XFree86.0.log,I meant any X log files in /var/log,check for some log files there.
I think you will be having an /etc/X11/XF86Config and an /etc/X11/XF86Config-4.your xf86config will create a new XF86Config file where as X will search for the -4 file first.So delete the -4 file and then try startx.Also,try xf86config again.
I think 384mb swap is very much enough for 128mb ram.
Also check out other log files for errors.And if you get any clue,list it here.
Old 08-06-2003, 05:21 AM   #6
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Brisbane Queensland Australia
Distribution: Custom Debian Live ISO's
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If all else fails, try another fresh install

If only 1 disc was used, then i would say it's done a minimal install
Old 08-06-2003, 10:28 AM   #7
Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 35

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I know nothing, least of all laptops, but I have just found the reason for my error "execve failed errno 2", in my pc, it was the wrong video card


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