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Old 11-30-2001, 04:26 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2001
Posts: 2

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Mandrake 8.0, cant start Xserver

Hey everyone,

I have a problem I cant solve. I just installed Mandrake 8.0 and the installation went fine. The first thing I wanted to do was to enter the Xwindows system. The command $ startx should do the trick. But it didnt work, insted it gives an error message:
"device" section. Wrong section in /etc/X11/X86Config, line must start with "Driver".

So I tried to edit the .conf file, I just commented out the section it didnt like. No luck, it just gave another error, saying the line "device" pointer (mouse, keyboard etc.) was typed wrong.

I then ran the X86config tool, and had a new conf file written. Same old, Same old.

Any ideas on how to be able to start the Xserver? Can I reinstall it? Should I reinstall mandrake?

Thanks in Advance and best regards,
Old 11-30-2001, 08:37 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfax, California
Distribution: RH 9.0, RH 7.3, Mandrake 8.0
Posts: 986

Rep: Reputation: 30
What version of XFree86 are you using? Mandrake come with some flavor of 4.x.x, which will use the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file. Your error messages refer to XF86Config (no "-4"); make sure you're using/editing the right config file.
Old 12-02-2001, 12:48 PM   #3
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: redhat suse mandrake freebsd
Posts: 344

Rep: Reputation: 30

first, during the installation of your 8.0, the X server worked ?

what config tool did you use to create the XF86config-4

I use XFdrake (be root to use it)

I know autodetecting the right card and mainly the

right resolution don't always work correctly, but you

can overrule it. Just say no, after you see the X-server

working with the tux wallpaper. Then you 'll be

back in XFdrake screen and you 'll see more options

Be right about choosing your monitor, then choose

your card and last choose your resolution and color-

depth (there 'll be more colordepth settings, at least

for my geforce gts )

when you leave XFdrake after confirming things work

the way you wanted it, typing startx should start your


I think reinstalling won't be necessary

have fun

Last edited by mrGee; 12-02-2001 at 12:51 PM.
Old 12-04-2001, 02:30 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2001
Posts: 2

Original Poster
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Hey again,

Thank you very much for your helpful replies. It didnt quite solve all my problems, but shed some light upon other things Im uncertain about.

I will try to a bit more precise.

I finally managed to get the Xserver started, how I did it I dont know. But at some point I just succeeded when playing around with ./xf86config.

Im using Xfree86 ver. 3.3.6, on Linux Mandrake 8.0. And using config file Xf86config (not -"4") even though "-4" exists.
The problem I have now is this:

I am not able to show the Xserver in a resolution higher than 640X480, and I want to run in 1024x768 mode. Im aware that I can adjust this through the above mentioned utils, but it wont work. Neither from Xwindows or console am I able to launch Xconfigurator or Xdrake. The system says "preparing to run configurator" then terminates without an error code / msg.

Im quite sure this has something to do with my monitor setting and/or resolution.

Next problem:
Whenever I shutdown Xwindows and return to console mode the resolution is VERY messed up. The console resolution is far to big, I can hardly see one third of the screen (the letters are VERY big).

Im running mandrake on an IBM thinkpad T21. MS Windows runs perfectly in 1024x768.

I appreciate your help, and patience with this newbie..:-)
Old 12-05-2001, 03:18 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: redhat suse mandrake freebsd
Posts: 344

Rep: Reputation: 30

I am not quite sure about this, but maybe these links

found in the history of give you

a part of the solution.

I never installed linux on a laptop yet, but according

to what they say in the above mentioned links

there is a problem whith the S3virge graphics card

that's in your Ibm T21

They also say that Xfree 4.1.0 could be an option

sted 3.3.6 maybe a upgrade to this?

I assume XFdrake is on your system, meaning

as root you actually can type XF then hit Tab

it should show up.( in console)

For firing up XFdrake and then "preparing to run

configurator" does n't mean anything to me

maybe something to do with gtk stuff missing?

at the moment short of time, will try some things

later on an older machine that's using XFree 3.3.6

children do try this at home



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