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Old 02-26-2008, 07:47 AM   #1
Ken Russell
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Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Worcester, U.K.
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X not starting - probably after installing updates

I installed some updates a few days ago from Mandriva.

I'm running 2008.0.

After reboot, KDE is hanging, and I think its because X is failing to start.

I can get a command prompt and all hardware seems to be working ok.

X starts, but just "freezes" at a blue screen.

I can view the system logs, and i "seem" to be getting a message about the X-server dying unexpectedly. I say seem, because this might be me killing the hung KDe startup.

Is there a better or more detailed log of X startup ? Or can anyone else provide me with a better troubleshooting method ?

I'm a bit stuck without a working machine, 'cos my command line skills are limited (and very rusty !).

As ever i'll ensure the solution is posted here if anyone else ever has the same problem.

Old 02-26-2008, 08:33 AM   #2
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Brobably the best place to look for what happened when you tried to start X is at the logfile:
less /var/log/Xorg.0.log
Hopefully that gives some new information.

It might depend on what you upgraded, so try to remember which packages you installed - video drivers, perhaps, or a kernel upgrade? Are you using some proprietary drivers (like ATI's fglrx or nVidia's equivalent drivers)? If you are, you might have to reinstall them, then reconfigure your X.

You may also want to review that the configuration file of X is ok:
less /etc/X11/xorg.conf
If you need to make changes, log in as root (in the console), then use vim, nano, pico, joe or any of your favourite editors to edit the file. You could basically use one of the semi-automatic X-configuration "programs" (scripts usually), but they mainly just overwrite the whole configuration and ask you loads of questions, and therefore it's often easier to just directly edit the config file if you know what to change.

Well, see the logfile if it helped to locate the exact problem.

You could also try to start X with xterm only, so you saw if it was the desktop environment (probably not) that causes the trouble, or X itself (it's configuration usually):
mv ~/.xinitrc{,.bak}
echo xterm > ~/.xinitrc
mv ~/.xinitrc{.bak,}
The above basically renames your .xinitrc file (which is in your home directory) to .xinitrc.bak (so we don't lose any data that might be there), then creates a new .xinitrc file that has only "xterm" in it (so when X starts, it just runs xterm and when it ends, closes X), then startx tries to start X (.xinitrc is read, and if X starts, xterm is launched). If it works, just type 'exit' at the xterm prompt and you're back at command line - and know that X is not the problem, but something in your desktop environment (I doubt this). If it doesn't start, then you'll just run the last command putting the original (renamed) .xinitrc back to it's place and think of something else.
Old 02-26-2008, 05:12 PM   #3
Ken Russell
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Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Worcester, U.K.
Distribution: Ubuntu
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getting there....startx works !!

thank you b0uncer. I'm getting somewhere now.

Here is what happened...i kind of followed your suggestions.....

The X log file wasn't much use..its very long, no clear errors that i could see.

the config file for X looked ok (not that i'd be sure...but it looked alright)

I looked at your suggestion for .xinitrc but cannot find that file in my hoem directory.

so i took the bull by the horns and just typed startx at the command prompt.

Lo and behold i have a working KDE.

typing kde at the command prompt still hangs it.

So my conclusion is that X IS working and KDE is in some way ill.

any thoughts anyone on how to look at hoe KDe starts up ???

Thanks for the help so far !!!!

Old 04-22-2008, 07:59 AM   #4
Ken Russell
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Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Worcester, U.K.
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 18

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upgraded so close this thread

Well I have upgraded to spring and still have the problem.

As far as i am concerned this is now a closed issue. I can work around it.


kde, kde35, mandriva2008

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