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Old 10-27-2004, 11:04 AM   #1
PDD
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X11 Configuration - HELP!!!


Hi Guys,

Linux n00b here and I made a big mistake. I just did an install of Debian and I misconfigured my X server settings. It gives me an error telling me that my monitor cannot support the selected colour depth. Is there a util to reconfigure my x-server or do I have to do it by hand. If so can anyone point me to what files need editing (I presume they are /etc/X11/.. somewhere)

I have XDM, GDM and KDM as window managers?
Which one should I be editing? Or should it be XFConfig or something?
Is there anyway it can auto-=test and auto-config for the most basic of setups and I can tweak it later?

Whats the story with X anyway? My limited understand of it is that its the base window management system (what exactly that is I dont know) that KDE and GNOME are based on.

Do I need to do a re-install (its starting to get as gay as windows now)?

Cheers,

n00b
 
Old 10-27-2004, 11:13 AM   #2
secesh
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the story with X is that it is dangerous. I highly suggest if you don't want to take the time on anything else, you spend it here -- the consequence could be a broken video card / monitor... If you muck this up, and run along thinking everything's good, but it isn't, you won't be happy down the line...

so, read some man pages, research your hardware online, do whatever it takes, but get this part right.

gdm/kdm/xdm all use X to run, you're looking for /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and also... if you don't have a boot disk handy, you might want to look into getting one, because if you muck up X, and reboot, you can bring your system down by having a default runlevel 4 (graphical) -- not really dead, but hanging on trying to load X...
 
Old 10-27-2004, 11:17 AM   #3
SciYro
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the x windowing system ( X for short ) is a way of giving a GUI for UNIX, as of 1987 x11 is the standard protocol version (still is), ... all it does is connect the input device(s), pointer device(s), and screen(s) so that applications don't have to do it themselves... X itself offers (almost) no policy in window layout, as such it doesn't even manage windows (move them around, give you window title bars, or even a window list) ... all that stuff is left up to other applications (usually the window manager), also the X interface (xlib) is rather primitive and offers no things like buttons, scrollbars or anything, just very primitive things like draw shapes, or make new windows,... etc

KDE/GNOME are desktop environments, desktop environments usually come with a window manager (and other programs, maybe, for things like those panels that show a list of windows), they also come with a standard toolkit (gnome uses gtk, kde uses qt), and other standard libs for programs to use, and a set of programs (that may or may not suck) for things like web browsing, file management, giving a desktop (icons on the desktop), control panel (or something), a move player, a picture viewer, etc ...

for more info look at the LQ wiki http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/X

as for your problem its the XF86Config

use the command XF86Config (as root) , answer the questions, and that will setup the X server for your system (if you gave the correct answers)

secesh: if you break X, then xdm or any display manager wont be able to run, and they should (in my experience) drop you off onto the terminal login (if the distribution was smart enough to give you at least one)

Last edited by SciYro; 10-27-2004 at 11:21 AM.
 
Old 10-27-2004, 11:17 AM   #4
iluvatar
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linux re-install is almost never needed you need to edit /etc/X11/XFree86 or /etc/X11/xorg.conf (depending on wich X server you run). both config files have the same syntax. search for a line wich says "section screen". in that section there's a line "DefaultDepth <number>" try lowering that number (8, 15, 16 or 24).
if that doesn't help come back here
the story behind X is a long story... try searching on google (I need to go home now :P)

greetz,
.-=~ iluvatar ~=-.
 
Old 10-27-2004, 11:45 AM   #5
PDD
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X11 Config

Hi Guys,

Cheers for the info, it cleared up alot of gray spaces. And now for the bad news, the info wasnt much help. For starters

/etc/X11/xorg.conf
/etc/X11/XFree86

They dont exist, Im running Debian. Would that make any difference? I know that there are differences between distros when it comes to where certain things are etc. The command XF86Config doesnt work it just tells me its an unknown command. At the moment Im booting into a command prompt after xdm (I think its XDM) fails. Anywho so I think Im fairlly safe when it comes to breaking hardware. As for finding out what hardware it is Ive no idea cause its quite old. When doing configuration I put in generic VGA card.

When I logged in as root I ran the command xdm and it brought me into the error screen for my x server. It says screens found but none usable.

Dave
 
Old 10-27-2004, 12:09 PM   #6
PDD
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X11 Config

Hi Guys,

Ok Debian does things a lil different for example your config files for X are not under:

/etc/X11/<blah> they are under:

/usr/X11R6/lib/<blah>

Ok so I edited my config file and dropped the depth to 8 but not Im getting an error that

VGA no matching device found for instance
No devices detected

HUH?

Ok now I'm completelly lost

Is there not some default settings or some app you can run that will auto detect the hardware and configure X? There has to be something like that out there otherwise how do other linux distros do it?

Last edited by PDD; 10-27-2004 at 12:18 PM.
 
Old 10-27-2004, 12:09 PM   #7
SciYro
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use the command "lspci" to give a list of hardware it recognizes, it might tell you what video card you have

anyways, some distros you have to tell it the full path for X commands ...

try /usr/X11R6/bin/XF86Config (as you are probably using xf86 and not xorg)
 
Old 10-27-2004, 12:28 PM   #8
PDD
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X11 Config

Hey ,m

Found my graphics card -= cheers for that.

Its a Matrox 1064SG Mystique - Rev 3

However now X has changed its mind and saying that no screens found. Well screens found but none have a usable configuration. I have a Dell E773p monitor. What should I configure it as?

PDD
 
Old 10-27-2004, 12:33 PM   #9
SciYro
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the "no screens found" is a general error

it means you gave it some incorrect information about your graphics card, or the monitor ... double check, and guess if you don't know .. usually theres some other info that comes before the error that can give some light on why it happened .. maybe a bad resolution you picked, or the screen refresh rates don't work ... wrong card memory ... etc
 
Old 10-27-2004, 02:17 PM   #10
PDD
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X11 Config

Ok,

Well the graphics card is what Debian itself piked up and is what I got from the command lspci so I dont see why that would be wrong.

The monitor is a 17" Dell e773p and I have set it to Standard VGA 640 x 480.

Ive brought the colour depth down to 8 in the config file. Although is Linux very fussy about the format of the files as in tabs lines spaces etc (it looked like it wasnt cause it seemed tag based) because I edited with VI.

Is there any alternative native editor to VI under bash. It is one of the most head wrecking editors I have ever seen. Even DOS's edit is more user friendly!

So whats the next step here, apart from trawling through the error log looking for something. And if there is nothing then what?

I spent most of the day downloading packages, please tell me I dont have to do a re-install and do all that downloading again.

PDD
 
Old 10-27-2004, 02:52 PM   #11
NLogN
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try "nano" as an editor. It's pretty straightforward and simple. If you use nano -w "filename" - it disables wrapping ( = no wrapping problems).

You might want to post your X config file so we can take a look at it.

Last edited by NLogN; 10-27-2004 at 02:59 PM.
 
Old 10-27-2004, 02:55 PM   #12
SciYro
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you hand edited that file for the entire configureation?

perhaps thats why its not working (its a pretty big file as you probably have seen) .. find that command i was talking about, that way all you have to do is answer questions

if you cant find it, try this command

find / | grep XF86Config


as for the editors ... theres plenty

ed (very old, vi was used to replace this)
cat (it can be made to resemble ed, altho you wont get options you have in ed)
emacs (said to be bloated, but its diffidently the popular alternative to vi/vi clones)
nano (pico clone, pico was made for a email client, so nano is pretty much only good for writing letters, as by default the lines are wrapped (making editing config files that have long lines horrifying because nano just destroys the format if you save, making the application that uses that file very mad)

then there plenty of others, editors are one of the most redundant programs in linux (theres just to many to count)
 
Old 10-28-2004, 04:09 AM   #13
PDD
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X11 Config

Hi Guys,

I removed parts of the config file by hand, I reduced the colour depth.

I would post the config file if I could. Heres the deal, I have two boxes and one Ive just installed Debian to and Im having lots of "fun" with, this is coming to you live via my other box which has RedHat 9 on it. Now normallly I would copy the config file and post it here for all to review however for my debian box the floppy disk drive is not mounted as far as I know but there is a directory for the floppy drive and its listed in fstab. However when I go to:

cd /floppy
ls -h
Nothing shows up for a disk I know has files in it. Does it need to be initialised or anything?

Cheers for the heads up with nano its pretty sweet, it doesnt work in RedHat though. Is it native to the bash shell or is VI the only one? The reason I ask is that Id like to get to grips with one editor and be able to use it on most distros.

Ive had a look at the error log and the screens is the only error that I can see are:

(EE) VGA(0): Driver cant support depth of 24
(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.

Now the if I could post my config file you would be able to see that the color depth is set to 8! Any ideas here guys?
 
Old 10-28-2004, 07:41 PM   #14
NLogN
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you might need to "mount" it.

something like: mount /dev/floppy /mnt/floppy
and remember to unmount it: umount /mnt/floppy
before you take the disk out of the drive.
 
Old 10-28-2004, 09:15 PM   #15
iametarq
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Location of XF86Config - Debian

On every install of Debian Woody or Sarge, I have ever done the X config file was ALWAYS:

/etc/X11/XF86Config-4

the 4 deliniates X Server 4.whatever ... this confused me forever when i started using linux.

the xconfig program that runs after x fails writes a config file to that /etc/lib/x11/X86lib whatever crazy dir.

i have always just edited the one in the 1st path above and once i got it working i immediately backed it up.

its prolly cheating since i don't really know why that file works, but whenever i have had to reinstall i just copied my backed up /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 back to the spot.

-etarq

also a newbie.
 
  


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