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1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2    
3 yoswink 1.15 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xorg-config.xml,v 1.14 2005/05/23 15:58:45 swift Exp $ -->
4 swift 1.1
5     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
6    
7 yoswink 1.15 <guide link="/doc/en/xorg-config.xml">
8 swift 1.1
9     <title>The X Server Configuration HOWTO</title>
10    
11     <author title="Author">
12     <mail link="swift@gentoo.org">Sven Vermeulen</mail>
13     </author>
14    
15     <abstract>
16     Xorg is the X Window server which allows users to have a graphical
17     environment at their fingertips. This HOWTO explains what Xorg is, how to
18     install it and what the various configuration options are.
19     </abstract>
20    
21     <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
22 swift 1.7 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 -->
23 swift 1.1 <license/>
24    
25 swift 1.14 <version>1.12</version>
26     <date>2005-05-23</date>
27 swift 1.1
28     <chapter>
29     <title>What is the X Window Server?</title>
30     <section>
31     <title>Graphical vs Command-Line</title>
32     <body>
33    
34     <p>
35     The average user may be frightened at the thought of having to type in commands.
36     Why wouldn't he be able to point and click his way through the freedom provided
37     by Gentoo (and Linux in general)? Well, *big smile*, of course you are able to
38     do this :-) Linux offers a wide variety of flashy user interfaces and
39     environments which you can install on top of your existing installation.
40     </p>
41    
42     <p>
43     This is one of the biggest surprises new users come across: a graphical user
44     interface is nothing more than an application which runs on your system. It is
45     <e>not</e> part of the Linux kernel or any other internals of the system. It is
46     a powerful tool that fully enables the graphical abilities of your workstation.
47     </p>
48    
49     <p>
50     As standards are important, a standard for drawing and moving windows on a
51     screen, interacting with the user through mouse and keyboard and other basic yet
52     important aspects has been created and named the <e>X Window System</e>,
53     commonly abbreviated as <e>X11</e> or just <e>X</e>. It is used on Unix, Linux
54     and Unix-like operating systems throughout the world.
55     </p>
56    
57     <p>
58     The application that provides Linux users with the ability to run graphical
59     user interfaces and that uses the X11 standard is Xorg-X11, a fork of
60     the XFree86 project. XFree86 has decided to use a license that might not be
61 swift 1.8 compatible with the GPL license; the use of Xorg is therefore recommended.
62     The official Portage tree does not provide an XFree86 package anymore.
63 swift 1.1 </p>
64    
65     </body>
66     </section>
67     <section>
68     <title>The X.org Project</title>
69     <body>
70    
71     <p>
72     The <uri link="http://www.x.org">X.org</uri> project created and
73     maintains a freely redistributable open-source implementation of the X11 system.
74     It is an open source X11-based desktop infrastructure.
75     </p>
76    
77     <p>
78     Xorg provides an interface between your hardware and the graphical software
79     you want to run. Besides that, Xorg is also fully network-aware, meaning you
80     are able to run an application on one system while viewing it on a different
81     one.
82     </p>
83    
84     </body>
85     </section>
86     </chapter>
87     <chapter>
88     <title>Installing Xorg</title>
89     <section>
90     <title>Using emerge</title>
91     <body>
92    
93     <p>
94     Enough chitchat, let's get to business shall we? To install Xorg, you just
95     need to run <c>emerge xorg-x11</c>. Installing Xorg does take a while
96     though, so you might want to grab a snack while you are waiting.
97     </p>
98    
99     <pre caption="Installing Xorg">
100     # <i>emerge xorg-x11</i>
101     </pre>
102    
103     <p>
104     When the installation is finished, you might need to reinitialise some
105     environment variables before you continue. Just run <c>env-update</c> followed
106     by <c>source /etc/profile</c> and you're all set. This doesn't harm your system
107     in any way.
108     </p>
109    
110     <pre caption="Reinitialising the environment variables">
111     # <i>env-update</i>
112     # <i>source /etc/profile</i>
113     </pre>
114    
115     </body>
116     </section>
117     </chapter>
118     <chapter>
119     <title>Configuring Xorg</title>
120     <section>
121     <title>The xorg.conf File</title>
122     <body>
123    
124     <p>
125 neysx 1.2 The configuration file of Xorg is called <path>xorg.conf</path> and it
126 swift 1.1 resides in <path>/etc/X11</path>. The Xorg-X11 package provides an example
127     configuration as <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.example</path> which you can use to
128     create your own configuration. It is heavily commented, but if you are in need
129     of more documentation regarding the syntax, don't hesitate to read the man page:
130     </p>
131    
132     <pre caption="Reading the xorg.conf man page">
133     # <i>man 5 xorg.conf</i>
134     </pre>
135    
136     <p>
137     Happy reading for those of you willing to. We surely don't so we'll continue
138     with checking out how we can create the file automatically.
139     </p>
140    
141     </body>
142     </section>
143     <section>
144     <title>Default: Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
145     <body>
146    
147     <p>
148     Xorg itself is able to guess most parameters for you. In most cases, you
149     will only have to change some lines to get the resolution you want up and
150     running. If you are interested in more in-depth tweaking, be sure to check the
151     resources at the end of this chapter. But first, let us generate a (hopefully
152     working) Xorg configuration file.
153     </p>
154    
155     <pre caption="Generating an xorg.conf file">
156     # <i>Xorg -configure</i>
157     </pre>
158    
159     <p>
160     Be sure to read the last lines printed on your screen when Xorg has finished
161     probing your hardware. If it tells you it failed at some point, you're forced to
162     manually write an <path>xorg.conf</path> file. Assuming that it didn't fail, it
163     will have told you that it has written <path>/root/xorg.conf.new</path> ready
164     for you to test. So let's test :)
165     </p>
166    
167     <pre caption="Testing the xorg.conf.new file">
168 swift 1.6 # <i>X -config /root/xorg.conf.new</i>
169 swift 1.1 </pre>
170    
171     <p>
172 swift 1.9 If all goes well, you should see a simple black and white pattern. Verify if
173     your mouse works correctly and if the resolution is good. You might not be able
174     to deduce the exact resolution, but you should be able to see if it's too low.
175     You can exit any time by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.
176 swift 1.7 </p>
177    
178 swift 1.1 </body>
179     </section>
180     <section>
181     <title>Alternative: Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
182     <body>
183    
184     <p>
185     Xorg provides a tool called <c>xorgconfig</c> which will ask you for various
186     information regarding your system (graphical adapter, keyboard, ...). Based on
187     your input it will create a <path>xorg.conf</path> file.
188     </p>
189    
190     <pre caption="Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf">
191     # <i>xorgconfig</i>
192     </pre>
193    
194 swift 1.10 <p>
195     Another tool, also provided by Xorg, is <c>xorgcfg</c>, which will first
196     attempts to run <c>Xorg -configure</c> and then start the X server for more
197     final tweaking.
198     </p>
199    
200     <pre caption="Using xorgcfg">
201     # <i>xorgcfg</i>
202 swift 1.13 <comment>(In case X crashes or the configuration fails, try:)</comment>
203     # <i>xorgcfg -textmode</i>
204 swift 1.10 </pre>
205    
206 swift 1.1 </body>
207     </section>
208     <section>
209     <title>Copying over xorg.conf</title>
210     <body>
211    
212     <p>
213 swift 1.9 Let us copy over the <path>xorg.conf.new</path> to
214     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> now, so we won't have to continuously run
215     <c>X -config</c> -- typing just <c>X</c> or <c>startx</c> is far more easy :)
216 swift 1.1 </p>
217    
218     <pre caption="Copying over xorg.conf">
219     # <i>cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf</i>
220     </pre>
221    
222 swift 1.9 </body>
223     </section>
224     <section id="using_startx">
225     <title>Using startx</title>
226     <body>
227    
228 swift 1.1 <p>
229 swift 1.9 Now try <c>startx</c> to start up your X server. <c>startx</c> is a script
230     that executes an <e>X session</e>, that is, it starts the X servers and some
231     graphical applications on top of it. It decides which applications to run
232     using the following logic:
233 swift 1.1 </p>
234    
235 swift 1.9 <ul>
236     <li>
237     If a file named <path>.xinitrc</path> exists in the home directory, it will
238     execute the commands listed there.
239     </li>
240     <li>
241     Otherwise, it will read the value of the XSESSION variable and will execute
242     one of the sessions available in <path>/etc/X11/Sessions/</path>
243     accordingly (you can set the value of XSESSION in <path>/etc/rc.conf</path>
244     to make it a default for all the users on the system).
245     </li>
246     <li>
247     If all of the above fail, it will fall back to a simple window manager,
248     usually <c>twm</c>.
249     </li>
250     </ul>
251    
252 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Starting X">
253     # <i>startx</i>
254     </pre>
255    
256 swift 1.9 <p>
257     If you see an ugly, loathsome, repulsive, deformed window manager, that's
258     <c>twm</c>. To finish the twm session, type in <c>exit</c> or Ctrl-D in the
259     upcoming xterms. You can also kill the X session using the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace
260     combination. This will however make X exit disgracefully - something that you
261     might not always want. It doesn't hurt though :)
262     </p>
263    
264 swift 1.1 </body>
265     </section>
266 swift 1.9 </chapter>
267     <chapter>
268     <title>Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
269 swift 1.1 <section>
270     <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
271     <body>
272    
273     <p>
274     If you feel that the screen resolution is wrong, you will need to check two
275     sections in your configuration. First of all, you have the <e>Screen</e> section
276     which lists the resolutions - if any - that your X server will run at. By
277     default, this section might not list any resolutions at all. If this is the
278     case, Xorg will estimate the resolutions based on the information in the
279     second section, <e>Monitor</e>.
280     </p>
281    
282     <p>
283     What happens is that Xorg checks the settings of <c>HorizSync</c> and
284     <c>VertRefresh</c> in the <e>Monitor</e> section to compute valid resolutions.
285     For now, leave these settings as-is. Only when the changes to the <e>Screen</e>
286     section (which we will describe in a minute) don't work, then you will need to
287     look up the specs for your monitor and fill in the correct values. You can also
288     use a tool that searches for your monitor's specs, such as
289     <c>sys-apps/ddcxinfo-knoppix</c>.
290     </p>
291    
292     <warn>
293     Do <b>not</b> "just" change the values of these two monitor-related variables
294     without consulting the technical specifications of your monitor. Setting
295     incorrect values lead to out-of-sync errors at best and smoked up screens at
296     worst.
297     </warn>
298    
299     <p>
300     Now let us change the resolutions. In the next example from
301     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> we add the <c>Modes</c> lines and the
302     <c>DefaultDepth</c> so that our X server starts with 24 bits at 1024x768 by
303     default. Don't mind the given strings - they are examples and will most likely
304     differ from the settings on your system.
305     </p>
306    
307     <pre caption="Changing the Screen section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf">
308     Section "Screen"
309     Identifier "Default Screen"
310     Device "S3 Inc. ProSavage KN133 [Twister K]"
311     Monitor "Generic Monitor"
312     <i>DefaultDepth 24</i>
313     <comment># Skipping some text to improve readability</comment>
314     SubSection "Display"
315     Depth 24
316     <i>Modes "1024x768"</i>
317     EndSubSection
318     EndSection
319     </pre>
320    
321     <p>
322     Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want :)
323     </p>
324    
325     </body>
326     </section>
327     <section>
328     <title>Configuring your Keyboard</title>
329     <body>
330    
331     <p>
332     To setup X to use an international keyboard, search for the <e>InputDevice</e>
333     section that configures the keyboard and add the <c>XkbLayout</c> option to
334     point to the keyboard layout you want. As an example, we show you how to apply
335     for the Belgian layout. Just substitute the country-keycode with yours:
336     </p>
337    
338     <pre caption="Changing the keyboard layout">
339     Section "InputDevice"
340     Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
341     Driver "keyboard"
342     Option "CoreKeyboard"
343 swift 1.3 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
344 swift 1.1 Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
345     <i>Option "XkbLayout" "be"</i>
346     EndSection
347     </pre>
348    
349     </body>
350     </section>
351     <section>
352     <title>Configuring your Mouse</title>
353     <body>
354    
355     <p>
356     If your mouse isn't working, you will first need to find out if it is detected
357 neysx 1.12 by the kernel at all. Mice are (device-wise) seen as
358 swift 1.11 <path>/dev/input/mouse0</path> (or <path>/dev/input/mice</path> if you want to
359 swift 1.14 use several mice). In some cases <path>/dev/psaux</path> is used. In either
360     case you can check if the devices do represent
361 neysx 1.12 your mouse by checking the output of those files when you move your mouse. To
362     end the session press <c>Ctrl-C</c>.
363 swift 1.1 </p>
364    
365     <pre caption="Checking the device files">
366 swift 1.11 # <i>cat /dev/input/mouse0</i>
367 swift 1.1 <comment>(Don't forget to press Ctrl-C to end this)</comment>
368     </pre>
369    
370     <p>
371     If your mouse isn't detected, verify if all the necessary modules are loaded.
372     </p>
373    
374     <p>
375     If your mouse is detected, fill in the device in the appropriate
376     <e>InputDevice</e> section. In the next example you'll see we also set two other
377     options: <c>Protocol</c> (which lists the mouse protocol to be used - most users
378     will use PS/2 or IMPS/2) and <c>ZAxisMapping</c> (which allows for the
379     mousewheel (if applicable) to be used).
380     </p>
381    
382     <pre caption="Changing the mouse settings in Xorg">
383     Section "InputDevice"
384     Identifier "TouchPad Mouse"
385     Driver "mouse"
386     Option "CorePointer"
387 swift 1.11 <i>Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse0"</i>
388 swift 1.1 <i>Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"</i>
389     <i>Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"</i>
390     EndSection
391     </pre>
392    
393     <p>
394     Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result :) Congratulations, you now
395     (hopefully) have a working Xorg on your system. The next step is to remove this
396     ugly lightweight window manager and use a high-feature one (or even a desktop
397     environment) such as KDE or GNOME, but that's not part of this guide :)
398     </p>
399    
400     </body>
401     </section>
402     </chapter>
403     <chapter>
404     <title>Resources</title>
405     <section>
406     <title>Creating and Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
407     <body>
408    
409     <p>
410     First of all, <c>man 5 xorg.conf</c> provides a quick yet complete reference
411     about the syntaxis used by the configuration file. Be sure to have it open on a
412     terminal near you when you edit your configuration file!
413     </p>
414    
415     <p>
416     A second point of resources on your system is the
417     <path>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc</path> directory with various <path>README</path>'s
418     for individual graphical chipsets.
419     </p>
420    
421     <p>
422     There are also many online resources on editing <path>xorg.conf</path>. We only
423     list few of them here, be sure to <uri link="http://www.google.com">Google</uri>
424     for more :) As <path>xorg.conf</path> and <path>XF86Config</path> (the
425     configuration file for the XFree86 project) use the
426     same syntaxis for most configuration options and more information about
427     <path>XF86Config</path> is available, we'll list those resources as well.
428     </p>
429    
430     <ul>
431     <li>
432     <uri link="http://tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree-Local-multi-user-HOWTO/">The XFree
433     Local Multi-User HOWTO</uri>
434     </li>
435     <li>
436     <uri
437     link="http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/os-dw-linuxxwin-i.html">An
438     Introduction to XFree 4.x</uri> by Chris Houser
439     </li>
440     </ul>
441    
442     </body>
443     </section>
444     </chapter>
445     </guide>

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