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1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2    
3 nightmorph 1.19 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xorg-config.xml,v 1.18 2006/07/13 04:29:16 rane 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 nightmorph 1.19 <mail link="sven.vermeulen@siphos.be">Sven Vermeulen</mail>
13 swift 1.1 </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 fox2mike 1.17 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
23 swift 1.1 <license/>
24    
25 nightmorph 1.19 <version>1.15</version>
26     <date>2006-11-28</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 fox2mike 1.16 screen, interacting with the user through mouse, keyboard and other basic, yet
52 swift 1.1 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 fox2mike 1.16 maintains a freely redistributable, open-source implementation of the X11
74     system. It is an open source X11-based desktop infrastructure.
75 swift 1.1 </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 fox2mike 1.16
88 swift 1.1 <chapter>
89     <title>Installing Xorg</title>
90     <section>
91     <title>Using emerge</title>
92     <body>
93    
94     <p>
95     Enough chitchat, let's get to business shall we? To install Xorg, you just
96     need to run <c>emerge xorg-x11</c>. Installing Xorg does take a while
97     though, so you might want to grab a snack while you are waiting.
98     </p>
99    
100 rane 1.18 <p>
101     Before installing Xorg you have to configure two important variables in the
102     <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file.
103     </p>
104    
105     <p>
106     The first one is <c>VIDEO_CARDS</c>. This is used to set the video drivers that
107     you intend to use and is usually based on the kind and brand of card you have.
108     The most common settings are <c>nvidia</c> for Nvidia cards or <c>fglrx</c> for
109     ATI Radeon cards. Those are the proprietary drivers from Nvidia and ATI
110     respectively. If you would like to use the open source versions, use <c>nv</c>
111     rather than <c>nvidia</c> in the variable, but bear in mind that using this
112     driver means no 3d acceleration at all. Use <c>radeon</c> in case you have an
113     ATI card for the same. <c>VIDEO_CARDS</c> may contain more than one driver, in
114     this case list of them should be separated with spaces.
115     </p>
116    
117     <p>
118     The second variable is <c>INPUT_DEVICES</c> and is used to determine which
119     drivers are to be built for input devices. In most cases setting it to
120     <c>keyboard mouse</c> should work just fine.
121     </p>
122    
123     <p>
124     Now you should decide which drivers you will use and add necessary settings to
125     the <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file:
126     </p>
127    
128     <pre caption="Sample make.conf entries">
129     <comment>(For mouse and keyboard support)</comment>
130     INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse"
131     <comment>(For Nvidia cards)</comment>
132     VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia"
133     <comment>(OR, for ATI Radeon cards)</comment>
134     VIDEO_CARDS="fglrx"
135     </pre>
136    
137     <p>
138     More instructions on how to configure Nvidia and ATI cards can be found in
139     <uri link="/doc/en/nvidia-guide.xml">Gentoo Linux nVidia Guide</uri> and in
140     <uri link="/doc/en/ati-faq.xml">Gentoo Linux ATI FAQ</uri>. If you don't know
141     which drivers you should choose, refer to these guides for more information.
142     </p>
143    
144     <note>
145     If the suggested settings don't work for you, you should run <c>emerge -pv
146     xorg-x11</c>, check all the options available and choose those which
147     apply to your system. In different versions of Xorg and on different
148     architectures displaying these variables can be done with <c>emerge -pv
149     xorg-server</c> command rather than the one above. The example is for x86
150     architecture and xorg-x11-7.0.
151     </note>
152    
153     <pre caption="Displaying all the driver options available">
154     # <i>emerge -pv xorg-x11</i>
155    
156     These are the packages that would be merged, in order:
157    
158     Calculating dependencies... done!
159     [ebuild R ] x11-base/xorg-x11-7.0-r1 USE="-3dfx" INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard
160     mouse -acecad -aiptek -calcomp -citron -digitaledge -dmc -dynapro -elo2300
161     -elographics -evdev -fpit -hyperpen -jamstudio -joystick -magellan -magictouch
162     -microtouch -mutouch -palmax -penmount -spaceorb -summa -synaptics -tek4957
163     -ur98 -vmmouse -void -wacom" VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia -apm -ark -chips -cirrus
164     -cyrix -dummy -fbdev -fglrx -glint -i128 -i740 -i810 -imstt -mach64 -mga
165     -neomagic -nsc -nv -r128 -radeon -rendition -s3 -s3virge -savage -siliconmotion
166     -sis -sisusb -tdfx -tga -trident -tseng -v4l -vesa -vga -via -vmware -voodoo" 0
167     kB
168     </pre>
169    
170     <p>
171     After setting all the necessary variables you can install the Xorg package.
172     </p>
173    
174 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Installing Xorg">
175     # <i>emerge xorg-x11</i>
176     </pre>
177    
178     <p>
179 rane 1.18 When the installation is finished, you might need to re-initialise some
180 swift 1.1 environment variables before you continue. Just run <c>env-update</c> followed
181 rane 1.18 by <c>source /etc/profile</c> and you're all set.
182 swift 1.1 </p>
183    
184 rane 1.18 <pre caption="Re-initialising the environment variables">
185 swift 1.1 # <i>env-update</i>
186     # <i>source /etc/profile</i>
187     </pre>
188    
189     </body>
190     </section>
191     </chapter>
192     <chapter>
193     <title>Configuring Xorg</title>
194     <section>
195     <title>The xorg.conf File</title>
196     <body>
197    
198     <p>
199 neysx 1.2 The configuration file of Xorg is called <path>xorg.conf</path> and it
200 swift 1.1 resides in <path>/etc/X11</path>. The Xorg-X11 package provides an example
201     configuration as <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.example</path> which you can use to
202     create your own configuration. It is heavily commented, but if you are in need
203     of more documentation regarding the syntax, don't hesitate to read the man page:
204     </p>
205    
206     <pre caption="Reading the xorg.conf man page">
207     # <i>man 5 xorg.conf</i>
208     </pre>
209    
210     <p>
211     Happy reading for those of you willing to. We surely don't so we'll continue
212     with checking out how we can create the file automatically.
213     </p>
214    
215     </body>
216     </section>
217     <section>
218     <title>Default: Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
219     <body>
220    
221     <p>
222     Xorg itself is able to guess most parameters for you. In most cases, you
223     will only have to change some lines to get the resolution you want up and
224     running. If you are interested in more in-depth tweaking, be sure to check the
225     resources at the end of this chapter. But first, let us generate a (hopefully
226     working) Xorg configuration file.
227     </p>
228    
229     <pre caption="Generating an xorg.conf file">
230     # <i>Xorg -configure</i>
231     </pre>
232    
233     <p>
234     Be sure to read the last lines printed on your screen when Xorg has finished
235     probing your hardware. If it tells you it failed at some point, you're forced to
236     manually write an <path>xorg.conf</path> file. Assuming that it didn't fail, it
237     will have told you that it has written <path>/root/xorg.conf.new</path> ready
238     for you to test. So let's test :)
239     </p>
240    
241     <pre caption="Testing the xorg.conf.new file">
242 swift 1.6 # <i>X -config /root/xorg.conf.new</i>
243 swift 1.1 </pre>
244    
245     <p>
246 swift 1.9 If all goes well, you should see a simple black and white pattern. Verify if
247     your mouse works correctly and if the resolution is good. You might not be able
248     to deduce the exact resolution, but you should be able to see if it's too low.
249     You can exit any time by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.
250 swift 1.7 </p>
251    
252 swift 1.1 </body>
253     </section>
254     <section>
255     <title>Alternative: Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
256     <body>
257    
258     <p>
259     Xorg provides a tool called <c>xorgconfig</c> which will ask you for various
260     information regarding your system (graphical adapter, keyboard, ...). Based on
261     your input it will create a <path>xorg.conf</path> file.
262     </p>
263    
264     <pre caption="Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf">
265     # <i>xorgconfig</i>
266     </pre>
267    
268 swift 1.10 <p>
269     Another tool, also provided by Xorg, is <c>xorgcfg</c>, which will first
270 fox2mike 1.16 attempt to run <c>Xorg -configure</c> and then start the X server for more
271 swift 1.10 final tweaking.
272     </p>
273    
274     <pre caption="Using xorgcfg">
275     # <i>xorgcfg</i>
276 swift 1.13 <comment>(In case X crashes or the configuration fails, try:)</comment>
277     # <i>xorgcfg -textmode</i>
278 swift 1.10 </pre>
279    
280 swift 1.1 </body>
281     </section>
282     <section>
283     <title>Copying over xorg.conf</title>
284     <body>
285    
286     <p>
287 swift 1.9 Let us copy over the <path>xorg.conf.new</path> to
288     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> now, so we won't have to continuously run
289     <c>X -config</c> -- typing just <c>X</c> or <c>startx</c> is far more easy :)
290 swift 1.1 </p>
291    
292     <pre caption="Copying over xorg.conf">
293     # <i>cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf</i>
294     </pre>
295    
296 swift 1.9 </body>
297     </section>
298     <section id="using_startx">
299     <title>Using startx</title>
300     <body>
301    
302 swift 1.1 <p>
303 swift 1.9 Now try <c>startx</c> to start up your X server. <c>startx</c> is a script
304     that executes an <e>X session</e>, that is, it starts the X servers and some
305     graphical applications on top of it. It decides which applications to run
306     using the following logic:
307 swift 1.1 </p>
308    
309 swift 1.9 <ul>
310     <li>
311     If a file named <path>.xinitrc</path> exists in the home directory, it will
312     execute the commands listed there.
313     </li>
314     <li>
315     Otherwise, it will read the value of the XSESSION variable and will execute
316     one of the sessions available in <path>/etc/X11/Sessions/</path>
317     accordingly (you can set the value of XSESSION in <path>/etc/rc.conf</path>
318     to make it a default for all the users on the system).
319     </li>
320     <li>
321     If all of the above fail, it will fall back to a simple window manager,
322     usually <c>twm</c>.
323     </li>
324     </ul>
325    
326 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Starting X">
327     # <i>startx</i>
328     </pre>
329    
330 swift 1.9 <p>
331     If you see an ugly, loathsome, repulsive, deformed window manager, that's
332     <c>twm</c>. To finish the twm session, type in <c>exit</c> or Ctrl-D in the
333     upcoming xterms. You can also kill the X session using the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace
334 fox2mike 1.16 combination. This will however make X exit disgracefully -- something that you
335 swift 1.9 might not always want. It doesn't hurt though :)
336     </p>
337    
338 swift 1.1 </body>
339     </section>
340 swift 1.9 </chapter>
341     <chapter>
342     <title>Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
343 swift 1.1 <section>
344     <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
345     <body>
346    
347     <p>
348     If you feel that the screen resolution is wrong, you will need to check two
349     sections in your configuration. First of all, you have the <e>Screen</e> section
350 fox2mike 1.16 which lists the resolutions, if any that your X server will run at. By
351 swift 1.1 default, this section might not list any resolutions at all. If this is the
352     case, Xorg will estimate the resolutions based on the information in the
353     second section, <e>Monitor</e>.
354     </p>
355    
356     <p>
357     What happens is that Xorg checks the settings of <c>HorizSync</c> and
358     <c>VertRefresh</c> in the <e>Monitor</e> section to compute valid resolutions.
359     For now, leave these settings as-is. Only when the changes to the <e>Screen</e>
360     section (which we will describe in a minute) don't work, then you will need to
361     look up the specs for your monitor and fill in the correct values. You can also
362     use a tool that searches for your monitor's specs, such as
363     <c>sys-apps/ddcxinfo-knoppix</c>.
364     </p>
365    
366     <warn>
367 fox2mike 1.16 Do <b>not</b> "just" change the values of these two monitor related variables
368 swift 1.1 without consulting the technical specifications of your monitor. Setting
369     incorrect values lead to out-of-sync errors at best and smoked up screens at
370     worst.
371     </warn>
372    
373     <p>
374     Now let us change the resolutions. In the next example from
375     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> we add the <c>Modes</c> lines and the
376     <c>DefaultDepth</c> so that our X server starts with 24 bits at 1024x768 by
377 fox2mike 1.16 default. Don't mind the given strings -- they are examples and will most likely
378 swift 1.1 differ from the settings on your system.
379     </p>
380    
381     <pre caption="Changing the Screen section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf">
382     Section "Screen"
383     Identifier "Default Screen"
384     Device "S3 Inc. ProSavage KN133 [Twister K]"
385     Monitor "Generic Monitor"
386     <i>DefaultDepth 24</i>
387     <comment># Skipping some text to improve readability</comment>
388     SubSection "Display"
389     Depth 24
390     <i>Modes "1024x768"</i>
391     EndSubSection
392     EndSection
393     </pre>
394    
395     <p>
396     Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want :)
397     </p>
398    
399     </body>
400     </section>
401     <section>
402     <title>Configuring your Keyboard</title>
403     <body>
404    
405     <p>
406     To setup X to use an international keyboard, search for the <e>InputDevice</e>
407     section that configures the keyboard and add the <c>XkbLayout</c> option to
408     point to the keyboard layout you want. As an example, we show you how to apply
409     for the Belgian layout. Just substitute the country-keycode with yours:
410     </p>
411    
412     <pre caption="Changing the keyboard layout">
413     Section "InputDevice"
414     Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
415     Driver "keyboard"
416     Option "CoreKeyboard"
417 swift 1.3 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
418 swift 1.1 Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
419     <i>Option "XkbLayout" "be"</i>
420     EndSection
421     </pre>
422    
423     </body>
424     </section>
425     <section>
426     <title>Configuring your Mouse</title>
427     <body>
428    
429     <p>
430     If your mouse isn't working, you will first need to find out if it is detected
431 neysx 1.12 by the kernel at all. Mice are (device-wise) seen as
432 swift 1.11 <path>/dev/input/mouse0</path> (or <path>/dev/input/mice</path> if you want to
433 swift 1.14 use several mice). In some cases <path>/dev/psaux</path> is used. In either
434     case you can check if the devices do represent
435 fox2mike 1.17 your mouse by checking the output of those files when you move your mouse. You
436     will usually see some junk on your screen. To end the session press
437     <c>Ctrl-C</c>.
438 swift 1.1 </p>
439    
440     <pre caption="Checking the device files">
441 swift 1.11 # <i>cat /dev/input/mouse0</i>
442 swift 1.1 <comment>(Don't forget to press Ctrl-C to end this)</comment>
443     </pre>
444    
445     <p>
446     If your mouse isn't detected, verify if all the necessary modules are loaded.
447     </p>
448    
449     <p>
450     If your mouse is detected, fill in the device in the appropriate
451     <e>InputDevice</e> section. In the next example you'll see we also set two other
452 fox2mike 1.16 options: <c>Protocol</c> (which lists the mouse protocol to be used -- most
453     users will use PS/2 or IMPS/2) and <c>ZAxisMapping</c> (which allows for the
454 swift 1.1 mousewheel (if applicable) to be used).
455     </p>
456    
457     <pre caption="Changing the mouse settings in Xorg">
458     Section "InputDevice"
459     Identifier "TouchPad Mouse"
460     Driver "mouse"
461     Option "CorePointer"
462 swift 1.11 <i>Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse0"</i>
463 swift 1.1 <i>Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"</i>
464     <i>Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"</i>
465     EndSection
466     </pre>
467    
468     <p>
469     Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result :) Congratulations, you now
470     (hopefully) have a working Xorg on your system. The next step is to remove this
471     ugly lightweight window manager and use a high-feature one (or even a desktop
472     environment) such as KDE or GNOME, but that's not part of this guide :)
473     </p>
474    
475     </body>
476     </section>
477     </chapter>
478     <chapter>
479     <title>Resources</title>
480     <section>
481     <title>Creating and Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
482     <body>
483    
484     <p>
485     First of all, <c>man 5 xorg.conf</c> provides a quick yet complete reference
486     about the syntaxis used by the configuration file. Be sure to have it open on a
487     terminal near you when you edit your configuration file!
488     </p>
489    
490     <p>
491     A second point of resources on your system is the
492     <path>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc</path> directory with various <path>README</path>'s
493     for individual graphical chipsets.
494     </p>
495    
496     <p>
497     There are also many online resources on editing <path>xorg.conf</path>. We only
498     list few of them here, be sure to <uri link="http://www.google.com">Google</uri>
499     for more :) As <path>xorg.conf</path> and <path>XF86Config</path> (the
500     configuration file for the XFree86 project) use the
501     same syntaxis for most configuration options and more information about
502     <path>XF86Config</path> is available, we'll list those resources as well.
503     </p>
504    
505     <ul>
506     <li>
507     <uri link="http://tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree-Local-multi-user-HOWTO/">The XFree
508     Local Multi-User HOWTO</uri>
509     </li>
510     <li>
511     <uri
512     link="http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/os-dw-linuxxwin-i.html">An
513     Introduction to XFree 4.x</uri> by Chris Houser
514     </li>
515     </ul>
516    
517     </body>
518     </section>
519 rane 1.18 <section>
520     <title>Other resources</title>
521     <body>
522    
523     <p>
524     If you want to update your system from the old monolithic Xorg to the newer,
525     modular Xorg 7, you should refer to the <uri
526     link="/proj/en/desktop/x/x11/modular-x-howto.xml">Migrating to Modular X
527     HOWTO</uri>.
528     </p>
529    
530     <p>
531     More information about configuring different packages to work in X environment
532     can be found in the <uri link="/doc/en/?catid=desktop">Gentoo Desktop
533     Documentation Resources</uri> section of our documentation.
534     </p>
535    
536     </body>
537     </section>
538 swift 1.1 </chapter>
539     </guide>

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