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Revision 1.27 - (hide annotations) (download) (as text)
Mon Nov 10 07:01:00 2008 UTC (5 years, 9 months ago) by nightmorph
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Changes since 1.26: +29 -24 lines
File MIME type: application/xml
Update the xorg guide. clean up video_cards and input_devices information at the beginning. remove references to X11R6. add online help links. some general cleanup toward the end of the doc.

1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3 nightmorph 1.27 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xorg-config.xml,v 1.26 2008/05/23 19:40:35 swift Exp $ -->
4 swift 1.1
5 yoswink 1.15 <guide link="/doc/en/xorg-config.xml">
6 swift 1.1 <title>The X Server Configuration HOWTO</title>
7    
8     <author title="Author">
9 nightmorph 1.20 <mail link="swift@gentoo.org">Sven Vermeulen</mail>
10 swift 1.1 </author>
11 nightmorph 1.27 <author title="Editor">
12     <mail link="nightmorph"/>
13     </author>
14 swift 1.1
15     <abstract>
16     Xorg is the X Window server which allows users to have a graphical
17 swift 1.26 environment at their fingertips. This HOWTO explains what Xorg is, how to
18 swift 1.1 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 1.27 <version>1.18</version>
26     <date>2008-11-09</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 swift 1.26 do this. :-) Linux offers a wide variety of flashy user interfaces and
39 swift 1.1 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 swift 1.26 The application that provides Linux users with the ability to run graphical
59 swift 1.1 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 1.26 compatible with the GPL license; the use of Xorg is therefore recommended.
62 swift 1.8 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 swift 1.26 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 swift 1.26 one.
82 swift 1.1 </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 swift 1.26 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 swift 1.1 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 nightmorph 1.27 driver means no 3D acceleration at all. The free <c>radeon</c> and
113     <c>radeonhd</c> drivers for ATI cards support 3D acceleration on older Radeons
114     but don't yet support all the features of the newer ones. <c>VIDEO_CARDS</c> may
115     contain more than one driver, in this case list of them should be separated with
116     spaces.
117 rane 1.18 </p>
118    
119     <p>
120     The second variable is <c>INPUT_DEVICES</c> and is used to determine which
121     drivers are to be built for input devices. In most cases setting it to
122 nightmorph 1.27 <c>keyboard mouse</c> should work just fine. If you use alternative input
123     devices, such as a Synaptics touchpad for a laptop, be sure to add it to
124     <c>INPUT_DEVICES</c>.
125 rane 1.18 </p>
126    
127     <p>
128     Now you should decide which drivers you will use and add necessary settings to
129     the <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file:
130     </p>
131    
132     <pre caption="Sample make.conf entries">
133     <comment>(For mouse and keyboard support)</comment>
134     INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse"
135     <comment>(For Nvidia cards)</comment>
136     VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia"
137     <comment>(OR, for ATI Radeon cards)</comment>
138     VIDEO_CARDS="fglrx"
139     </pre>
140    
141     <p>
142 nightmorph 1.27 More instructions on how to configure nVidia and ATI cards can be found in
143 rane 1.18 <uri link="/doc/en/nvidia-guide.xml">Gentoo Linux nVidia Guide</uri> and in
144     <uri link="/doc/en/ati-faq.xml">Gentoo Linux ATI FAQ</uri>. If you don't know
145     which drivers you should choose, refer to these guides for more information.
146     </p>
147    
148     <note>
149     If the suggested settings don't work for you, you should run <c>emerge -pv
150 nightmorph 1.23 xorg-server</c>, check all the options available and choose those which apply to
151     your system. The example is for the amd64 architecture and
152     <c>xorg-server-1.2</c>.
153 rane 1.18 </note>
154    
155     <pre caption="Displaying all the driver options available">
156 nightmorph 1.23 # <i>emerge -pv xorg-server</i>
157 rane 1.18
158     These are the packages that would be merged, in order:
159    
160     Calculating dependencies... done!
161 nightmorph 1.23 [ebuild R ] x11-base/xorg-server-1.2.0-r3 USE="dri nptl xorg (-3dfx) -debug
162     -dmx -ipv6 -kdrive -minimal -sdl -xprint" INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse -acecad
163     -aiptek -calcomp -citron -digitaledge -dmc -dynapro -elo2300 -elographics -evdev
164     -fpit -hyperpen -jamstudio -joystick -magellan -microtouch -mutouch -palmax
165     -penmount -spaceorb -summa -synaptics -tek4957 -ur98 -vmmouse -void -wacom"
166     VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia -apm -ark -chips -cirrus -cyrix -dummy -epson -fbdev -fglrx
167     -glint -i128 (-i740) -i810 (-impact) (-imstt) -mach64 -mga -neomagic (-newport)
168     (-nsc) -nv -r128 -radeon -rendition -s3 -s3virge -savage -siliconmotion -sis
169     -sisusb (-sunbw2) (-suncg14) (-suncg3) (-suncg6) (-sunffb) (-sunleo) (-suntcx)
170     -tdfx -tga -trident -tseng -v4l -vesa -vga -via -vmware -voodoo" 0 kB
171 rane 1.18 </pre>
172    
173     <p>
174     After setting all the necessary variables you can install the Xorg package.
175     </p>
176    
177 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Installing Xorg">
178     # <i>emerge xorg-x11</i>
179     </pre>
180    
181     <p>
182 rane 1.18 When the installation is finished, you might need to re-initialise some
183 swift 1.1 environment variables before you continue. Just run <c>env-update</c> followed
184 rane 1.18 by <c>source /etc/profile</c> and you're all set.
185 swift 1.1 </p>
186    
187 rane 1.18 <pre caption="Re-initialising the environment variables">
188 swift 1.1 # <i>env-update</i>
189     # <i>source /etc/profile</i>
190     </pre>
191    
192     </body>
193     </section>
194     </chapter>
195     <chapter>
196     <title>Configuring Xorg</title>
197     <section>
198     <title>The xorg.conf File</title>
199     <body>
200    
201     <p>
202 neysx 1.2 The configuration file of Xorg is called <path>xorg.conf</path> and it
203 swift 1.1 resides in <path>/etc/X11</path>. The Xorg-X11 package provides an example
204     configuration as <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.example</path> which you can use to
205     create your own configuration. It is heavily commented, but if you are in need
206     of more documentation regarding the syntax, don't hesitate to read the man page:
207     </p>
208    
209     <pre caption="Reading the xorg.conf man page">
210     # <i>man 5 xorg.conf</i>
211     </pre>
212    
213     <p>
214     Happy reading for those of you willing to. We surely don't so we'll continue
215     with checking out how we can create the file automatically.
216     </p>
217    
218     </body>
219     </section>
220     <section>
221     <title>Default: Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
222     <body>
223    
224     <p>
225 swift 1.26 Xorg itself is able to guess most parameters for you. In most cases, you
226     will only have to change some lines to get the resolution you want up and
227     running. If you are interested in more in-depth tweaking, be sure to check the
228     resources at the end of this chapter. But first, let us generate a (hopefully
229     working) Xorg configuration file.
230 swift 1.1 </p>
231    
232     <pre caption="Generating an xorg.conf file">
233     # <i>Xorg -configure</i>
234     </pre>
235    
236     <p>
237     Be sure to read the last lines printed on your screen when Xorg has finished
238     probing your hardware. If it tells you it failed at some point, you're forced to
239     manually write an <path>xorg.conf</path> file. Assuming that it didn't fail, it
240     will have told you that it has written <path>/root/xorg.conf.new</path> ready
241 nightmorph 1.24 for you to test. So let's test. :)
242 swift 1.1 </p>
243    
244     <pre caption="Testing the xorg.conf.new file">
245 swift 1.6 # <i>X -config /root/xorg.conf.new</i>
246 swift 1.1 </pre>
247    
248     <p>
249 nightmorph 1.21 If all goes well, you should see a simple black and white pattern. Verify if
250     your mouse works correctly and if the resolution is good. If you received errors
251     about "/dev/mouse", try changing your mouse device to <c>/dev/input/mice</c> in
252     the "InputDevice" section of <path>xorg.conf</path>. You might not be able to
253     deduce the exact resolution, but you should be able to see if it's too low. You
254     can exit any time by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.
255 swift 1.7 </p>
256    
257 swift 1.1 </body>
258     </section>
259     <section>
260     <title>Alternative: Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
261     <body>
262    
263     <p>
264     Xorg provides a tool called <c>xorgconfig</c> which will ask you for various
265     information regarding your system (graphical adapter, keyboard, ...). Based on
266     your input it will create a <path>xorg.conf</path> file.
267     </p>
268    
269     <pre caption="Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf">
270     # <i>xorgconfig</i>
271     </pre>
272    
273 swift 1.10 <p>
274     Another tool, also provided by Xorg, is <c>xorgcfg</c>, which will first
275 fox2mike 1.16 attempt to run <c>Xorg -configure</c> and then start the X server for more
276 swift 1.10 final tweaking.
277     </p>
278    
279     <pre caption="Using xorgcfg">
280     # <i>xorgcfg</i>
281 swift 1.13 <comment>(In case X crashes or the configuration fails, try:)</comment>
282     # <i>xorgcfg -textmode</i>
283 swift 1.10 </pre>
284    
285 swift 1.1 </body>
286     </section>
287     <section>
288     <title>Copying over xorg.conf</title>
289     <body>
290    
291     <p>
292 swift 1.9 Let us copy over the <path>xorg.conf.new</path> to
293     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> now, so we won't have to continuously run
294 nightmorph 1.24 <c>X -config</c> -- typing just <c>X</c> or <c>startx</c> is easier. :)
295 swift 1.1 </p>
296    
297     <pre caption="Copying over xorg.conf">
298     # <i>cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf</i>
299     </pre>
300    
301 swift 1.9 </body>
302     </section>
303     <section id="using_startx">
304     <title>Using startx</title>
305     <body>
306    
307 swift 1.1 <p>
308 swift 1.9 Now try <c>startx</c> to start up your X server. <c>startx</c> is a script
309     that executes an <e>X session</e>, that is, it starts the X servers and some
310     graphical applications on top of it. It decides which applications to run
311     using the following logic:
312 swift 1.1 </p>
313    
314 swift 1.9 <ul>
315     <li>
316     If a file named <path>.xinitrc</path> exists in the home directory, it will
317     execute the commands listed there.
318     </li>
319     <li>
320     Otherwise, it will read the value of the XSESSION variable and will execute
321     one of the sessions available in <path>/etc/X11/Sessions/</path>
322     accordingly (you can set the value of XSESSION in <path>/etc/rc.conf</path>
323     to make it a default for all the users on the system).
324     </li>
325 nightmorph 1.24 <li>
326 swift 1.9 If all of the above fail, it will fall back to a simple window manager,
327     usually <c>twm</c>.
328     </li>
329     </ul>
330    
331 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Starting X">
332     # <i>startx</i>
333     </pre>
334    
335 swift 1.9 <p>
336     If you see an ugly, loathsome, repulsive, deformed window manager, that's
337     <c>twm</c>. To finish the twm session, type in <c>exit</c> or Ctrl-D in the
338     upcoming xterms. You can also kill the X session using the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace
339 fox2mike 1.16 combination. This will however make X exit disgracefully -- something that you
340 nightmorph 1.24 might not always want. It doesn't hurt though. :)
341 swift 1.9 </p>
342    
343 swift 1.1 </body>
344     </section>
345 swift 1.9 </chapter>
346     <chapter>
347     <title>Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
348 swift 1.1 <section>
349     <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
350     <body>
351    
352     <p>
353     If you feel that the screen resolution is wrong, you will need to check two
354     sections in your configuration. First of all, you have the <e>Screen</e> section
355 fox2mike 1.16 which lists the resolutions, if any that your X server will run at. By
356 swift 1.1 default, this section might not list any resolutions at all. If this is the
357     case, Xorg will estimate the resolutions based on the information in the
358     second section, <e>Monitor</e>.
359     </p>
360    
361     <p>
362     What happens is that Xorg checks the settings of <c>HorizSync</c> and
363     <c>VertRefresh</c> in the <e>Monitor</e> section to compute valid resolutions.
364     For now, leave these settings as-is. Only when the changes to the <e>Screen</e>
365     section (which we will describe in a minute) don't work, then you will need to
366     look up the specs for your monitor and fill in the correct values. You can also
367     use a tool that searches for your monitor's specs, such as
368     <c>sys-apps/ddcxinfo-knoppix</c>.
369     </p>
370    
371     <warn>
372 fox2mike 1.16 Do <b>not</b> "just" change the values of these two monitor related variables
373 swift 1.1 without consulting the technical specifications of your monitor. Setting
374     incorrect values lead to out-of-sync errors at best and smoked up screens at
375     worst.
376     </warn>
377    
378     <p>
379     Now let us change the resolutions. In the next example from
380     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> we add the <c>Modes</c> lines and the
381     <c>DefaultDepth</c> so that our X server starts with 24 bits at 1024x768 by
382 fox2mike 1.16 default. Don't mind the given strings -- they are examples and will most likely
383 swift 1.1 differ from the settings on your system.
384     </p>
385    
386     <pre caption="Changing the Screen section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf">
387     Section "Screen"
388     Identifier "Default Screen"
389     Device "S3 Inc. ProSavage KN133 [Twister K]"
390     Monitor "Generic Monitor"
391     <i>DefaultDepth 24</i>
392     <comment># Skipping some text to improve readability</comment>
393     SubSection "Display"
394     Depth 24
395     <i>Modes "1024x768"</i>
396     EndSubSection
397     EndSection
398     </pre>
399    
400     <p>
401 nightmorph 1.24 Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want. :)
402 swift 1.1 </p>
403    
404     </body>
405     </section>
406     <section>
407     <title>Configuring your Keyboard</title>
408     <body>
409    
410     <p>
411     To setup X to use an international keyboard, search for the <e>InputDevice</e>
412     section that configures the keyboard and add the <c>XkbLayout</c> option to
413     point to the keyboard layout you want. As an example, we show you how to apply
414     for the Belgian layout. Just substitute the country-keycode with yours:
415     </p>
416    
417     <pre caption="Changing the keyboard layout">
418     Section "InputDevice"
419     Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
420     Driver "keyboard"
421     Option "CoreKeyboard"
422 swift 1.3 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
423 swift 1.1 Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
424     <i>Option "XkbLayout" "be"</i>
425     EndSection
426     </pre>
427    
428     </body>
429     </section>
430     <section>
431     <title>Configuring your Mouse</title>
432     <body>
433    
434     <p>
435     If your mouse isn't working, you will first need to find out if it is detected
436 neysx 1.12 by the kernel at all. Mice are (device-wise) seen as
437 swift 1.11 <path>/dev/input/mouse0</path> (or <path>/dev/input/mice</path> if you want to
438 swift 1.26 use several mice). In some cases <path>/dev/psaux</path> is used. In either
439 swift 1.14 case you can check if the devices do represent
440 fox2mike 1.17 your mouse by checking the output of those files when you move your mouse. You
441     will usually see some junk on your screen. To end the session press
442     <c>Ctrl-C</c>.
443 swift 1.1 </p>
444    
445     <pre caption="Checking the device files">
446 swift 1.11 # <i>cat /dev/input/mouse0</i>
447 swift 1.1 <comment>(Don't forget to press Ctrl-C to end this)</comment>
448     </pre>
449    
450     <p>
451     If your mouse isn't detected, verify if all the necessary modules are loaded.
452     </p>
453    
454     <p>
455 swift 1.26 If your mouse is detected, fill in the device in the appropriate
456 swift 1.1 <e>InputDevice</e> section. In the next example you'll see we also set two other
457 fox2mike 1.16 options: <c>Protocol</c> (which lists the mouse protocol to be used -- most
458     users will use PS/2 or IMPS/2) and <c>ZAxisMapping</c> (which allows for the
459 swift 1.1 mousewheel (if applicable) to be used).
460     </p>
461    
462     <pre caption="Changing the mouse settings in Xorg">
463     Section "InputDevice"
464     Identifier "TouchPad Mouse"
465     Driver "mouse"
466     Option "CorePointer"
467 swift 1.11 <i>Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse0"</i>
468 swift 1.1 <i>Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"</i>
469     <i>Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"</i>
470     EndSection
471     </pre>
472    
473     <p>
474 nightmorph 1.25 Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result. :) Congratulations, you now
475 swift 1.1 (hopefully) have a working Xorg on your system. The next step is to remove this
476     ugly lightweight window manager and use a high-feature one (or even a desktop
477 nightmorph 1.24 environment) such as KDE or GNOME, but that's not part of this guide. :)
478 swift 1.1 </p>
479    
480     </body>
481     </section>
482     </chapter>
483     <chapter>
484     <title>Resources</title>
485     <section>
486     <title>Creating and Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
487     <body>
488    
489     <p>
490 nightmorph 1.27 First of all, <c>man xorg.conf</c> provides a quick yet complete reference
491     about the syntax used by the configuration file. Be sure to have it open on a
492 swift 1.1 terminal near you when you edit your configuration file!
493     </p>
494    
495     <p>
496 nightmorph 1.27 Also, be sure to look at <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.example</path>; you may wish
497     to copy this and use it as a foundation for writing your own
498     <path>xorg.conf</path>.
499     </p>
500    
501     <p>
502     You may find the X.org <uri link="http://www.x.org/wiki/FAQ">FAQ</uri> provided
503     on their website, in addition to their other documentation.
504 swift 1.1 </p>
505    
506     <p>
507     There are also many online resources on editing <path>xorg.conf</path>. We only
508     list few of them here, be sure to <uri link="http://www.google.com">Google</uri>
509 nightmorph 1.25 for more. :) As <path>xorg.conf</path> and <path>XF86Config</path> (the
510 swift 1.1 configuration file for the XFree86 project) use the
511 nightmorph 1.24 same syntax for most configuration options and more information about
512 swift 1.1 <path>XF86Config</path> is available, we'll list those resources as well.
513     </p>
514    
515     <ul>
516     <li>
517     <uri link="http://tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree-Local-multi-user-HOWTO/">The XFree
518     Local Multi-User HOWTO</uri>
519     </li>
520     <li>
521     <uri
522     link="http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/os-dw-linuxxwin-i.html">An
523     Introduction to XFree 4.x</uri> by Chris Houser
524     </li>
525     </ul>
526    
527     </body>
528     </section>
529 rane 1.18 <section>
530     <title>Other resources</title>
531     <body>
532    
533     <p>
534 nightmorph 1.27 More information about installing and configuring various graphical desktop
535     environments and applications can be found in the <uri
536     link="/doc/en/?catid=desktop">Gentoo Desktop Documentation Resources</uri>
537     section of our documentation.
538 rane 1.18 </p>
539    
540     </body>
541     </section>
542 swift 1.1 </chapter>
543     </guide>

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