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The first of many rewrites I'll be making to the guide to bring it up to stable xserver 1.6 standards. bug 229769

1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3 nightmorph 1.31 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xorg-config.xml,v 1.30 2009/06/10 18:28:53 nightmorph 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 1.31 <author title="Author">
12 nightmorph 1.27 <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 1.31 <version>1.22</version>
26     <date>2009-10-02</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     <body>
92    
93     <p>
94 rane 1.18 Before installing Xorg you have to configure two important variables in the
95     <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file.
96     </p>
97    
98     <p>
99     The first one is <c>VIDEO_CARDS</c>. This is used to set the video drivers that
100     you intend to use and is usually based on the kind and brand of card you have.
101     The most common settings are <c>nvidia</c> for Nvidia cards or <c>fglrx</c> for
102     ATI Radeon cards. Those are the proprietary drivers from Nvidia and ATI
103     respectively. If you would like to use the open source versions, use <c>nv</c>
104     rather than <c>nvidia</c> in the variable, but bear in mind that using this
105 nightmorph 1.27 driver means no 3D acceleration at all. The free <c>radeon</c> and
106     <c>radeonhd</c> drivers for ATI cards support 3D acceleration on older Radeons
107     but don't yet support all the features of the newer ones. <c>VIDEO_CARDS</c> may
108     contain more than one driver, in this case list of them should be separated with
109     spaces.
110 rane 1.18 </p>
111    
112     <p>
113     The second variable is <c>INPUT_DEVICES</c> and is used to determine which
114     drivers are to be built for input devices. In most cases setting it to
115 nightmorph 1.27 <c>keyboard mouse</c> should work just fine. If you use alternative input
116     devices, such as a Synaptics touchpad for a laptop, be sure to add it to
117     <c>INPUT_DEVICES</c>.
118 rane 1.18 </p>
119    
120     <p>
121     Now you should decide which drivers you will use and add necessary settings to
122     the <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file:
123     </p>
124    
125     <pre caption="Sample make.conf entries">
126     <comment>(For mouse and keyboard support)</comment>
127     INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse"
128     <comment>(For Nvidia cards)</comment>
129     VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia"
130     <comment>(OR, for ATI Radeon cards)</comment>
131     VIDEO_CARDS="fglrx"
132     </pre>
133    
134     <p>
135 nightmorph 1.27 More instructions on how to configure nVidia and ATI cards can be found in
136 rane 1.18 <uri link="/doc/en/nvidia-guide.xml">Gentoo Linux nVidia Guide</uri> and in
137     <uri link="/doc/en/ati-faq.xml">Gentoo Linux ATI FAQ</uri>. If you don't know
138     which drivers you should choose, refer to these guides for more information.
139     </p>
140    
141     <note>
142     If the suggested settings don't work for you, you should run <c>emerge -pv
143 nightmorph 1.23 xorg-server</c>, check all the options available and choose those which apply to
144     your system. The example is for the amd64 architecture and
145     <c>xorg-server-1.2</c>.
146 rane 1.18 </note>
147    
148     <pre caption="Displaying all the driver options available">
149 nightmorph 1.23 # <i>emerge -pv xorg-server</i>
150 rane 1.18
151     These are the packages that would be merged, in order:
152    
153     Calculating dependencies... done!
154 nightmorph 1.23 [ebuild R ] x11-base/xorg-server-1.2.0-r3 USE="dri nptl xorg (-3dfx) -debug
155     -dmx -ipv6 -kdrive -minimal -sdl -xprint" INPUT_DEVICES="keyboard mouse -acecad
156     -aiptek -calcomp -citron -digitaledge -dmc -dynapro -elo2300 -elographics -evdev
157     -fpit -hyperpen -jamstudio -joystick -magellan -microtouch -mutouch -palmax
158     -penmount -spaceorb -summa -synaptics -tek4957 -ur98 -vmmouse -void -wacom"
159     VIDEO_CARDS="nvidia -apm -ark -chips -cirrus -cyrix -dummy -epson -fbdev -fglrx
160     -glint -i128 (-i740) -i810 (-impact) (-imstt) -mach64 -mga -neomagic (-newport)
161     (-nsc) -nv -r128 -radeon -rendition -s3 -s3virge -savage -siliconmotion -sis
162     -sisusb (-sunbw2) (-suncg14) (-suncg3) (-suncg6) (-sunffb) (-sunleo) (-suntcx)
163     -tdfx -tga -trident -tseng -v4l -vesa -vga -via -vmware -voodoo" 0 kB
164 rane 1.18 </pre>
165    
166     <p>
167     After setting all the necessary variables you can install the Xorg package.
168     </p>
169    
170 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Installing Xorg">
171 nightmorph 1.30 # <i>emerge xorg-server</i>
172 swift 1.1 </pre>
173    
174 nightmorph 1.30 <note>
175     You could install the <c>xorg-x11</c> metapackage instead of the more
176     lightweight xorg-server. Functionally, <c>xorg-x11</c> and <c>xorg-server</c>
177     are the same. However, <c>xorg-x11</c> brings in many more packages that
178     you probably don't need, such as a huge assortment of fonts in many different
179     languages. They're not necessary for a working desktop.
180     </note>
181    
182 swift 1.1 <p>
183 rane 1.18 When the installation is finished, you might need to re-initialise some
184 swift 1.1 environment variables before you continue. Just run <c>env-update</c> followed
185 rane 1.18 by <c>source /etc/profile</c> and you're all set.
186 swift 1.1 </p>
187    
188 rane 1.18 <pre caption="Re-initialising the environment variables">
189 swift 1.1 # <i>env-update</i>
190     # <i>source /etc/profile</i>
191     </pre>
192    
193     </body>
194     </section>
195     </chapter>
196     <chapter>
197     <title>Configuring Xorg</title>
198     <section>
199     <title>The xorg.conf File</title>
200     <body>
201    
202     <p>
203 nightmorph 1.30 The configuration file of Xorg is called <path>xorg.conf</path> and it resides
204     in <path>/etc/X11</path>. Xorg provides an example configuration as
205     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.example</path> which you can use to create your own
206     configuration. It is heavily commented, but if you are in need of more
207     documentation regarding the syntax, don't hesitate to read the man page:
208 swift 1.1 </p>
209    
210     <pre caption="Reading the xorg.conf man page">
211     # <i>man 5 xorg.conf</i>
212     </pre>
213    
214     <p>
215     Happy reading for those of you willing to. We surely don't so we'll continue
216     with checking out how we can create the file automatically.
217     </p>
218    
219     </body>
220     </section>
221     <section>
222     <title>Default: Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
223     <body>
224    
225     <p>
226 swift 1.26 Xorg itself is able to guess most parameters for you. In most cases, you
227     will only have to change some lines to get the resolution you want up and
228     running. If you are interested in more in-depth tweaking, be sure to check the
229     resources at the end of this chapter. But first, let us generate a (hopefully
230     working) Xorg configuration file.
231 swift 1.1 </p>
232    
233     <pre caption="Generating an xorg.conf file">
234     # <i>Xorg -configure</i>
235     </pre>
236    
237     <p>
238     Be sure to read the last lines printed on your screen when Xorg has finished
239     probing your hardware. If it tells you it failed at some point, you're forced to
240     manually write an <path>xorg.conf</path> file. Assuming that it didn't fail, it
241     will have told you that it has written <path>/root/xorg.conf.new</path> ready
242 nightmorph 1.24 for you to test. So let's test. :)
243 swift 1.1 </p>
244    
245     <pre caption="Testing the xorg.conf.new file">
246 swift 1.6 # <i>X -config /root/xorg.conf.new</i>
247 swift 1.1 </pre>
248    
249     <p>
250 nightmorph 1.21 If all goes well, you should see a simple black and white pattern. Verify if
251     your mouse works correctly and if the resolution is good. If you received errors
252     about "/dev/mouse", try changing your mouse device to <c>/dev/input/mice</c> in
253     the "InputDevice" section of <path>xorg.conf</path>. You might not be able to
254     deduce the exact resolution, but you should be able to see if it's too low. You
255     can exit any time by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.
256 swift 1.7 </p>
257    
258 swift 1.1 </body>
259     </section>
260     <section>
261     <title>Alternative: Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
262     <body>
263    
264     <p>
265     Xorg provides a tool called <c>xorgconfig</c> which will ask you for various
266     information regarding your system (graphical adapter, keyboard, ...). Based on
267     your input it will create a <path>xorg.conf</path> file.
268     </p>
269    
270     <pre caption="Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf">
271     # <i>xorgconfig</i>
272     </pre>
273    
274 swift 1.10 <p>
275     Another tool, also provided by Xorg, is <c>xorgcfg</c>, which will first
276 fox2mike 1.16 attempt to run <c>Xorg -configure</c> and then start the X server for more
277 swift 1.10 final tweaking.
278     </p>
279    
280     <pre caption="Using xorgcfg">
281     # <i>xorgcfg</i>
282 swift 1.13 <comment>(In case X crashes or the configuration fails, try:)</comment>
283     # <i>xorgcfg -textmode</i>
284 swift 1.10 </pre>
285    
286 swift 1.1 </body>
287     </section>
288     <section>
289     <title>Copying over xorg.conf</title>
290     <body>
291    
292     <p>
293 swift 1.9 Let us copy over the <path>xorg.conf.new</path> to
294     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> now, so we won't have to continuously run
295 nightmorph 1.24 <c>X -config</c> -- typing just <c>X</c> or <c>startx</c> is easier. :)
296 swift 1.1 </p>
297    
298     <pre caption="Copying over xorg.conf">
299     # <i>cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf</i>
300     </pre>
301    
302 swift 1.9 </body>
303     </section>
304     <section id="using_startx">
305     <title>Using startx</title>
306     <body>
307    
308 swift 1.1 <p>
309 swift 1.9 Now try <c>startx</c> to start up your X server. <c>startx</c> is a script
310     that executes an <e>X session</e>, that is, it starts the X servers and some
311     graphical applications on top of it. It decides which applications to run
312     using the following logic:
313 swift 1.1 </p>
314    
315 swift 1.9 <ul>
316     <li>
317     If a file named <path>.xinitrc</path> exists in the home directory, it will
318     execute the commands listed there.
319     </li>
320     <li>
321     Otherwise, it will read the value of the XSESSION variable and will execute
322     one of the sessions available in <path>/etc/X11/Sessions/</path>
323 nightmorph 1.31 accordingly. You can set the value of XSESSION in
324     <path>/etc/env.d/90xsession</path> to make it a default for all the users on
325     the system. For example, as root, run <c>echo XSESSION="Xfce4" >
326     /etc/env.d/90xsession</c>. This will create the <path>90xsession</path> file
327     and set the default X session to Xfce4.
328 swift 1.9 </li>
329 nightmorph 1.24 <li>
330 swift 1.9 If all of the above fail, it will fall back to a simple window manager,
331     usually <c>twm</c>.
332     </li>
333     </ul>
334    
335 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Starting X">
336     # <i>startx</i>
337     </pre>
338    
339 swift 1.9 <p>
340     If you see an ugly, loathsome, repulsive, deformed window manager, that's
341     <c>twm</c>. To finish the twm session, type in <c>exit</c> or Ctrl-D in the
342     upcoming xterms. You can also kill the X session using the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace
343 fox2mike 1.16 combination. This will however make X exit disgracefully -- something that you
344 nightmorph 1.24 might not always want. It doesn't hurt though. :)
345 swift 1.9 </p>
346    
347 swift 1.1 </body>
348     </section>
349 swift 1.9 </chapter>
350     <chapter>
351     <title>Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
352 swift 1.1 <section>
353     <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
354     <body>
355    
356     <p>
357     If you feel that the screen resolution is wrong, you will need to check two
358     sections in your configuration. First of all, you have the <e>Screen</e> section
359 fox2mike 1.16 which lists the resolutions, if any that your X server will run at. By
360 swift 1.1 default, this section might not list any resolutions at all. If this is the
361     case, Xorg will estimate the resolutions based on the information in the
362     second section, <e>Monitor</e>.
363     </p>
364    
365     <p>
366     What happens is that Xorg checks the settings of <c>HorizSync</c> and
367     <c>VertRefresh</c> in the <e>Monitor</e> section to compute valid resolutions.
368     For now, leave these settings as-is. Only when the changes to the <e>Screen</e>
369     section (which we will describe in a minute) don't work, then you will need to
370     look up the specs for your monitor and fill in the correct values. You can also
371     use a tool that searches for your monitor's specs, such as
372     <c>sys-apps/ddcxinfo-knoppix</c>.
373     </p>
374    
375     <warn>
376 fox2mike 1.16 Do <b>not</b> "just" change the values of these two monitor related variables
377 swift 1.1 without consulting the technical specifications of your monitor. Setting
378     incorrect values lead to out-of-sync errors at best and smoked up screens at
379     worst.
380     </warn>
381    
382     <p>
383     Now let us change the resolutions. In the next example from
384     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> we add the <c>Modes</c> lines and the
385     <c>DefaultDepth</c> so that our X server starts with 24 bits at 1024x768 by
386 fox2mike 1.16 default. Don't mind the given strings -- they are examples and will most likely
387 swift 1.1 differ from the settings on your system.
388     </p>
389    
390     <pre caption="Changing the Screen section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf">
391     Section "Screen"
392     Identifier "Default Screen"
393     Device "S3 Inc. ProSavage KN133 [Twister K]"
394     Monitor "Generic Monitor"
395     <i>DefaultDepth 24</i>
396     <comment># Skipping some text to improve readability</comment>
397     SubSection "Display"
398     Depth 24
399     <i>Modes "1024x768"</i>
400     EndSubSection
401     EndSection
402     </pre>
403    
404     <p>
405 nightmorph 1.24 Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want. :)
406 swift 1.1 </p>
407    
408     </body>
409     </section>
410     <section>
411     <title>Configuring your Keyboard</title>
412     <body>
413    
414     <p>
415     To setup X to use an international keyboard, search for the <e>InputDevice</e>
416     section that configures the keyboard and add the <c>XkbLayout</c> option to
417     point to the keyboard layout you want. As an example, we show you how to apply
418     for the Belgian layout. Just substitute the country-keycode with yours:
419     </p>
420    
421     <pre caption="Changing the keyboard layout">
422     Section "InputDevice"
423     Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
424     Driver "keyboard"
425     Option "CoreKeyboard"
426 swift 1.3 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
427 swift 1.1 Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
428     <i>Option "XkbLayout" "be"</i>
429     EndSection
430     </pre>
431    
432     </body>
433     </section>
434     <section>
435     <title>Configuring your Mouse</title>
436     <body>
437    
438     <p>
439     If your mouse isn't working, you will first need to find out if it is detected
440 neysx 1.12 by the kernel at all. Mice are (device-wise) seen as
441 swift 1.11 <path>/dev/input/mouse0</path> (or <path>/dev/input/mice</path> if you want to
442 swift 1.26 use several mice). In some cases <path>/dev/psaux</path> is used. In either
443 swift 1.14 case you can check if the devices do represent
444 fox2mike 1.17 your mouse by checking the output of those files when you move your mouse. You
445     will usually see some junk on your screen. To end the session press
446     <c>Ctrl-C</c>.
447 swift 1.1 </p>
448    
449     <pre caption="Checking the device files">
450 swift 1.11 # <i>cat /dev/input/mouse0</i>
451 swift 1.1 <comment>(Don't forget to press Ctrl-C to end this)</comment>
452     </pre>
453    
454     <p>
455     If your mouse isn't detected, verify if all the necessary modules are loaded.
456     </p>
457    
458     <p>
459 swift 1.26 If your mouse is detected, fill in the device in the appropriate
460 swift 1.1 <e>InputDevice</e> section. In the next example you'll see we also set two other
461 fox2mike 1.16 options: <c>Protocol</c> (which lists the mouse protocol to be used -- most
462     users will use PS/2 or IMPS/2) and <c>ZAxisMapping</c> (which allows for the
463 swift 1.1 mousewheel (if applicable) to be used).
464     </p>
465    
466     <pre caption="Changing the mouse settings in Xorg">
467     Section "InputDevice"
468     Identifier "TouchPad Mouse"
469     Driver "mouse"
470     Option "CorePointer"
471 swift 1.11 <i>Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse0"</i>
472 swift 1.1 <i>Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"</i>
473     <i>Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"</i>
474     EndSection
475     </pre>
476    
477     <p>
478 nightmorph 1.25 Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result. :) Congratulations, you now
479 swift 1.1 (hopefully) have a working Xorg on your system. The next step is to remove this
480     ugly lightweight window manager and use a high-feature one (or even a desktop
481 nightmorph 1.24 environment) such as KDE or GNOME, but that's not part of this guide. :)
482 swift 1.1 </p>
483    
484     </body>
485     </section>
486     </chapter>
487     <chapter>
488     <title>Resources</title>
489     <section>
490     <title>Creating and Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
491     <body>
492    
493     <p>
494 nightmorph 1.27 First of all, <c>man xorg.conf</c> provides a quick yet complete reference
495     about the syntax used by the configuration file. Be sure to have it open on a
496 swift 1.1 terminal near you when you edit your configuration file!
497     </p>
498    
499     <p>
500 nightmorph 1.27 Also, be sure to look at <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.example</path>; you may wish
501     to copy this and use it as a foundation for writing your own
502     <path>xorg.conf</path>.
503     </p>
504    
505     <p>
506     You may find the X.org <uri link="http://www.x.org/wiki/FAQ">FAQ</uri> provided
507     on their website, in addition to their other documentation.
508 swift 1.1 </p>
509    
510     <p>
511     There are also many online resources on editing <path>xorg.conf</path>. We only
512     list few of them here, be sure to <uri link="http://www.google.com">Google</uri>
513 nightmorph 1.25 for more. :) As <path>xorg.conf</path> and <path>XF86Config</path> (the
514 swift 1.1 configuration file for the XFree86 project) use the
515 nightmorph 1.24 same syntax for most configuration options and more information about
516 swift 1.1 <path>XF86Config</path> is available, we'll list those resources as well.
517     </p>
518    
519     <ul>
520     <li>
521     <uri link="http://tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree-Local-multi-user-HOWTO/">The XFree
522     Local Multi-User HOWTO</uri>
523     </li>
524     <li>
525     <uri
526     link="http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/os-dw-linuxxwin-i.html">An
527     Introduction to XFree 4.x</uri> by Chris Houser
528     </li>
529     </ul>
530    
531     </body>
532     </section>
533 rane 1.18 <section>
534     <title>Other resources</title>
535     <body>
536    
537     <p>
538 nightmorph 1.27 More information about installing and configuring various graphical desktop
539     environments and applications can be found in the <uri
540     link="/doc/en/?catid=desktop">Gentoo Desktop Documentation Resources</uri>
541     section of our documentation.
542 rane 1.18 </p>
543    
544 nightmorph 1.29 <p>
545     If you're upgrading to xorg-server-1.5 from an earlier version, then be sure to
546     read the <uri
547     link="/proj/en/desktop/x/x11/xorg-server-1.5-upgrade-guide.xml">migration
548     guide</uri>.
549     </p>
550    
551 rane 1.18 </body>
552     </section>
553 swift 1.1 </chapter>
554     </guide>

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