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1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2    
3 swift 1.8 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xorg-config.xml,v 1.7 2004/11/26 21:57:19 swift Exp $ -->
4 swift 1.1
5     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
6    
7 swift 1.7 <guide link="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 1.8 <version>1.7</version>
26     <date>2005-02-07</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     If all goes well, you should see an ugly, loathsome, repulsive, deformed
173     window manager called <c>twm</c>, probably the smallest window manager
174     available. Try moving your mouse and see if your keyboard and such is working.
175     In the next section we will optimize our <path>xorg.conf</path> so it fits your
176     hardware. Now go into one of the terminals you see on your screen and type in
177     <c>exit</c> (or press Ctrl-D) until Xorg shuts down. If you are unable to
178     use your mouse to focus the terminals, you can also press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to
179     kill the X server.
180     </p>
181    
182 swift 1.7 <p>
183     If <c>twm</c> doesn't load, don't worry - it will once you'll start the X server
184     through the regular <c>startx</c> command. Verify if your mouse works correctly
185     and if the resolution is good. You might not be able to deduce the exact
186     resolution, but you should be able to see if it's too low. You can exit any time
187     by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.
188     </p>
189    
190 swift 1.1 </body>
191     </section>
192     <section>
193     <title>Alternative: Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
194     <body>
195    
196     <p>
197     Xorg provides a tool called <c>xorgconfig</c> which will ask you for various
198     information regarding your system (graphical adapter, keyboard, ...). Based on
199     your input it will create a <path>xorg.conf</path> file.
200     </p>
201    
202     <pre caption="Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf">
203     # <i>xorgconfig</i>
204     </pre>
205    
206     </body>
207     </section>
208     </chapter>
209     <chapter>
210     <title>Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
211     <section>
212     <title>Copying over xorg.conf</title>
213     <body>
214    
215     <p>
216     Let us first copy over the <path>xorg.conf.new</path> to
217     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> so we won't have to continuously run <c>Xorg
218     -config</c> -- typing <c>startx</c> is far more easy :)
219     </p>
220    
221     <pre caption="Copying over xorg.conf">
222     # <i>cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf</i>
223     </pre>
224    
225     <p>
226     Now run <c>startx</c> to start up your X server. It will use the freshly copied
227     file as its configuration file. To finish the X session, type in <c>exit</c> or
228     Ctrl-D in the upcoming xterms. You can also kill the X session using the
229     Ctrl-Alt-Backspace combination. This will however make X exit disgracefully -
230     something that you might not always want. It doesn't hurt though :)
231     </p>
232    
233     <pre caption="Starting X">
234     # <i>startx</i>
235     </pre>
236    
237     </body>
238     </section>
239     <section>
240     <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
241     <body>
242    
243     <p>
244     If you feel that the screen resolution is wrong, you will need to check two
245     sections in your configuration. First of all, you have the <e>Screen</e> section
246     which lists the resolutions - if any - that your X server will run at. By
247     default, this section might not list any resolutions at all. If this is the
248     case, Xorg will estimate the resolutions based on the information in the
249     second section, <e>Monitor</e>.
250     </p>
251    
252     <p>
253     What happens is that Xorg checks the settings of <c>HorizSync</c> and
254     <c>VertRefresh</c> in the <e>Monitor</e> section to compute valid resolutions.
255     For now, leave these settings as-is. Only when the changes to the <e>Screen</e>
256     section (which we will describe in a minute) don't work, then you will need to
257     look up the specs for your monitor and fill in the correct values. You can also
258     use a tool that searches for your monitor's specs, such as
259     <c>sys-apps/ddcxinfo-knoppix</c>.
260     </p>
261    
262     <warn>
263     Do <b>not</b> "just" change the values of these two monitor-related variables
264     without consulting the technical specifications of your monitor. Setting
265     incorrect values lead to out-of-sync errors at best and smoked up screens at
266     worst.
267     </warn>
268    
269     <p>
270     Now let us change the resolutions. In the next example from
271     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> we add the <c>Modes</c> lines and the
272     <c>DefaultDepth</c> so that our X server starts with 24 bits at 1024x768 by
273     default. Don't mind the given strings - they are examples and will most likely
274     differ from the settings on your system.
275     </p>
276    
277     <pre caption="Changing the Screen section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf">
278     Section "Screen"
279     Identifier "Default Screen"
280     Device "S3 Inc. ProSavage KN133 [Twister K]"
281     Monitor "Generic Monitor"
282     <i>DefaultDepth 24</i>
283     <comment># Skipping some text to improve readability</comment>
284     SubSection "Display"
285     Depth 24
286     <i>Modes "1024x768"</i>
287     EndSubSection
288     EndSection
289     </pre>
290    
291     <p>
292     Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want :)
293     </p>
294    
295     </body>
296     </section>
297     <section>
298     <title>Configuring your Keyboard</title>
299     <body>
300    
301     <p>
302     To setup X to use an international keyboard, search for the <e>InputDevice</e>
303     section that configures the keyboard and add the <c>XkbLayout</c> option to
304     point to the keyboard layout you want. As an example, we show you how to apply
305     for the Belgian layout. Just substitute the country-keycode with yours:
306     </p>
307    
308     <pre caption="Changing the keyboard layout">
309     Section "InputDevice"
310     Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
311     Driver "keyboard"
312     Option "CoreKeyboard"
313 swift 1.3 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
314 swift 1.1 Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
315     <i>Option "XkbLayout" "be"</i>
316     EndSection
317     </pre>
318    
319     </body>
320     </section>
321     <section>
322     <title>Configuring your Mouse</title>
323     <body>
324    
325     <p>
326     If your mouse isn't working, you will first need to find out if it is detected
327 neysx 1.2 by the kernel at all. PS/2 mice are (device-wise) seen as
328     <path>/dev/psaux</path>. Other mice (like USBs) are seen as
329 swift 1.1 <path>/dev/input</path> (or <path>/dev/input/mice</path>). In either case you
330     can check if the devices do represent your mouse by checking the output of those
331     files when you move your mouse. To end the session press <c>Ctrl-C</c>.
332     </p>
333    
334     <pre caption="Checking the device files">
335     # <i>cat /dev/input</i>
336     <comment>(Don't forget to press Ctrl-C to end this)</comment>
337     </pre>
338    
339     <p>
340     If your mouse isn't detected, verify if all the necessary modules are loaded.
341     </p>
342    
343     <p>
344     If your mouse is detected, fill in the device in the appropriate
345     <e>InputDevice</e> section. In the next example you'll see we also set two other
346     options: <c>Protocol</c> (which lists the mouse protocol to be used - most users
347     will use PS/2 or IMPS/2) and <c>ZAxisMapping</c> (which allows for the
348     mousewheel (if applicable) to be used).
349     </p>
350    
351     <pre caption="Changing the mouse settings in Xorg">
352     Section "InputDevice"
353     Identifier "TouchPad Mouse"
354     Driver "mouse"
355     Option "CorePointer"
356     <i>Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"</i>
357     <i>Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"</i>
358     <i>Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"</i>
359     EndSection
360     </pre>
361    
362     <p>
363     Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result :) Congratulations, you now
364     (hopefully) have a working Xorg on your system. The next step is to remove this
365     ugly lightweight window manager and use a high-feature one (or even a desktop
366     environment) such as KDE or GNOME, but that's not part of this guide :)
367     </p>
368    
369     </body>
370     </section>
371     </chapter>
372     <chapter>
373     <title>Resources</title>
374     <section>
375     <title>Creating and Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
376     <body>
377    
378     <p>
379     First of all, <c>man 5 xorg.conf</c> provides a quick yet complete reference
380     about the syntaxis used by the configuration file. Be sure to have it open on a
381     terminal near you when you edit your configuration file!
382     </p>
383    
384     <p>
385     A second point of resources on your system is the
386     <path>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc</path> directory with various <path>README</path>'s
387     for individual graphical chipsets.
388     </p>
389    
390     <p>
391     There are also many online resources on editing <path>xorg.conf</path>. We only
392     list few of them here, be sure to <uri link="http://www.google.com">Google</uri>
393     for more :) As <path>xorg.conf</path> and <path>XF86Config</path> (the
394     configuration file for the XFree86 project) use the
395     same syntaxis for most configuration options and more information about
396     <path>XF86Config</path> is available, we'll list those resources as well.
397     </p>
398    
399     <ul>
400     <li>
401     <uri link="http://tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree-Local-multi-user-HOWTO/">The XFree
402     Local Multi-User HOWTO</uri>
403     </li>
404     <li>
405     <uri
406     link="http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/os-dw-linuxxwin-i.html">An
407     Introduction to XFree 4.x</uri> by Chris Houser
408     </li>
409     </ul>
410    
411     </body>
412     </section>
413     </chapter>
414     </guide>

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