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1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2    
3 swift 1.9 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xorg-config.xml,v 1.8 2005/02/14 09:26:19 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 1.9 <version>1.8</version>
26     <date>2005-03-25</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     </body>
195     </section>
196     <section>
197     <title>Copying over xorg.conf</title>
198     <body>
199    
200     <p>
201 swift 1.9 Let us copy over the <path>xorg.conf.new</path> to
202     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> now, so we won't have to continuously run
203     <c>X -config</c> -- typing just <c>X</c> or <c>startx</c> is far more easy :)
204 swift 1.1 </p>
205    
206     <pre caption="Copying over xorg.conf">
207     # <i>cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf</i>
208     </pre>
209    
210 swift 1.9 </body>
211     </section>
212     <section id="using_startx">
213     <title>Using startx</title>
214     <body>
215    
216 swift 1.1 <p>
217 swift 1.9 Now try <c>startx</c> to start up your X server. <c>startx</c> is a script
218     that executes an <e>X session</e>, that is, it starts the X servers and some
219     graphical applications on top of it. It decides which applications to run
220     using the following logic:
221 swift 1.1 </p>
222    
223 swift 1.9 <ul>
224     <li>
225     If a file named <path>.xinitrc</path> exists in the home directory, it will
226     execute the commands listed there.
227     </li>
228     <li>
229     Otherwise, it will read the value of the XSESSION variable and will execute
230     one of the sessions available in <path>/etc/X11/Sessions/</path>
231     accordingly (you can set the value of XSESSION in <path>/etc/rc.conf</path>
232     to make it a default for all the users on the system).
233     </li>
234     <li>
235     If all of the above fail, it will fall back to a simple window manager,
236     usually <c>twm</c>.
237     </li>
238     </ul>
239    
240 swift 1.1 <pre caption="Starting X">
241     # <i>startx</i>
242     </pre>
243    
244 swift 1.9 <p>
245     If you see an ugly, loathsome, repulsive, deformed window manager, that's
246     <c>twm</c>. To finish the twm session, type in <c>exit</c> or Ctrl-D in the
247     upcoming xterms. You can also kill the X session using the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace
248     combination. This will however make X exit disgracefully - something that you
249     might not always want. It doesn't hurt though :)
250     </p>
251    
252 swift 1.1 </body>
253     </section>
254 swift 1.9 </chapter>
255     <chapter>
256     <title>Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
257 swift 1.1 <section>
258     <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
259     <body>
260    
261     <p>
262     If you feel that the screen resolution is wrong, you will need to check two
263     sections in your configuration. First of all, you have the <e>Screen</e> section
264     which lists the resolutions - if any - that your X server will run at. By
265     default, this section might not list any resolutions at all. If this is the
266     case, Xorg will estimate the resolutions based on the information in the
267     second section, <e>Monitor</e>.
268     </p>
269    
270     <p>
271     What happens is that Xorg checks the settings of <c>HorizSync</c> and
272     <c>VertRefresh</c> in the <e>Monitor</e> section to compute valid resolutions.
273     For now, leave these settings as-is. Only when the changes to the <e>Screen</e>
274     section (which we will describe in a minute) don't work, then you will need to
275     look up the specs for your monitor and fill in the correct values. You can also
276     use a tool that searches for your monitor's specs, such as
277     <c>sys-apps/ddcxinfo-knoppix</c>.
278     </p>
279    
280     <warn>
281     Do <b>not</b> "just" change the values of these two monitor-related variables
282     without consulting the technical specifications of your monitor. Setting
283     incorrect values lead to out-of-sync errors at best and smoked up screens at
284     worst.
285     </warn>
286    
287     <p>
288     Now let us change the resolutions. In the next example from
289     <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf</path> we add the <c>Modes</c> lines and the
290     <c>DefaultDepth</c> so that our X server starts with 24 bits at 1024x768 by
291     default. Don't mind the given strings - they are examples and will most likely
292     differ from the settings on your system.
293     </p>
294    
295     <pre caption="Changing the Screen section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf">
296     Section "Screen"
297     Identifier "Default Screen"
298     Device "S3 Inc. ProSavage KN133 [Twister K]"
299     Monitor "Generic Monitor"
300     <i>DefaultDepth 24</i>
301     <comment># Skipping some text to improve readability</comment>
302     SubSection "Display"
303     Depth 24
304     <i>Modes "1024x768"</i>
305     EndSubSection
306     EndSection
307     </pre>
308    
309     <p>
310     Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want :)
311     </p>
312    
313     </body>
314     </section>
315     <section>
316     <title>Configuring your Keyboard</title>
317     <body>
318    
319     <p>
320     To setup X to use an international keyboard, search for the <e>InputDevice</e>
321     section that configures the keyboard and add the <c>XkbLayout</c> option to
322     point to the keyboard layout you want. As an example, we show you how to apply
323     for the Belgian layout. Just substitute the country-keycode with yours:
324     </p>
325    
326     <pre caption="Changing the keyboard layout">
327     Section "InputDevice"
328     Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
329     Driver "keyboard"
330     Option "CoreKeyboard"
331 swift 1.3 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
332 swift 1.1 Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
333     <i>Option "XkbLayout" "be"</i>
334     EndSection
335     </pre>
336    
337     </body>
338     </section>
339     <section>
340     <title>Configuring your Mouse</title>
341     <body>
342    
343     <p>
344     If your mouse isn't working, you will first need to find out if it is detected
345 neysx 1.2 by the kernel at all. PS/2 mice are (device-wise) seen as
346     <path>/dev/psaux</path>. Other mice (like USBs) are seen as
347 swift 1.1 <path>/dev/input</path> (or <path>/dev/input/mice</path>). In either case you
348     can check if the devices do represent your mouse by checking the output of those
349     files when you move your mouse. To end the session press <c>Ctrl-C</c>.
350     </p>
351    
352     <pre caption="Checking the device files">
353     # <i>cat /dev/input</i>
354     <comment>(Don't forget to press Ctrl-C to end this)</comment>
355     </pre>
356    
357     <p>
358     If your mouse isn't detected, verify if all the necessary modules are loaded.
359     </p>
360    
361     <p>
362     If your mouse is detected, fill in the device in the appropriate
363     <e>InputDevice</e> section. In the next example you'll see we also set two other
364     options: <c>Protocol</c> (which lists the mouse protocol to be used - most users
365     will use PS/2 or IMPS/2) and <c>ZAxisMapping</c> (which allows for the
366     mousewheel (if applicable) to be used).
367     </p>
368    
369     <pre caption="Changing the mouse settings in Xorg">
370     Section "InputDevice"
371     Identifier "TouchPad Mouse"
372     Driver "mouse"
373     Option "CorePointer"
374     <i>Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"</i>
375     <i>Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"</i>
376     <i>Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"</i>
377     EndSection
378     </pre>
379    
380     <p>
381     Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result :) Congratulations, you now
382     (hopefully) have a working Xorg on your system. The next step is to remove this
383     ugly lightweight window manager and use a high-feature one (or even a desktop
384     environment) such as KDE or GNOME, but that's not part of this guide :)
385     </p>
386    
387     </body>
388     </section>
389     </chapter>
390     <chapter>
391     <title>Resources</title>
392     <section>
393     <title>Creating and Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
394     <body>
395    
396     <p>
397     First of all, <c>man 5 xorg.conf</c> provides a quick yet complete reference
398     about the syntaxis used by the configuration file. Be sure to have it open on a
399     terminal near you when you edit your configuration file!
400     </p>
401    
402     <p>
403     A second point of resources on your system is the
404     <path>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc</path> directory with various <path>README</path>'s
405     for individual graphical chipsets.
406     </p>
407    
408     <p>
409     There are also many online resources on editing <path>xorg.conf</path>. We only
410     list few of them here, be sure to <uri link="http://www.google.com">Google</uri>
411     for more :) As <path>xorg.conf</path> and <path>XF86Config</path> (the
412     configuration file for the XFree86 project) use the
413     same syntaxis for most configuration options and more information about
414     <path>XF86Config</path> is available, we'll list those resources as well.
415     </p>
416    
417     <ul>
418     <li>
419     <uri link="http://tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree-Local-multi-user-HOWTO/">The XFree
420     Local Multi-User HOWTO</uri>
421     </li>
422     <li>
423     <uri
424     link="http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/os-dw-linuxxwin-i.html">An
425     Introduction to XFree 4.x</uri> by Chris Houser
426     </li>
427     </ul>
428    
429     </body>
430     </section>
431     </chapter>
432     </guide>

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