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Revision 1.45 - (show annotations) (download) (as text)
Wed Mar 23 09:03:51 2011 UTC (3 years, 6 months ago) by nightmorph
Branch: MAIN
Changes since 1.44: +102 -274 lines
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update Xorg guide for the HAL removal. this took many hours, spread out over many weeks. there may still be a few things to add, but this will do as a working basic installation/walkthrough. bug 349698.

1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
2 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/xorg-config.xml,v 1.44 2011/03/02 08:16:43 nightmorph Exp $ -->
4
5 <guide>
6 <title>The X Server Configuration HOWTO</title>
7
8 <author title="Author">
9 <mail link="swift"/>
10 </author>
11 <author title="Author">
12 <mail link="nightmorph"/>
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 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
23 <license/>
24
25 <version>7</version>
26 <date>2011-03-23</date>
27
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, 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, 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 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 </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
74 system. 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
88 <chapter>
89 <title>Installing Xorg</title>
90 <section>
91 <body>
92
93 <p>
94 Before you can install Xorg, you need to prepare your system for it. First,
95 we'll set up the kernel to support input devices and video cards. Then we'll
96 prepare <path>/etc/make.conf</path> so that the right drivers and Xorg packages
97 are built and installed.
98 </p>
99
100 </body>
101 </section>
102 <section>
103 <title>Input driver support</title>
104 <body>
105
106 <p>
107 By default, Xorg uses <c>evdev</c>, a generic input driver. You'll need to
108 activate support for <c>evdev</c> by making a change to your kernel
109 configuration. Read the <uri link="/doc/en/kernel-config.xml">Kernel
110 Configuration Guide</uri> if you don't know how to setup your kernel.
111 </p>
112
113 <pre caption="Enabling evdev in the kernel">
114 Device Drivers ---&gt;
115 Input device support ---&gt;
116 &lt;*&gt; Event interface
117 </pre>
118
119 </body>
120 </section>
121 <section>
122 <title>Kernel modesetting</title>
123 <body>
124
125 <p>
126 Modern open-source video drivers rely on kernel modesetting (KMS). KMS provides
127 an improved graphical boot with less flickering, faster user switching, a
128 built-in framebuffer console, seamless switching from the console to Xorg, and
129 other features. KMS conflicts with legacy framebuffer drivers, which must remain
130 <b>disabled</b> in your kernel configuration.
131 </p>
132
133 <p>
134 First, prepare your kernel for KMS. You need to do this step regardless of which
135 Xorg video driver you're using.
136 </p>
137
138 <pre caption="Configuring framebuffers">
139 Device Drivers ---&gt;
140 Graphics support ---&gt;
141 Support for frame buffer devices ---&gt;
142 <comment>(Disable all drivers, including VGA, Intel, nVidia, and ATI)</comment>
143
144 <comment>(Further down, enable basic console support. KMS uses this.)</comment>
145 Console display driver support ---&gt;
146 &lt;*&gt; Framebuffer Console Support
147 </pre>
148
149 <p>
150 Next, configure your kernel to use the proper KMS driver for your video card.
151 Intel, nVidia, and AMD/ATI are the most common cards, so follow code listing for
152 your card below.
153 </p>
154
155 <p>
156 For Intel cards:
157 </p>
158
159 <pre caption="Intel settings">
160 Device Drivers ---&gt;
161 Graphics support ---&gt;
162 /dev/agpgart (AGP Support) ---&gt;
163 &lt;*&gt; Intel 440LX/BX/GX, I8xx and E7x05 chipset support
164 Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support) ---&gt;
165 &lt;*&gt; Intel 830M, 845G, 852GM, 855GM, 865G (i915 driver)
166 i915 driver
167 [*] Enable modesetting on intel by default
168 </pre>
169
170 <p>
171 For nVidia cards:
172 </p>
173
174 <pre caption="nVidia settings">
175 <comment>(Enable DRM)</comment>
176 Device Drivers ---&gt;
177 Graphics support ---&gt;
178 &lt;*&gt; Direct Rendering Manager ---&gt;
179
180 <comment>(Nouveau is currently in the Staging drivers section)</comment>
181 Device Drivers ---&gt;
182 Staging drivers ---&gt;
183 [ ] Exclude Staging drivers from being built
184 &lt;*&gt; Nouveau (nVidia) cards
185 </pre>
186
187 <p>
188 For newer AMD/ATI cards (<uri link="/doc/en/ati-faq.xml">RadeonHD 2000 and
189 up</uri>), you will need to emerge <c>radeon-ucode</c>. Once you have installed
190 <c>radeon-ucode</c>, configure your kernel as shown:
191 </p>
192
193 <pre caption="AMD/ATI settings">
194 <comment>(Setup the kernel to use the radeon-ucode firmware)</comment>
195 Device Drivers ---&gt;
196 Generic Driver Options ---&gt;
197 [*] Include in-kernel firmware blobs in kernel binary
198 <comment># RadeonHD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series cards:</comment>
199 (radeon/R600_rlc.bin radeon/R700_rlc.bin) External firmware blobs
200 <comment># RadeonHD 5000, a.k.a Evergreen, and newer cards:</comment>
201 (radeon/CEDAR_me.bin radeon/CEDAR_pfp.bin radeon/CEDAR_rlc.bin
202 radeon/CYPRESS_me.bin radeon/CYPRESS_pfp.bin radeon/CYPRESS_rlc.bin
203 radeon/JUNIPER_me.bin radeon/JUNIPER_pfp.bin radeon/JUNIPER_rlc.bin
204 radeon/REDWOOD_me.bin radeon/REDWOOD_pfp.bin
205 radeon/REDWOOD_rlc.bin) External firmware blobs
206 <comment># Radeon HD 6200/6300 aka. Ontario/Zacate:</comment>
207 (radeon/PALM_me.bin radeon/PALM_pfp.bin radeon/SUMO_rlc.bin) External
208 firmware blobs
209 <comment># Radeon HD 6400-6900 aka. Northern Islands:</comment>
210 (radeon/BARTS_mc.bin radeon/BARTS_me.bin radeon/BARTS_pfp.bin
211 radeon/BTC_rlc.bin radeon/CAICOS_mc.bin radeon/CAICOS_me.bin
212 radeon/CAICOS_pfp.bin radeon/TURKS_mc.bin radeon/TURKS_me.bin
213 radeon/TURKS_pfp.bin) External firmware blobs
214 (/lib/firmware/) Firmware blobs root directory
215
216 <comment>(Enable Radeon KMS support)</comment>
217 Device Drivers ---&gt;
218 Graphics support ---&gt;
219 &lt;*&gt; Direct Rendering Manager ---&gt;
220 &lt;*&gt; ATI Radeon
221 [*] Enable modesetting on radeon by default
222 </pre>
223
224 <note>
225 Old Radeon cards (X1900 series and older) don't need the <c>radeon-ucode</c>
226 package or any firmware configuration. Just enable the Direct Rendering Manager
227 and ATI Radeon modesetting.
228 </note>
229
230 <p>
231 Now that you're done setting up KMS, continue with preparing
232 <path>/etc/make.conf</path> in the next section.
233 </p>
234
235 </body>
236 </section>
237 <section>
238 <title>make.conf configuration</title>
239 <body>
240
241 <p>
242 Now that your kernel is prepared, you have to configure two important variables
243 in the <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file before you can install Xorg.
244 </p>
245
246 <p>
247 The first variable is <c>VIDEO_CARDS</c>. This is used to set the video drivers
248 that you intend to use and is usually based on the kind of video card you have.
249 The most common settings are <c>nouveau</c> for nVidia cards or <c>radeon</c>
250 for ATI cards. Both have actively developed, well-supported open-source
251 drivers.
252 </p>
253
254 <note>
255 You may also try the proprietary drivers from nVidia and AMD/ATI, <c>nvidia</c>
256 and <c>fglrx</c> respectively. However, setting up the proprietary drivers is
257 beyond the scope of this guide. Please read the <uri
258 link="/doc/en/nvidia-guide.xml">Gentoo Linux nVidia Guide</uri> and <uri
259 link="/doc/en/ati-faq.xml">Gentoo Linux ATI FAQ</uri>. If you don't know which
260 drivers you should choose, refer to these guides for more information.
261 </note>
262
263 <p>
264 The <c>intel</c> driver may be used for desktops or laptops with common Intel
265 integrated graphics chipsets.
266 </p>
267
268 <note>
269 <c>VIDEO_CARDS</c> may contain more than one driver, each separated with a
270 space.
271 </note>
272
273 <p>
274 The second variable is <c>INPUT_DEVICES</c> and is used to determine which
275 drivers are to be built for input devices. In most cases setting it to
276 <c>evdev</c> should work just fine. If you use alternative input
277 devices, such as a Synaptics touchpad for a laptop, be sure to add it to
278 <c>INPUT_DEVICES</c>.
279 </p>
280
281 <p>
282 Now you should decide which drivers you will use and add necessary settings to
283 the <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file:
284 </p>
285
286 <pre caption="Sample make.conf entries">
287 <comment>(For mouse, keyboard, and Synaptics touchpad support)</comment>
288 INPUT_DEVICES="evdev synaptics"
289 <comment>(For nVidia cards)</comment>
290 VIDEO_CARDS="nouveau"
291 <comment>(For AMD/ATI cards)</comment>
292 VIDEO_CARDS="radeon"
293 </pre>
294
295 <p>
296 If the suggested settings don't work for you, you should run <c>emerge -pv
297 xorg-drivers</c>, check all the options available and choose those which apply to
298 your system. This example is for a system with a keyboard, mouse, Synaptics
299 touchpad, and a Radeon video card.
300 </p>
301
302 <pre caption="Displaying all the driver options available">
303 # <i>emerge -pv xorg-drivers</i>
304
305 These are the packages that would be merged, in order:
306
307 Calculating dependencies... done!
308 [ebuild R ] x11-base/xorg-drivers-1.9 INPUT_DEVICES="evdev synaptics
309 -acecad -aiptek -elographics% -fpit% -joystick -keyboard -mouse -penmount -tslib
310 -virtualbox -vmmouse -void -wacom"
311 VIDEO_CARDS="radeon -apm -ark -ast -chips -cirrus -dummy -epson -fbdev -fglrx
312 (-geode) -glint -i128 (-i740) (-impact) -intel -mach64 -mga -neomagic (-newport)
313 -nouveau -nv -nvidia -r128 -rendition -s3 -s3virge -savage -siliconmotion -sis
314 -sisusb (-sunbw2) (-suncg14) (-suncg3) (-suncg6) (-sunffb) (-sunleo) (-suntcx)
315 -tdfx -tga -trident -tseng -v4l -vesa -via -virtualbox -vmware (-voodoo) (-xgi)"
316 0 kB
317 </pre>
318
319 <p>
320 After setting all the necessary variables you can install the Xorg package.
321 </p>
322
323 <pre caption="Installing Xorg">
324 <comment>(Make sure udev is in your USE flags)</comment>
325 # <i>echo "x11-base/xorg-server udev" >> /etc/portage/package.use</i>
326 <comment>(Install Xorg)</comment>
327 # <i>emerge xorg-server</i>
328 </pre>
329
330 <note>
331 You could install the <c>xorg-x11</c> metapackage instead of the more
332 lightweight <c>xorg-server</c>. Functionally, <c>xorg-x11</c> and
333 <c>xorg-server</c> are the same. However, <c>xorg-x11</c> brings in many more
334 packages that you probably don't need, such as a huge assortment of fonts in
335 many different languages. They're not necessary for a working desktop.
336 </note>
337
338 <p>
339 When the installation is finished, you will need to re-initialise some
340 environment variables before you continue:
341 </p>
342
343 <pre caption="Re-initialising the environment variables">
344 # <i>env-update</i>
345 # <i>source /etc/profile</i>
346 </pre>
347
348 </body>
349 </section>
350 </chapter>
351
352 <chapter>
353 <title>Configuring Xorg</title>
354 <section>
355 <body>
356
357 <p>
358 The X server is designed to work out-of-the-box, with no need to manually edit
359 Xorg's configuration files. It should detect and configure devices such as
360 displays, keyboards, and mice.
361 </p>
362
363 <p>
364 You should first try <uri link="#using_startx">starting X</uri> without editing
365 any configuration files. If Xorg won't start, or there's some other problem,
366 then you'll need to manually configure Xorg as shown in the next section.
367 </p>
368
369 </body>
370 </section>
371 <section>
372 <title>The xorg.conf.d directory</title>
373 <body>
374
375 <note>
376 Configuring files in <path>xorg.conf.d</path> should be seen as a "last resort"
377 option. It really desirable to run without any special configuration if
378 possible. If you still can't get a working configuration, then read on.
379 </note>
380
381 <p>
382 The configuration files of Xorg are stored in
383 <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/</path>. Each file is given a unique name and ends in
384 <path>.conf</path>. If the filenames start with a number, then Xorg will read
385 the files in numeric order. <path>10-evdev.conf</path> will be read before
386 <path>20-synaptics.conf</path>, and so on. You don't <e>have</e> to give them
387 numbers, but it may help you organize them.
388 </p>
389
390 <note>
391 Xorg provides example configurations in
392 <path>/usr/share/doc/xorg-server-${version}/xorg.conf.example.bz2</path>. You
393 can use these to create your own configuration files in
394 <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/</path>. The examples are heavily commented, but if
395 you are in need of more documentation regarding the syntax, read <c>man
396 xorg.conf</c>. Other examples can be found in the <uri
397 link="#resources">Resources</uri> chapter at the end of this guide.
398 </note>
399
400 </body>
401 </section>
402 <section id="using_startx">
403 <title>Using startx</title>
404 <body>
405
406 <p>
407 Now try <c>startx</c> to start up your X server. <c>startx</c> is a script
408 that executes an <e>X session</e>; that is, it starts the X server and some
409 graphical applications on top of it. It decides which applications to run
410 using the following logic:
411 </p>
412
413 <ul>
414 <li>
415 If a file named <path>.xinitrc</path> exists in the home directory, it will
416 execute the commands listed there.
417 </li>
418 <li>
419 Otherwise, it will read the value of the XSESSION variable and will execute
420 one of the sessions available in <path>/etc/X11/Sessions/</path>
421 accordingly. You can set the value of XSESSION in
422 <path>/etc/env.d/90xsession</path> to make it a default for all the users
423 on the system. For example, as root, run <c>echo XSESSION="Xfce4" >
424 /etc/env.d/90xsession</c>. This will create the <path>90xsession</path> file
425 and set the default X session to <uri
426 link="/doc/en/xfce-config.xml">Xfce</uri>. Remember to run <c>env-update</c>
427 after changing <path>90xsession</path>.
428 </li>
429 </ul>
430
431 <pre caption="Starting X">
432 $ <i>startx</i>
433 </pre>
434
435 <p>
436 If you haven't yet installed a window manager, all you'll see is a black screen.
437 Since this can also be a sign that something's wrong, you may want to emerge
438 <c>twm</c> and <c>xterm</c> <e>only to test X</e>.
439 </p>
440
441 <p>
442 Once those two programs are installed, run <c>startx</c> again. A few
443 <c>xterm</c> windows should appear, making it easier to verify that X is working
444 correctly. Once you're satisfied with the results, run <c>emerge --unmerge twm
445 xterm</c> as root to get rid of the testing packages. You won't need them once
446 you've setup a proper desktop environment.
447 </p>
448
449 </body>
450 </section>
451 </chapter>
452
453 <chapter>
454 <title>Tweaking X settings</title>
455 <section>
456 <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
457 <body>
458
459 <p>
460 If you feel that the screen resolution is wrong, you will need to check two
461 sections in your <path>xorg.conf.d</path> configuration. First of all, you have
462 the <e>Screen</e> section which lists the resolutions that your X server will
463 run at. This section might not list any resolutions at all. If this is the case,
464 Xorg will estimate the resolutions based on the information in the second
465 section, <e>Monitor</e>.
466 </p>
467
468 <p>
469 Now let us change the resolution. In the next example from
470 <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-monitor.conf</path> we add the
471 <c>PreferredMode</c> line so that our X server starts at 1440x900 by default.
472 The <c>Option</c> in the <c>Device</c> section must match the name of your
473 monitor (<c>DVI-0</c>), which can be obtained by running <c>xrandr</c>. You'll
474 need to <c>emerge xrandr</c> just long enough to get this information. The
475 argument after the monitor name (in the <c>Device</c> section) must match the
476 <c>Identifier</c> in the <c>Monitor</c> section.
477 </p>
478
479 <pre caption="Changing the Monitor section">
480 # <i>nano -w /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-monitor.conf</i>
481
482 Section "Device"
483 Identifier "RadeonHD 4550"
484 Option "Monitor-DVI-0" "DVI screen"
485 EndSection
486 Section "Monitor"
487 Identifier "DVI screen"
488 Option "PreferredMode" "1440x900"
489 EndSection
490 </pre>
491
492 <p>
493 Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want.
494 </p>
495
496 </body>
497 </section>
498 <section>
499 <title>Multiple monitors</title>
500 <body>
501
502 <p>
503 You can configure more than one monitor in <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/</path>.
504 All you have to do is give each monitor an identifer, then list its physical
505 position, such as "RightOf" or "Above" another monitor. The following example
506 shows how to configure a DVI and a VGA monitor, with the VGA monitor as the
507 right-hand screen:
508 </p>
509
510 <pre caption="Configuring multiple monitors">
511 # <i>nano -w /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-monitor.conf</i>
512
513 Section "Device"
514 Identifier "RadeonHD 4550"
515 Option "Monitor-DVI-0" "DVI screen"
516 Option "Monitor-VGA-0" "VGA screen"
517 EndSection
518 Section "Monitor"
519 Identifier "DVI screen"
520 EndSection
521 Section "Monitor"
522 Identifier "VGA screen"
523 Option "RightOf" "DVI screen"
524 EndSection
525 </pre>
526
527 </body>
528 </section>
529 <section>
530 <title>Configuring your keyboard</title>
531 <body>
532
533 <p>
534 To setup X to use an international keyboard, you just have to create the
535 appropriate config file in <path>/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/</path>. This example
536 features a Czech keyboard layout:
537 </p>
538
539 <pre caption="Using an international keyboard">
540 # <i>nano -w /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/30-keyboard.conf</i>
541
542 Section "InputClass"
543 Identifier "keyboard-all"
544 Driver "evdev"
545 Option "XkbLayout" "us,cz"
546 Option "XkbModel" "logitech_g15"
547 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
548 Option "XkbOptions" "grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp:switch,grp_led:scroll,compose:rwin,terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp"
549 Option "XkbVariant" ",qwerty"
550 MatchIsKeyboard "on"
551 EndSection
552 </pre>
553
554 <p>
555 The "terminate" command (<c>terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp</c>) lets you kill the X
556 session by using the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace key combination. This will, however,
557 make X exit disgracefully -- something that you might not always want. It can be
558 useful when programs have frozen your display entirely, or when you're
559 configuring and tweaking your Xorg environment. Be careful when killing your
560 desktop with this key combination -- most programs really don't like it when you
561 end them this way, and you may lose some (or all) of what you were working on.
562 </p>
563
564 </body>
565 </section>
566 <section>
567 <title>Finishing up</title>
568 <body>
569
570 <p>
571 Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result. Congratulations, you now
572 (hopefully) have a working Xorg on your system. The next step is to install a
573 useful window manager or desktop environment such as KDE, GNOME, or Xfce, but
574 that's not part of this guide. Information on installing these desktop
575 environments can be found in our <uri link="/doc/en/?catid=desktop">Gentoo
576 Desktop Documentation Resources</uri>.
577 </p>
578
579 </body>
580 </section>
581 </chapter>
582
583 <chapter id="resources">
584 <title>Resources</title>
585 <section>
586 <title>Creating and editing config files</title>
587 <body>
588
589 <p>
590 First of all, <c>man xorg.conf</c> and <c>man evdev</c> provide quick yet
591 complete references about the syntax used by these configuration files. Be sure
592 to have them open on a terminal when you edit your configuration files!
593 </p>
594
595 <p>
596 There are also many online resources on editing config files in
597 <path>/etc/X11/</path>. We only list few of them here; be sure to <uri
598 link="http://www.google.com">Google</uri> for more.
599 </p>
600
601 </body>
602 </section>
603 <section>
604 <title>Other resources</title>
605 <body>
606
607 <p>
608 More information about installing and configuring various graphical desktop
609 environments and applications can be found in the <uri
610 link="/doc/en/?catid=desktop">Gentoo Desktop Documentation Resources</uri>
611 section of our documentation.
612 </p>
613
614 <p>
615 If you're upgrading to <c>xorg-server</c> 1.9 from an earlier version, then be
616 sure to read the <uri
617 link="/proj/en/desktop/x/x11/xorg-server-1.9-upgrade-guide.xml">migration
618 guide</uri>.
619 </p>
620
621 <p>
622 X.org provides many <uri link="http://www.x.org/wiki/FAQ">FAQs</uri> on their
623 website, in addition to their other documentation.
624 </p>
625
626 </body>
627 </section>
628 </chapter>
629 </guide>

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