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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 <?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 1.26 2008/05/23 19:40:35 swift Exp $ -->
5 <guide link="/doc/en/xorg-config.xml">
6 <title>The X Server Configuration HOWTO</title>
8 <author title="Author">
9 <mail link="swift@gentoo.org">Sven Vermeulen</mail>
10 </author>
11 <author title="Editor">
12 <mail link="nightmorph"/>
13 </author>
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>
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/>
25 <version>1.18</version>
26 <date>2008-11-09</date>
28 <chapter>
29 <title>What is the X Window Server?</title>
30 <section>
31 <title>Graphical vs Command-Line</title>
32 <body>
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>
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>
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>
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>
65 </body>
66 </section>
67 <section>
68 <title>The X.org Project</title>
69 <body>
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>
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>
84 </body>
85 </section>
86 </chapter>
88 <chapter>
89 <title>Installing Xorg</title>
90 <section>
91 <title>Using emerge</title>
92 <body>
94 <p>
95 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 though, so you might want to grab a snack while you are waiting.
98 </p>
100 <p>
101 Before installing Xorg you have to configure two important variables in the
102 <path>/etc/make.conf</path> file.
103 </p>
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 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 </p>
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 <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 </p>
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>
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>
141 <p>
142 More instructions on how to configure nVidia and ATI cards can be found in
143 <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>
148 <note>
149 If the suggested settings don't work for you, you should run <c>emerge -pv
150 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 </note>
155 <pre caption="Displaying all the driver options available">
156 # <i>emerge -pv xorg-server</i>
158 These are the packages that would be merged, in order:
160 Calculating dependencies... done!
161 [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 </pre>
173 <p>
174 After setting all the necessary variables you can install the Xorg package.
175 </p>
177 <pre caption="Installing Xorg">
178 # <i>emerge xorg-x11</i>
179 </pre>
181 <p>
182 When the installation is finished, you might need to re-initialise some
183 environment variables before you continue. Just run <c>env-update</c> followed
184 by <c>source /etc/profile</c> and you're all set.
185 </p>
187 <pre caption="Re-initialising the environment variables">
188 # <i>env-update</i>
189 # <i>source /etc/profile</i>
190 </pre>
192 </body>
193 </section>
194 </chapter>
195 <chapter>
196 <title>Configuring Xorg</title>
197 <section>
198 <title>The xorg.conf File</title>
199 <body>
201 <p>
202 The configuration file of Xorg is called <path>xorg.conf</path> and it
203 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>
209 <pre caption="Reading the xorg.conf man page">
210 # <i>man 5 xorg.conf</i>
211 </pre>
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>
218 </body>
219 </section>
220 <section>
221 <title>Default: Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
222 <body>
224 <p>
225 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 </p>
232 <pre caption="Generating an xorg.conf file">
233 # <i>Xorg -configure</i>
234 </pre>
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 for you to test. So let's test. :)
242 </p>
244 <pre caption="Testing the xorg.conf.new file">
245 # <i>X -config /root/xorg.conf.new</i>
246 </pre>
248 <p>
249 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 </p>
257 </body>
258 </section>
259 <section>
260 <title>Alternative: Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf</title>
261 <body>
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>
269 <pre caption="Semi-Automatic Generation of xorg.conf">
270 # <i>xorgconfig</i>
271 </pre>
273 <p>
274 Another tool, also provided by Xorg, is <c>xorgcfg</c>, which will first
275 attempt to run <c>Xorg -configure</c> and then start the X server for more
276 final tweaking.
277 </p>
279 <pre caption="Using xorgcfg">
280 # <i>xorgcfg</i>
281 <comment>(In case X crashes or the configuration fails, try:)</comment>
282 # <i>xorgcfg -textmode</i>
283 </pre>
285 </body>
286 </section>
287 <section>
288 <title>Copying over xorg.conf</title>
289 <body>
291 <p>
292 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 <c>X -config</c> -- typing just <c>X</c> or <c>startx</c> is easier. :)
295 </p>
297 <pre caption="Copying over xorg.conf">
298 # <i>cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf</i>
299 </pre>
301 </body>
302 </section>
303 <section id="using_startx">
304 <title>Using startx</title>
305 <body>
307 <p>
308 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 </p>
314 <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 <li>
326 If all of the above fail, it will fall back to a simple window manager,
327 usually <c>twm</c>.
328 </li>
329 </ul>
331 <pre caption="Starting X">
332 # <i>startx</i>
333 </pre>
335 <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 combination. This will however make X exit disgracefully -- something that you
340 might not always want. It doesn't hurt though. :)
341 </p>
343 </body>
344 </section>
345 </chapter>
346 <chapter>
347 <title>Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
348 <section>
349 <title>Setting your Resolution</title>
350 <body>
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 which lists the resolutions, if any that your X server will run at. By
356 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>
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>
371 <warn>
372 Do <b>not</b> "just" change the values of these two monitor related variables
373 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>
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 default. Don't mind the given strings -- they are examples and will most likely
383 differ from the settings on your system.
384 </p>
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>
400 <p>
401 Run X (<c>startx</c>) to discover it uses the resolution you want. :)
402 </p>
404 </body>
405 </section>
406 <section>
407 <title>Configuring your Keyboard</title>
408 <body>
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>
417 <pre caption="Changing the keyboard layout">
418 Section "InputDevice"
419 Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
420 Driver "keyboard"
421 Option "CoreKeyboard"
422 Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
423 Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
424 <i>Option "XkbLayout" "be"</i>
425 EndSection
426 </pre>
428 </body>
429 </section>
430 <section>
431 <title>Configuring your Mouse</title>
432 <body>
434 <p>
435 If your mouse isn't working, you will first need to find out if it is detected
436 by the kernel at all. Mice are (device-wise) seen as
437 <path>/dev/input/mouse0</path> (or <path>/dev/input/mice</path> if you want to
438 use several mice). In some cases <path>/dev/psaux</path> is used. In either
439 case you can check if the devices do represent
440 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 </p>
445 <pre caption="Checking the device files">
446 # <i>cat /dev/input/mouse0</i>
447 <comment>(Don't forget to press Ctrl-C to end this)</comment>
448 </pre>
450 <p>
451 If your mouse isn't detected, verify if all the necessary modules are loaded.
452 </p>
454 <p>
455 If your mouse is detected, fill in the device in the appropriate
456 <e>InputDevice</e> section. In the next example you'll see we also set two other
457 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 mousewheel (if applicable) to be used).
460 </p>
462 <pre caption="Changing the mouse settings in Xorg">
463 Section "InputDevice"
464 Identifier "TouchPad Mouse"
465 Driver "mouse"
466 Option "CorePointer"
467 <i>Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse0"</i>
468 <i>Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"</i>
469 <i>Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"</i>
470 EndSection
471 </pre>
473 <p>
474 Run <c>startx</c> and be happy about the result. :) Congratulations, you now
475 (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 environment) such as KDE or GNOME, but that's not part of this guide. :)
478 </p>
480 </body>
481 </section>
482 </chapter>
483 <chapter>
484 <title>Resources</title>
485 <section>
486 <title>Creating and Tweaking xorg.conf</title>
487 <body>
489 <p>
490 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 terminal near you when you edit your configuration file!
493 </p>
495 <p>
496 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>
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 </p>
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 for more. :) As <path>xorg.conf</path> and <path>XF86Config</path> (the
510 configuration file for the XFree86 project) use the
511 same syntax for most configuration options and more information about
512 <path>XF86Config</path> is available, we'll list those resources as well.
513 </p>
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>
527 </body>
528 </section>
529 <section>
530 <title>Other resources</title>
531 <body>
533 <p>
534 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 </p>
540 </body>
541 </section>
542 </chapter>
543 </guide>

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