Originally Published: Wednesday, 2 May 2001 Author: Anurag
Published to: learn_articles_firststep/General Page: 2/2 - [Printable]

Troubleshooting the X Install

Do you Fear the Blank Screen of X? If so, Check out Today's Troubleshooting Article on the X Install.

Troubleshooting the X Install (Page Two)  << Page 2 of 2  

Since RPM (RedHat Package Managers) is the most widely used installation method, we also recommend you use RPM when installing X. Install all the XFree86 RPM's from the installation CD. In this way the dependancy problems are solved plus some other useful utilities also get installed such as the "xconfigurator". Type:

rpm -ivh --force XFree* "

This command will install the requisite number of RPM's for setting up X.

Now type XF86Setup at the prompt and a graphical interface for setting up X windows will pop up. Select "No" if it asks you to use your previous settings.

In the Card Option select the appropriate card. Use the Detailed Setup option only if your card is not listed in the database.

In the color selection option use "Super VGA-1024*768@87 Hz interlaced 800*600@56 Hz".

Use ModeSelecion for selecting a resolution (640*480 recommended), Color Selection (8 bit grey).

Press "Apply".

An attempt to start X is then made. If the problem of a blank screen still persists, press "Ctrl-Alt-Backspace" and then "Ctrl-C". This time try reducing your screen resolution to 640*480. Choosing a low resolution won't make you happy with your screen contents, but it may enable you to boot X. Once it gets going and we have some basic parameters in our hand, we can build from that base and tweak around with some other options. In this case it is possible you will encounter the screen appearing too big or the mouse appearing only at one corner of the screen. This only indicates that one has not selected a proper server. Try your hand at some of the methods mentioned below.

After staring at a pleasant gray colored dialog box over a decent blue background, the 'xvidtune' color scheme with black text on a white background may shock you. 'xvidtune' offers more functionality than just scaring the user by it's appearance however. It is a client interface to the XFree86 X server video mode extension. It is used to adjust the display settings for a particular existing mode. What it does is it just change the display size by making it smaller, wider or even moving the screen in the left/right dimension in relation to your monitor. So, don't like the pesky buttons that appear on your monitor, here's another way to adjust things.

The Final Hope: "It's 6.00 am, I haven't slept the entire night and this thing still refuses to work!"

Before hitting the sack, try this final option. Once again, reboot your computer and type "linux init 2" at the LiLo prompt. After you login in as root, type "xf86config" at the prompt and then make the selections shown below. "xf86config" is used to setup the mouse and keyboard as well as the X server. Listed below are the details for mouse, keyboard and X Windows setup.

Read the first page that tells you some of the details of what xf86config actually does. Press Enter to continue or Ctrl-C if you wish to abort.

Starting from here, only the options that should be entered are given. These are the best options that will suit almost any PC in existence. However there are no hard and fast rules and you should feel free to experiment if you still have problems. A brief explanation of what the option means is given in brackets. Enter only the string/number before the "(" bracket.

Protocol number: 1 (MS Compatible 2 button protocol for mouse)

Enable Chord Middle: n (No)

Emulate 3 buttons: n (No)

Path Name for mouse Mouse Device: Just press enter (Uses default mouse device)

Do you want to use XKBY? Press Enter (Uses default keyboard map)

Pre-configured keymaps: 1 (Standard 101-key US Coding)

Setting up the monitor specifications: Choice for Horizontal Sync Range: 1

Choice for Vertical Sync Range: 1

For the Identifier, Vendor and Model enter the whatever values you feel comfortable with. Since these values are entered only in the "xf86config" file they are mostly used only for the users reference.

Do you want to search the card database: y (Yes) Enter number that corresponds to the card that you own.

Choosing the Server: 1 (Selects the basic XF86 Mono Server)

symbolic link: y (Yes)

Select RAM: Select the option that best matches the amount of RAM your video card has.

In the next section, once again just use names you are comfortable with since they are used for the user reference only.

ClockChip Setting: Press Enter

x-probe: n (No)

Write to /etc/x11/XF86Config? y (Yes)

At this point all the changes you have made are written in the above specified file. Type "startx" at the prompt and the X Windows interface should now appear.

Keeping your Fingers Crossed: "Phew! It's 8.00 am in the morning and something tells me that my X is going to start functioning."

Agreed, that should do it. However, if you have tried your best in making X work and still it doesn't work the way it should our advice at this point is, to take a few hours nap and try your hands at it again in the morning. You might also try typing "man X" at the command line to get the "X" manual.

Troubleshooting the X Install (Page Two)  << Page 2 of 2