Linux Installation and X-Windows
Now to install X-Windows. I called David for just a couple of clues. “You're on your own. I didn't install X.” I politely hung up as he explained how he was writing an amazing device driver with his left hand and installing a 200-node network with his right.
With the benefit of hindsight, I highly recommend that before you attempt to install X, you have on hand information about your monitor-specifically bandwidth, horizontal synchronization, and vertical refresh rate. The data should be in your monitor manual. If not, the Linux guides suggest looking in the files called “modeDB.txt” or “Monitors” located in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc. Best to have the actual monitor guide. Also you should know what type of video card you have. If you have MS-DOS 6.0 or later, the MSD program will give you that information. In Linux, a program called SuperProbe will also tell you.
Installation is relatively easy, but is only half the job. Again, all this applies to Slackware Professional.
Change to the /usr/X11R6/lib/ConfigXF subdirectory (watch for capitalization!) and run ConfigXF. The program will first ask for information about your mouse, if you have one. I have a Logitech mouse so I selected the Microsoft option. The guides suggest this, saying that only if you have an older Logitech mouse should you choose the Logitech option. After this, I agreed with the given defaults and having /dev/mouse as the path.
Onward to video cards. From the massive list, I chose the Cirrus GD-5426. Next came a monitor list, and I opted for generic VESA SVGA. After this, it asks you questions regarding virtual desktop size and other things. Since I didn't understand half of the questions, I just accepted the defaults. Eventually, you get to a screen where you can save the set up, tune the set up, quit, and other choices. For me the option to tune the set up just didn't work, producing a variety of errors.
What did work is this: saving the set up to the default choice. Edit /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/XF86Config, looking for the section called “Monitor”. You'll note that Bandwidth, HorizSync, and VertRefresh are marked with “EDIT THIS!!!” It took me too many times to realize that when the X-installation program said you should edit the XF86Config file that you really had to edit it. Now the crucial part: replace the information in the file with the information from your monitor manual.
Novice Note: Take a few minutes and learn to use the text editor vi. Not only is this editor ubiquitous and small, but many other programs use similar commands. For instance, the :q that will quit vi will also get you out of the man program.
For example, I entered the following for my CTX CMS-1561 Multiscan monitor:
Bandwidth 100 HorizSync 30-60 VertRefresh 50-90
In addition to these changes, I also added lines that appeared in the Linux manuals but not in the XF86Config file. They probably aren't needed, but what the heck. Under “Keyboard” I added:
AutoRepeat 500 5
Under section “Screen”, subsection “Display” I added:
Save the file. Start X-Windows with startx (or xstart) and, with luck, it will run. If it doesn't, get the Linux manual, skip the automatic installation altogether, and carefully do it yourself, checking that the information in the Config files match your set-up.
Whew! Linux works. X-Windows works. What next? Well, I could install the XAP disk set to give me programs to use when I am in X. Doom could finally come out of hiding. Or I could install TeX and see what those Klingon fonts look like. Or I could tackle SLIP and see if I can get working access to the Internet. Or I could even reassert my latent geekdom and write a “Hello world!” program in GNU C/C++. Linux has so much to explore-but then, that's the fun. Watch out David and all you other Unix gods-we're coming up the ladder!
Dean Oisboid (email@example.com), owner of Garlic Software, is a database consultant, Unix beginner, and avowed Doom addict.
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Seashore||May 10, 2013|
|Trying to Tame the Tablet||May 08, 2013|
- Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- New Products
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This
- A Topic for Discussion - Open Source Feature-Richness?
- Home, My Backup Data Center
- New Products
- RSS Feeds
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- I like your topic on android
28 min 38 sec ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
49 min 48 sec ago
- This is the easiest tutorial
7 hours 4 min ago
- Ahh, the Koolaid.
12 hours 42 min ago
- git-annex assistant
18 hours 42 min ago
- direct cable connection
19 hours 4 min ago
- Agreed on AirDroid. With my
19 hours 15 min ago
- I just learned this
19 hours 19 min ago
19 hours 49 min ago
- not living upto the mobile revolution
22 hours 40 min ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- Next winner announced on 5-21-13!
Free Webinar: Linux Backup and Recovery
Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.
In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.