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[HOWTO] Configure X11 Automatically Using Knoppix
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Bob P

Joined: 20 Oct 2004
Posts: 3355
Location: Jackass! Development Labs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:55 am    Post subject: [HOWTO] Configure X11 Automatically Using Knoppix Reply with quote

ABSTRACT: How to use Knoppix to automatically create X11's configuration file, xorg.conf


Configuring Xorg can be a bit of a challenge, especially for users who may be new to Gentoo or who may not yet have developed an intimate knowledge of the hardware on their PC. If you’ve chosen a command-line installation of Gentoo you will have to manually edit the xorg.conf configuration file. Before proceeding with this installation guide, you may want to review The X Server Configuration HOWTO.

Xorg features an auto-configuration utility that can be used to generate a (hopefully working) Xorg configuration file:


# Xorg –configure

Unfortuantely, this utility sometimes provides less than optimal results -- some hardware platforms (like my Dell Optiplex GX110) aren’t adequately configured using this technique – many of the devices are not recognized and are not properly configured this way.

An especially useful trick is to copy the configuration files that are automatically created by the Knoppix Live Linux-on-CD.

This tutorial will cover the procedure used to access the GUI configuration information produced by Knoppix, and how to modify it, if necessary, to be used on your Gentoo system.

Step 1: Downloading the Configuration Information from Knoppix:

Knoppix uses XFree86 as its Xserver. Gentoo offers you the choice of using XFree86 or Xorg-X11 as your X Server. The good news is that the configuration files are compatible. The following instructions explain how to copy the configuration files from Knoppix.

Knoppix mounts to a RAM drive, a pseudo drive in RAM that is basically just a file. In Knoppix, the directory /etc exists in that file.

The following example assumes that your root partition exists on /dev/hda3. Make changes as appropriate if your root partition is elsewhere.

1. Place your Knoppix CD into your CD-ROM drive and reboot the PC using Knoppix.
2. Open a terminal window.
3. Execute the following commands:

# sudo passwd
(specify your password)
# su
# mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/hda3
# cp /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 /mnt/hda3/etc/X11

4. Exit Knoppix and reboot your system in Gentoo

Step 2: Configuring Xorg for Gentoo

1. Backup your existing /etc/X11/xorg.conf file if you want to save it.


# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.old

2. Copy the Knoppix configuration file for use in Gentoo:


# cp /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 /etc/X11/xorg.conf

3. Edit xorg.conf, if necessary, to customize it for PC.
4. Start the X11 Server


# startx

Step 3: Fixing Kernel 2.4 and 2.6 Compatibility Issues

Knoppix uses kernel 2.4 and its configuration files are compatible with Gentoo 2.4 kernels. Some modifications will be necessary, though, if you are using Gentoo 2.6 kernels.

An X configuration created this way, for example, may result in a non-functional mouse if you are using a 2.6 kernel. Some subtle changes in the location of the device driver nodes are responsible for this problem, and are easy to fix.

Location of Mouse Drivers:

Kernel:  Mouse Driver Location:
2.4      /dev/mouse
2.6      /dev/input/mice

Don’t forget to verify that the appropriate mouse drivers are compiled into your kernel!

Please let me know if there are any errors or omissions. Additions and/or corrections are welcome!

Acknowledgement: This HOWTO includes helpful suggestions made on the Gentoo Discussion Forums by Frozensun and vinnie1.
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