Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Fri Nov 19 15:17:16 GMT 2004

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John Seago wrote:
> On Friday 19 Nov 2004 12:00,  John Murphy <sub01 at freeode.co.uk> wrote:
>>I presume Slackware installed and configured X and kde for you.  Fbsd
>>5.3 doesn't excel in that area.
> No it doesn't, the install is roughly the same as that for FreeBSD, in fact 
> it is reputed to be the nearest thing to FreeBSD without being FreeBSD, 
> which is why it is the 'preferred' alternative distribution for many 
> Slackware users. It is only recently that Slackware has gone from a one 
> CD, to a two CD set because of the size of a full install of Gnome or KDE, 
> (both on the second disk). I have always used the dialogue, text 
> configuration, for both versions of 'X' and then the menu to choose the 
> desktop, exactly the same as FreeBSD up to 5.3 as I am just not getting 
> the configure 'X' menu or the configure desktop menu, and I cant see why 
> not. 

X configuration was moved out of sysinstall(8) because it really didn't 
work very well to try and do it at that point.  Sysinstall basically 
covers everything you can do to setup the system up to the point at 
which you can reboot into your newly installed kernel.  While you can 
use sysinstall after that -- as a general administration tool -- that's 
not really what it is designed for.  For best results, using the command 
line tools is the way to go.

On the specific point of configuring X, what you should do is:

     # Xorg -configure

This will probe your hardware and write out a basic configuration file 
into /root/.  Then:

     # mkdir /etc/X11
     # mv /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Now, you should be able to run 'startx' and get a default grey desktop 
with a mouse cursor.  Use 'Ctrl-Alt-Backspace' to quit out of X.

To do all of the fine adjustments to the X setup, like telling it to use 
a UK keyboard, etc. you can either edit the xorg.conf file directly, or 
you can use xorgcfg(1) to tweak the automatically generated config file. 
  The sort of things you might want to change are the default screen 
resolution and colour depth, keyboard mapping, font paths etc.

Then you need to decide on what sort of desktop environment you want, 
and how you would prefer to get into X.  Choices for desktop 
environments are Gnome, KDE or you can go with a straight window manager 
-- personally I use wmaker(1x) -- see http://www.xwinman.org/ for details.

On the 'how you get into X' front, there are two choices.  Either you 
log into your machine's console and then run 'startx' (in which case, 
you need to customise a ~/.xinitrc file to set up everything you want on 
your desktop) or else you run a X display manager such as xdm(1), gdm(1) 
or kdm(1) -- those last two belong to Gnome and KDE respectively.  The 
display manager takes over the X server while no-one is logged in and 
presents a login panel.  Once logged in, you need a ~/.xsession script 
to run whatever you want on your desktop.

The .xinitrc or .xsession scripts can have pretty much anything in them: 
if you're not into shell scripting, something as simple as:


will generally do.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                       Savill Way
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK

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