From a text screen, run the
xf86config program. This
program should be run as root (although not absolutely
necessary, it will allow xf86config to do more of the work
for you). You can press your interrupt character (usually
Control-C or perhaps Delete), at any time to stop the program,
if you need to. You can just start it over again.
xf86config program provides instructions on screen
as to what you need to do. Following are some notes that
document the various stages in the process. They should help
you get through the process quickly and provide some
documentation for those people who like to know what they're
getting themselves into, before running a program.
xf86config begins by telling you a few things like
the fact that it can help you setup an XF86Config file or that
you can do the job yourself with an editor. Just read what
it says and press
The program will next check that you have the directory
/usr/X11R6 (the standard installation directory)
on your system and tell you that it needs to be in your
PATH environment variable.
It will also check if you have the
/usr/X386 directory as used by older (pre 3.0)
versions of XFree86. If by chance you do, it will warn you
/usr/X11R6 must be before
If everything is okay, just press Enter and go on, otherwise
press Control-C to exit and make any necessary changes and
Pick the mouse type from the menu and enter the name of the device to which mouse is connected, as directed.
If you are using an OS (e.g. SVR4, SCO) that has a built in mouse driver that the Xserver could use, you'll need to edit the XF86Config file to setup your mouse, so just pick any mouse from the list and press enter when asked for the device.
If you don't know which protocol your mouse uses, you'll just have to guess (the xf86config program will give you some hints as to which might be most likely) and then see the troubleshooting section if it doesn't work when you run the server.
The xf86config program has not been updated to allow you to select the latest mouse protocols, so you may have to edit the config file by hand after xf86config has finished.
Simply answer yes to the question regarding keyboard setup.
If there is some reason you need to use the right-alt and control keys for something else, you can enter no.
Setting up a monitor consists of entering the specifications of your monitor and a description of the model and manufacturer.
You are first asked for the horizontal sync rate. It is
VERY important to enter the correct value(s) from the
manual. If one of the ranges given matches the rate of your
monitor, then pick it, otherwise pick
custom and enter
the values from your manual.
Next is the vertical refresh rate. Again, it is VERY important that this parameter be specified correctly. Enter it in a manner similar to the horizontal sync rate.
If either rate is mis-specified, it can result in damage to your monitor.
Finally, you are asked for an "identifier", your monitor manufacturer, and model. You can just press enter to get through these quickly.
You are next asked if you would like to view the database of cards. Picking your card from the list will cause the answers to the questions in the next two sections to be filled in for you and so can save a little time.
If your card does not appear in the list, just press
and enter to skip on to the next step - where you'll have to
answer the questions yourself.
If you selected your card in the previous step, then server selection is easy - just use the recommendation from the database.
If you have a card which uses one of the chipsets for which a
specific server exists (Mach8, Mach32, Mach64, AGX/XGA,
8514/A, S3, I128, P9000) you'll want to pick the
Otherwise you'll probably want to use the SVGA server.
Next, answer yes when the program asks if you want it to
set the symbolic link for you. If you picked the
option, you'll also need to indicate which particular
accelerated server to link to.
Pick the appropriate option from the list to indicate the amount of memory on your video card.
Then you are asked to provide and identifier, the manufacturer, and the model of your card. You can just press enter to skip through these, if you wish.
Next, the program will ask for the type of RAMDAC and Clockchip on your card. If your card was in the database, you should just to tell it to use the values from the database.
If you don't have one of the listed RAMDACs or Clockchips on your card, just press enter when asked what type you have. If you do not have a programmable clock chip, the program will next attempt to probe to find out what clock rates are supported by your clock chip.
Now you get to tell the program which video modes you would like to be able to run.
The program will show you the common modes that should work with your card (some might not work with your monitor, but if you've correctly specified the monitor's sync rates, the X server will just ignore them when it runs).
You could just accept the settings as they are given, but you'll probably wish to reverse the order. For example, if you have a card with 1 Meg RAM, it will list the modes
"640x480" "800x600" "1024x768" for 8bpp
1 to change the settings for 8bpp and the type
432 to select the reverse order.
When you've select the modes, in the order you wish, select
4 to continue.
The program will now ask if you would like to write the
configuration settings you've selected to the file
XF86Config. Answer yes.
Lastly, the program tells you that it's finished its part of this process and counsels you to check the file before using it. The next section covers the changes that are most likely to be needed.