We strongly recommend that our XFree86 4.1.0 binaries be installed
Xinstall.sh script that we provide.
There are a lot of
steps in the manual installation process, and those steps can vary
according to the platform and hardware setup. There is a description of
the manual installation process for the most common cases
You must login as the super user (root) to run the installer script. Place all of the downloaded files into a single directory (choose a temporary location with enough space). Use the cd command to change to that directory and then run the installer script as follows:
Answer the prompts as they come up. If you are missing something that is required, the installer may tell you to install it before trying again. If the problem is that you did not download all of mandatory files aforementioned, then the installer will tell you which ones are missing and ask you to download them before proceeding.
The installer asks some questions that may not have obvious answers. The information here should help you answer them. In most cases, apart from the first question, the default answers should be OK.
If you run the installer from within an X session (the installer checks
$DISPLAY is set), you will be warned that doing so is not
a good idea. Unless you have a good reason for knowing that this won't
be a problem, you should exit your X session, including stopping xdm or
equivalent if it is running, before continuing. If you ignore this
warning and run into problems, well, you were warned!
If you have an existing X installation, you
will be warned that proceeding
with this installation will overwrite it. Only those things that are
part of our standard distribution will be overwritten. Other X
applications that you may have installed will not be removed. Some
configuration files may be overwritten though, but the installer should
prompt you before doing so. As the opening greeting says, it is
strongly recommended that you backup any existing installation
before proceeding. If you want your old applications to still be there
after you've installed, don't do the "backup" by simply renaming
/usr/X11R6 directory. It is better to make a copy of
it, and then install over the top of the original one. If you run into
problems and want to revert to the old installation, you can then
delete the overwritten one and copy the saved version back.
During the first part of the installation over an existing version, the script may remove some old files or directories that would get in the way of the new installation. It will list which files/directories have been removed. If none are listed, then none were removed.
The next step when installing over an existing version is to check for
existing configuration files. As of XFree86 version 3.9.18, the run-time
configuration files are installed by default under
instead of under
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11. The installer will move
the existing ones for you and create the necessary symbolic links. If
you don't want to have these configuration files under
then you should answer "no" when asked about it. Answering "no" here
also means that the new configuration files will be installed in the
Note: for the rare systems that don't have symbolic links, this question
will not be asked. The default answer is "yes" because that is best
for most situations. It is our new default. It makes it easier to
/usr/X11R6 directory between multiple hosts, and
allows it to be mounted read-only. If you don't need these features,
then you can safely answer "no" if you don't want them moved.
When installing over an existing version, you will be prompted before
each set of configuration files is installed. If you haven't made any
Customisations to your existing configuration files, then you can safely
answer "yes" for each of these. If you have made customisations, you
can try answering "no". If you run into problems later, you may need
to manually merge your customisations into the the new version of the
configuration files. The configuration files can all be found in the
Xetc.tgz tarball. See the
section below about manual installation for information about extracting them
After the configuration files have been dealt with, the other mandatory components of the binary distribution will be installed. This should proceed without any user intervention.
If you downloaded any of the optional components, the installer will ask you about each one before it is installed. The default answer is "yes". If there are any that you've since decided that you don't want to install, answer "no" when prompted.
After that is done, the main part of the installation is complete. The
next steps are to tidy up some aspects of the installation. The first
of these is to run "
ldconfig" on systems that require it, so
that the newly installed shared libraries are accessible. Then
fonts.dir files in some directories are updated so that
the fonts can be accessed correctly. Next, the installer checks to
see if your system has a termcap file or terminfo files. If it finds
the former, it tells you how you may update the entries in that file.
If it finds the latter, it asks you if you want it to update them
You may be asked if you want to create links for the GL libraries and
header files. The OpenGL standard on some platforms (Linux in particular)
says that these should be installed in the standard system locations
/usr/include), so the installer offers
to create the appropriate links. If you're running Linux, you should
probably answer yes. For other platforms it is your choice. If you
already have another version of libGL in /usr/lib, answering "yes" will
remove it and replace it with a link to the version we supply. The
installer will show you a listing of any existing versions before asking
if they should be replaced.
Finally, the installer asks you if you want a link created for the
rstart utility. On most modern systems the link isn't essential,
so the default answer is "no". Answer "yes" if you know that you need
it. If you find later that you need it, you can create it easily by
rm -f /usr/bin/rstartd ln -s /usr/X11R6/bin/rstartd /usr/bin/rstartd
The next step is to configure the X server. That is covered in detail
in an as-yet unwritten document :-(. In the meantime, there are three
ways to create a basic X server configuration file for XFree86 4.1.0.
One is to run the
xf86config utility. Another is to run the
xf86cfg utility. The third option is to use the new
-configure X server option:
Note that if you are running Darwin/Mac OS X, there is no step 3 :-). You should skip this step, as configuration is not required or possible. The X server configuration file is not used on Darwin/Mac OS X.
The X server config file (
XF86Config) format has changed
compared to 3.3.x. Also, its default location is now
Finally, there is now only one X server for driving video hardware,
and it is called "
XFree86". Once you're satisfied with the
operation of the new X server, you can safely remove the old
XF98_* X server binaries from
After the X server configuration is done, it may be advisable to reboot, especially if you run xdm (or equivalent) or the font server (xfs).