Installation Details for XFree86® 4.7.0 : Installing XFree86 4.7.0 using the script
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3. Installing XFree86 4.7.0 using the script

We strongly recommend that our XFree86 4.7.0 binaries be installed using the script 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 below.

You must login as the super user (root) to run the installer script and place all of the downloaded files into a single directory. Use the cd command to change to the chosen directory and 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.

3.1. Questions the installer may ask

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 if $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 will not 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 and will attempt to backup the existing files first. 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, do not do the "backup" by simply renaming your old /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. On most platforms, the run-time configuration files are installed by default under /etc/X11 instead of under /usr/X11R6/lib/X11. The installer will give you the option of moving any that are in the old location, creating the necessary symbolic links. If you do not want to have them moved, then you should answer "no" when asked about it. If you have no exiting run-time configuration files in the /etc/X11, then the new configuration files will be installed in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11 instead.

Note: for the rare systems that do not have symbolic links, this question will not be asked. The default answer is "yes" because that is best for most situations. It makes it easier to share the /usr/X11R6 directory between multiple hosts, and allows it to be mounted read-only. If you do not need these features, then you can safely answer "no" if you do not 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. If your platform uses customised xinit or xdm configuration files, overwriting them may prevent your usual desktop from coming up after installing XFree86. For this reason you may wish to answer "no" when prompted for those files. An important set of files to answer "yes" to is the xkb files. If they are not up to date you may run into problems running the latest XFree86 server.

The installer will attempt to make a backup of your original files before copying in the new ones. This may not be foolproof and it is recommended that you still make your own backup of everything first. If you wish to install the configuration manually, they can be found in the Xetc.tgz and Xrc.tgz tarballs. See the section below about manual installation for information about extracting them separately.

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 do not 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 the 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 for you.

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/lib and /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 running:

rm -f /usr/bin/rstartd
ln -s /usr/X11R6/bin/rstartd /usr/bin/rstartd

3.2. After the installation is complete

The next step is to get the XFree86 server running. The recommended way to do this is to run:

XFree86 -autoconfig

This will work well in many cases, and if it suits your needs you can make it the default by simply moving/renaming any existing XF86Config file so that the XFree86 server does not find it. If it doesn't, or if you want to make changes to the auto-detected configuration, try the xf86cfg or xf86config utilities or try running:

XFree86 -configure

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.

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).

Installation Details for XFree86® 4.7.0 : Installing XFree86 4.7.0 using the script
Previous: Downloading the XFree86 4.7.0 binaries
Next: Installing XFree86 4.7.0 manually