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X installation trouble report

Hello Debian folks,

again I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but let me ask anyway.

Recently I installed a Debian sarge system on a brand-new system. In the end the X server wouldn't start up because the installer couldn't identify the video hardware.

So I did what I've done for years in such cases: boot Knoppix and see what it thinks about the hardware and transfer the settings to Debian ("vesa" turned out to be the right driver). Everything went fine afterwards.

My question is thus: If a Knoppix system (at least 1 year old) can properly identify the video hardware, shouldn't a Debian system be able to do it as well? I have no clue as to what it takes to fully automatically identify all the hardware in a computer, but somehow it's always Knoppix that seems to work miracles.

Personally, I don't mind much: I've been with Linux since kernel 0.99 and with Debian since slink. When I run into problems I always know where to look and whom to ask. But whenever I install new Debian systems, I try to simultaneously put myself in the role of a non-expert with a low frustration threshold. Sadly, frequently I have to come to the conclusion: No f***ing way is a non-nerd going to figure this out. And X is the most frequent stumbling block on the road to a working system.

Don't take this as criticism. I think Debian is great; I know many people are constantly working on making it better; and this is just an attempt to contribute to that effort.


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