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Re: X window system

john gennard wrote:

I have installed Potato 2.2r4 on a third box and am
having difficulty in getting X to work.The mobo and
cpu were running Potato on an upgraded box, and the
harddisk held Slink for a long time.Kernel is 2.2.19,
and xfree-common etc packages are v.3.3.6-11.

Normally, Debian gets X to go OK after I run
'xf86config'. This time it didn't and initially gave
problems with fonts about which I asked for and got
help. What happens now is:-

1. Booting is apparently normal but I get dumped into
a blank screen. Ctrl+Alt+Fx puts me into a console
and I can use the system normally except that during
the first two or three commandline instructions I
get the error message:-
       'probable hardware bug:clock timer configuration
        lost - probably a VIA686a.
        restoring chip configuration'

If you custom compile a kernel, you might find some bug work-arounds for various chipsets. This might solve this issue; might not.

2. If I then run 'startx', I'm told:-
       'server is already active for display 0
        Xlib - connection to ":0.0" refused by server
        Xlib - Invalid MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE etc
        xinit - unable to connect etc, no such process
        (errno3) etc'
I expect this for I understand that display is the default, but which program sets it.
From your description at top of message, it sounds like X is running; it's just producing a blank screen. Therefore you can't start X on the same display. For kicks, you might try "startx -- :1" to start X on the second display (Ctrl-Alt-F8 instead of Ctrl-Alt-F7 to switch to it if you switch away from it with Alt-Fx). Alternatively, you can kill X ("ps ax" and kill whatever X processes are running, or Ctrl-Alt-F7 to switch back to the X display, followed by Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to ungracefully "force quit" X). You probably also have some sort of session manager running; you'll probably have to stop that also ("/etc/init.d/[x|d|w|k|g]dm stop"), or the "X logon screen" will just start up again. Then "startx 2>startx.log" will start X manually and log the error messages to the file "startx.log".

You might also try Ctrl-Alt-+ or Ctrl-Alt-- (the + and - keys on the keypad) while in the original X (Ctrl-Alt-F7 to return to it) screen, to switch "resolutions", which might give you a usable screen.

My suspicion is that something about the video setup is wrong in XF86Config.

Comparing 'printenv' with my other two boxes, 'DISPLAY=:0.0' and 'KDE_DISPLAY=:0.0' are missing
and my attempts to set these by hand fail - they
disappear on reboot.

X will try to use the first available display, which in this case will default to :0.0. I'm 99.734% confident you don't need to worry about this just for normal X use.

4. If I try to run 'XF86Setup', I fail - error:-
'X11TransSocketUNIXconnect - can't connect: error111.

presumably because X is still running. Kill it as mentioned above, then try running XF86Setup.

I should have got to grips with X window system when
I first started, didn't do so and now find the docs
confuse me (most are not Debian specific).

Is the above sufficient to enable a diagnosis of the
problem to be made? Could someone give me a short
rundown on the basics as they relate to Debian.

I'd be very grateful for help. I have two other boxes
runnin 2.2.r4, but I cannot trace any files missing
which could account for my problem.


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