I have tried Knoppix previously but the cd wouldn't boot. So, I have
used Ubuntu and xorg.conf off this, startx works fine.
>DR GM SEDDON posted <437F2ED9.80303@...>, excerpted below,
>on Sat, 19 Nov 2005 13:55:37 +0000:
>>Many thanks for this detailed reply, my monitor is a 20" sgi crt. i
>>prefer sgi we use them at work in drug design they give good 3d. I have
>>the hr and vs rates, where do I put these.Also, is the monitor name
>>needed verbatim. Finally, is there a tool for setting up my initial
>>monitor type and card? Since I'm apprehensive of my setup.
>Cool! Now we're gettin' somewhere! <g> 20"+ CRTs I know a bit about as
>I'm running two (a Viewsonic and a Dell Trinitron) in dual head mode right
>If you already have the timings, no, you don't need specific model numbers
>As I mentioned, xorg has several tools for initial setup. However, after
>trying Linux and then leaving it for a couple years, when I finally got
>serious about it (due to the fact that MS was asking me to cross a line
>with eXPrivacy I could not and would not cross -- because I believed it
>would ultimately legitimize spyware and the like -- exactly as it did --
>see where we are today with Sony's rootkit they apparently saw nothing
>wrong with, anyway, since I couldn't upgrade to eXPrivacy, I switched to
>... When I finally got serious about Linux, I asked for book
>recommendations and after getting repeated recommendations for two books,
>bought them both, O'Reilly's Linux in a Nutshell (aka The Arabian, for the
>horse on the front), and Running Linux (aka the Rearing Horse... horses
>must be their Linux mascot theme). Running Linux is textbook tutorial
>style, while Linux in a Nutshell is a reference work. After reading the
>600-ish pages of Running Linux nearly cover to cover, I dove right in and
>learned how to custom configure and compile my own kernel, did a rather
>complicated multiboot LILO setup, and learned how to configure xfree86 for
>triple monitors on two video cards, because the automated stuff
>couldn't handle that!... All that within the first three months of getting
>serious, while I was still dual booting back to MSWormOS to run OE for
>mail and news, because I hadn't had time to look into the desktop software
>angle yet, so didn't know what I wanted. When I get serious about learning
>something, I LEARN it, and there's NO going back. (But note that was after
>two years of still being on MSWormOS but figuring I'd eventually end up
>switching to Linux, so verifying all my hardware purchases would do Linux
>before I spent the money... So by the time I did it, I knew everything I
>had would work, and it did!)
>Anyway... back to the topic... As a result of that I haven't had to mess
>with xorg's automated detection stuff in years, and then it was only very
>briefly, and I don't know much about it, save for what I've read in the
>various manpages and the like.
>I'd say take a look at "man X" to start, skim it, get to the bottom, and
>go thru the what's related manpages as well. I KNOW there are at least
>TWO different methods shipped with xorg that can be used to auto-scan and
>generate a basic starting point with at least /some/ of the settings
>correct, hopefully. If I'm not mistaken, there's actually four such
>utilities, and one of the manpages actually gives you a list of the
>recommended order to try them in, the easiest first, the most likely to
>work but harder to manage because you end up plugging more into it
>manually, last. However, as I've said, I didn't need that info and was
>just scanning it looking for other stuff, so it's possible there were two
>methods that I counted twice.
>Or... probably the easiest method, if it works, would be to grab and burn
>an ISO of Gnoppix/Knoppix and/or of Kubuntu/Ubuntu. A couple years ago,
>Knoppix was considered the best at hardware detection (overall, but
>certainly including video hardware for X) around, but most distributions
>have availed themselves of the open source since then and have in general
>caught up. Ubuntu is of course the one everybody's talking about now.
>Grab the 64-bit version if you can, it's handy to have around as a liveCD
>and emergency boot and repair platform, but the 32-bit version should
>detect stuff equally well so will do just fine for our immediate purposes.
>Anyway, if you can get one of those things to work, doesn't matter which
>one, you can copy it's xorg.conf from its ramdisk to your drive or a
>floppy or something, and you may not have to worry about messing with it
>at all if you don't want to. DEFINITELY, NOT ALL DISTRIBUTION INSTALLS
>ARE CREATED EQUAL, but if you can find just one that can scan and
>recognize your hardware (or just part of it if not all), that should work,
>and give you some info on what you have, if nothing else.
>As for where you plug the stuff in if it comes to that... and you may have
>to change at least a /few/ settings...
>As I mentioned, man xorg.conf does a fair job, and you should have a
>sample to compare with, altho I'd hate to have to start from that without
>at least something /partially/ matched to my system. Anyway, I'll give
>you a brief overview here, but that's where to look for more, or ask...
>The file is /etc/X11/xorg.conf (note the cap X in X11). It's very
>modular, and once you get the hang of the layout, the modularity is a help
>because it keeps the complexity down and allows you to worry about just
>one thing at a time.
>The different sections or modules can be in any order, but are logically
>related to each other this way:
>Section Monitor contains the settings for your monitor. along with an
>Identifier "what-you-call-your-monitor" entry. That Identifier entry is
>how that section is referred to everywhere else. It's convenient to
>identify by brand and model, as in 'Identifier "Dell-2125s"', if you have
>it, making it easy if you have more than one to use the same section over
>elsewhere, but you can call it 'Identifier "Xyzzy"' for all xorg cares, as
>long as you then refer to it as "Xyzzy" everywhere else you need it. If
>you have only one, just call it "Monitor1" or whatever, if you like.
>You may have more than one Monitor section, each with it's own identifier,
>if you have multiple monitors you are or may be plugging in.
>Likewise, your graphics card has its settings in a Section Device,
>likewise with an Identifier entry. Here, as I play with multiple cards
>sometimes, I use identifiers like "DevAGP0", "DevPCI1, etc. However,
>again, you can call it what you want. You can call it by brand and model
>if you like, or just "GraphicsCard1" or whatever. Of course, fancy setups
>may have more than one graphics card or a card with multiple outputs.
>Depending on the driver and configuration, a card with multiple outputs
>may be configured as separate cards (therefore separate Device
>sections) for each output, or have additional settings for the second
>output in the same Device section.
>A Section Screen combines the Device Section and the Monitor Section(s)
>for what's plugged into it. Again, it'll have it's own Identifier, I call
>mine "ScrAGP0" and the like, after the Section Device it matches up with,
>but you may call yours "Plough" for all xorg cares, as long as you always
>refer to it with the right identifier.
>Within the screen section, there's a Monitor "<identifier>" entry and a
>Device "<identifier>" entry that match up with the appropriate sections
>described above. Again, as long as the identifiers match correctly, it
>doesn't matter what they actually are.
>The screen section also has one or more Subsection Display subsections.
>These will normally be one for each color bitness level (8-bit color,
>15/16-bit color, 24- and 32-bit color), tho I run Xinerama, which wants
>you to stick with the same bitness level, so I pick one and stick with it,
>and don't bother with the others. The main purpose of these subsections
>is to contain the list of desired resolutions, like the long one I posted
>earlier, one list for each bitness level. There are of course some less
>significant optional entries as well, but the two big ones are the list of
>accepted resolutions for that bitness, and the line specifying the color
>bitness the list applies to. These are subsections of the screen
>sections, so they don't get their own identifiers.
>There are also Section InputDevice sections, one for each input device
>(keyboard, mouse, graphics pad, touch-sensitive-screen, whatever) you
>have, naturally each with its own identifier entry.
>Combining all these we have Section ServerLayout. You should be able to
>predict several of the entries it will have, its own identifier,
>naturally, plus one or more Screen and InputDevice entries, referring to
>the appropriate sections by their identifier. Again, the identifier is
>entirely arbitrary. Call it "SvrLyout1" or "Y2" (get the running joke
>yet? <g>), it doesn't matter, as long as it matches the identifier it's
>There will be one default Section ServerLayout, the first one listed IIRC
>if one isn't specified when the server is invoked, but as with the other
>Sections, you may have others as well, if desired.
>There are some other, more global, sections as well. Section Files lists
>what else? paths to other related config files (and fonts or the config
>to use the font-server if you run one) on your system. Xorg has sane (and
>Gentoo normal) defaults built-in, if this section is missing. Similarly,
>the ServerFlags section is optional. However, that's where you put
>settings such as PM (Power Management) timeouts, and set Xinerama
>(multi-screen) mode, if desired.
>Likewise with the Modules and Extensions Sections. You can run xorg in
>bare 2D unaccelerated mode without them, in general, or xorg has some
>configured to run by default if it finds them and they aren't specifically
>turned off, but there are appropriate sections for them if you want to
>tweak the settings.
>Back with xfree86 3.x, one had to specify a bunch of quite scary
>individual timing mode lines, the setting up of which involved some deep
>black arts! <g> Fortunately, starting with xfree86 4.x and now with xorg,
>the by far most common of these, the 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x920,
>1280x1024, 1600x1200, and even down as low as 400x300 (or lower) and as
>high as 2048x1736 entries, often several individual timings for each
>resolution, are built-into the binary and tried automatically, so these
>are no longer needed. There's a site out there, Colas xmodeline generator
>(google it if needed or I have it bookmarked), that has a script that
>you just plug in the monitor and card numbers into, and it'll output an
>a table of appropriate timing entries in 4-pixel x increments covering the
>entire range allowed by your hardware, if you want a mode that's not
>builtin. I mentioned that 640x400 special mode for a game I have in the
>previous reply. I got the modeline for that by simply plugging the
>appropriate numbers into the boxes at Cola's. (Those extra modelines can
>either go under individual monitor sections, or, if you have several
>monitors sharing a set of modelines, they can go in their own section,
>naturally complete with its own identifier entry, by which you refer to it
>That's the structural outline of the major sections and how they depend on
>each other in words. Here's a brief "pseudoexample", with only a few
>"pseudosettings" by way of example. (They are basically real settings,
>but I'm deleting some of the complicated meat of the config, since I have
>multiple monitors/cards/screens and am not checking that what's left
>matches up, so I wouldn't expect this to work anywhere as is, tho it
>might. Do note how some are hash-commented out, tho.) Again, section
>order normally doesn't matter.
> FontPath "unix/:-1"
> Load "type1"
># Option "Composite"
> # General options
> Option "AllowMouseOpenFail"
> Option "NoPM"
> Identifier "MainLayout"
> InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
> InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
> Screen 0 "ScrAgp.0"
> Identifier "Keyboard0"
> Driver "kbd"
> Option "XkbModel" "microsoftmult"
> Identifier "Mouse0"
> Driver "mouse"
> Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
> Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
> Identifier "Dell-M991"
> HorizSync 30-96
> VertRefresh 50-160
> DisplaySize 355 265
> Option "DPMS"
> Identifier "Dell-2125s"
> HorizSync 30-121
> VertRefresh 48-160
> DisplaySize 400 300
> ModeLine "640x400" 63.07 640 672 832 896 400 402 414 440 #160Hz for Orion
> Identifier "ViewSonic-P220f"
> HorizSync 30-110
> Identifier "DevAgp.0"
> Driver "radeon"
> BusID "PCI:5:0:0"
> Identifier "ScrAgp.0"
> Device "DevAgp.0"
> Monitor "Dell-2125s"
> DefaultColorDepth 16
> Subsection "Display"
> Depth 16
> Modes "2048x1536" "1792x1344" "1600x1200" "1280x960"
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