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Learning Red Hat Linux by Bill McCarty

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Installing X

Getting a proper X Window System up and running used to be a real challenge on Linux, almost a rite of passage. Today, device drivers are available for a much wider array of hardware, and configuration tools to assist in the setup process have greatly improved. While still tricky at times—especially with unusual hardware—X setup and configuration is no longer the daunting process it once was, and should be relatively easy.

You’ll go through two stages before you have X successfully running. The first stage involves installing the needed programs that enable X to run. These can be grouped into several categories:

  • Basic XFree86 program

  • X servers

  • Window Managers

  • Applications

  • Fonts

This stage is very straightforward and may well have been done as part of the basic installation process, if you selected the relevant X packages during that step.

In the second stage you configure X to run properly on your system. This is a matter of identifying an X server compatible with your graphics card, and tuning the server for your graphics card. If you have a common card and all the documentation for it, this second stage will be relatively simple. Missing information makes the process harder, but not impossible.

As shown in Appendix C, X consists of many RPM packages. Consequently, the easiest way to install X is to install the X Window System component during the installation procedure. If you omitted the X Window System component, you should consider redoing the installation procedure, ...

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