X Window System Startup

The startup sequence for X is fairly complex, but understanding it can be very helpful if things go wrong. First, we will walk through an example startup (OpenLinux). In the section that follows, we'll explore how to wind your way through any startup sequence.

Example: X Window System Startup on OpenLinux

OpenLinux is a good distribution to investigate because its startup sequence is relatively simple, but still has enough levels to be interesting.


X is started initially by the init process. For basic information about init, see Chapter 13, "System Initialization." In OpenLinux's /etc/inittab, X is started by the following line:

gu:5:respawn:/bin/sh -c 'C=/etc/rc.d/rc.gui;[ -x $C ]&&exec $C;init 3'

This line only executes ...

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