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xf86config and debian

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Feb 6, 2003
Canada, eh? (BC)
Little help? I've got Debian installed, but I can't get a GUI running. I've done the xf86config thing, but when I stype "startx" it keeps giving me an error - something along the lines of "failure initializing core" (or something like that). It could be that I'm not choosing the correct video card. I have an ATI Radeon7000, but it's not on the list. I've been randomly choosing ATI cards, but I don't want to have to go through all of them. Is there anything I can do? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

I went through the same thing with my 8500. They dont have drivers for Radeon cards in Debian. What you will have to do is edit the XF86Config-4 file which is in etc/X11 and in the video adapter section change teh driver from ati to vesa. That fixed it for me.
Using the VESA drive, like funnyperson1 mentioned, is a quick way to get it to work, but the VESA driver doesn't include any 3D acceleration support, so if you want to game under Linux you're screwed.

To get 3d acceleration working, you'll need to install the the ATI Radeon drivers from the DRI web page according to ATI Linux driver page. Please read these following threads, which will offer more insight on how to get it working, if you choose to go that route.
In the meantime, the fastest way to get a working gui would be to just use the SVGA X server. If it is not installed go to the directory on the cd where it is, and type dpkg -i filename.deb.
I'm not entirely sure how to get the drivers and install them. I'm not exactly experienced when it comes to linux. A detailed description on how to do this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

The proper way on debian is NOT xf86config. that´s the old way. You configure debian packages (and xfree in particular) with dpkg-reconfigure.
I.e. dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 for Xfree. That way you get the same dialog to config Xfree like you got when you installed it the first time. You can call dpkg-reconfigure how often you want (and it works for any other package you want to config too)
Well, I did the "dpkg-reconfigure" thing. Now, I can at least get to the KDE splashscreen. It gets to "initializing peripherals", but then it crashes and says something about catching signal 11, (or something like that). I might be setting up my mouse wrong in the configuration thing. I have a Microsoft optical wheelmouse, usb capable, but plugged into the PS/2 port. I'm not exactly which port I should tell it I have the mouse plugged into. Is it supposed to be psaux? Or should I say tty0/1/2/3? Or something else? And which type should I say it is? "ThinkingMousePS/2", "PS/2", etc...? Thank in advance for any help :)

I also need some help with setting up LILO. Right now, to get from Linux to Windows, I have to restart, go into BIOS, change boot order, and restart again :p I'd like to have some way to just choose from a menu, but I haven't been able to set up LILO correctly. I have Windows installed on hdb1, with hdb2 and hdb3 as 2 other NTFS partitions storing Windows programs and media. If I try to autodetect and include all in LILO, it gives me Debian, all 3 Windows partitions, but none other than Debian will boot. Little help? :p

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hey Daga I am experiencing similar problems with Debian so don't feel alone. I have debian 2.2 Release 5 on CD and the X11 on that distro doesn't have any AGP ATI drivers so I d-loaded X4.30 with the correct drivers and I was able to get into X but no input would do anything b/c it was just a test of the X server with no .xinitrc or whatever makes the mouse and keyboard do stuff. I have the same problem with LILO but I'm not too worried about it right now b/c w/o a GUI linux sux anyway so I'm stuck with windoze. I got the exact same mouse plugged in the exact same port to work with /dev/psaux and ps/2 as the settings.
I should probably try looking at the slackware xf86config file. If I install slackware, it works right away. I always have access to the GUI. However, I tried to install FreeBSD last night, and I hit the wrong key, and I wrote over slackware :(. Oh well. I'll just re-install tonite when I get home from work :p. Once slackware's up and running again, I can have a look at the xf86config file and see what's going on. Maybe I'll be able to duplicate it with Debian. (Not entirely sure how to go about that, but I might be able to figure something out).

As I said above, I installed FreeBSD last night (or at least - tried to). However, I got the same message on FreeBSD that I got with Debian - "Caught Signal 11" or "Failure To Initialize Core Devices". This is somewhat unpleasant. I want to try these out, but I can't seem to get the GUI running, (or LILO), and it's a real pain to go into BIOS, change boot order, reboot and look up a help file for the type of error message I had just received. I'm tempted to just give up and go back to WinXP completely, but I DO want to be able to have a FREE OS. I don't wanna have to pay $400 for a home version of an OS, when a FREE one is available.

Who knows. Maybe I'm just not knowledgeable (sp?/word?) enough to run a *nix system. I have a feeling that I will be after I start/finish the program at BCIT. I'm gonna be taking CST (Computer System Technology), with the 2nd year branch of Embedded Systems :D. Hopefully I'll learn a little more about the inner-workings of and Alt-OS. But still, I would like to know how to run these systems NOW, so I don't have to wait :p (I'm kinda impatient :p).

*nix just has a much steeper "learning curve" than windoze so stick with it and seek help from knowledgeable people and resources online.