[lug] Re: What I really want

Thomas R. Detman tdet at sec.noaa.gov
Tue Mar 13 17:36:57 MST 2001

More info regarding XFree86 4.x; hope it helps:

I spent a painful week in mid February "working with" XFree86 4.x.
XFree86 v4 has a long list of places it looks for a config file,
including /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 and /etc/X11/XF86Config in that
order (see man XF86Config, see also man XFree86). What I observed
was that xf86configcreated both files. You can also create a
/etc/X11/XF86Config file for XFree86 v4 by running Red Hat 7.x's
Xconfigurator (/usr/X11R6/bin/Xconfigurator). Now that's 3 different
config files, and they are different. Xconfigurator seemed better
at letting you set up multiple screen resolutions -- which lets
you change on the fly using [<ctrl><alt><keypad +>], and ditto -.
However, you need to tell Xconfigurator how much ram your card
has, but XF86Config, on the other hand, was able to probe for that.
XFree86 creates log files in /var/log/XFree86.0.log and
/var/gdm/:0.log which are only slightly different, except that
/var/gdm/:0.log is only readable by root. Anyway, in either one
you might find something like: "(--) MGA(0): VideoRAM: 8192 kByte"
(MGA is the driver/module it loaded after discovering my Matrox
graphics card.) The log files just might be helpful.

This is partly redundant with some previous statements in the 
thread, apologies for that.

It was this issue that "inspired" me to join the BLUG mailing list
in the first place. I installed XFree86 v4 because it claimed to
support "hardware overlay". That means a window with a PseudoColor 8
visual on/over a TrueColor 24 display. (I'm not quite sure about
this terminology; yes this X stuff can be quite difficult.)
(Does anyone know how to specify the "default visual" in XF86Config?)
(xdpyinfo tells you what it is, but not how to change it.)

The XFree86 web site has a FAQ and mailing lists:
Maybe I should have joined one of the mailing lists, but...

Then I got tired of messing around and ordered Accelerated-X 2D 
for $99.95 + shipping ( http://www.xig.com ). I got it installed,
configured (with overlay mode), and running in about 2 hours.
By the way, the Accelerated-X 2D does support the multiple screen 
resolutions and switching via the <ctrl><alt><keypad +/->.


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