[lug] X windows not starting

rm at mamma.varadinet.de rm at mamma.varadinet.de
Tue Jul 31 08:26:11 MDT 2001

Argh, Michael has been faster ... ;-)

On Tue, Jul 31, 2001 at 09:16:42AM -0500, Michael J. Hammel wrote:
> Thus spoke Chad Wasinger
> > I have installed a fresh load of RH 7.1 and it cannot start x windows, it
> > boots to the login prompt and then the screen flashes. After a few minutes
> > of flahing it gives an error that " x ????????? suspended for 5 minutes,
> > trying to start to fast" I don't remember the exact error. Has anyone heard
> > of this?
> The messages probably comes from init as it tries to spawn the X process.
> The X process starts and dies immediately, possibly because the driver you
> configured doesn't really work with your video setup (though that's a
> pretty wild guess).  The whole scenario is
> 1. init starts X (aka "spawns the X process")
> 2. X dies
> 3. 1 & 2 repeat very quickly.
> 4. init notices that this spawning is happening too quickly and decides to
>    pause a bit, hoping this will allow time for other software to settle
>    down and give the X process a chance to start.  
> You'll want to boot into maintenence mode (init level 1, I think) and
> disable the gdm, kdm or xdm process (depending on if you're running gnome,
> kde or the default graphical login shell, repsectively) in /etc/inittab
> (just comment it out). 

Is this a common setup (i.e. x in inittab) ? I would expect [kgx]dm to be
started by a script in /etc/init.d/... (ur /sbin/init.d/... on older SuSE).
Inittab is used for _all_ runlevels, and x depends on a lot of services
up and running to start correctly.

> Then you can boot normally and try to fix the
> problem with the X driver.  The trick is how to boot into maintenence mode.
> I never remember how to do that, but I'm sure someone here will provide that
> piece of the puzzle.

For example at the LILO prompt:

 linux boot=single

(assuming 'linux' us your boot label. You can press tab to get a list of
labels). Another alternative would be:

  linux init=/bin/bash

(or whatever shell one prefers). This will run a shell _instead_ of 
init with inittab. Since init usually starts the different runlevel 
scripts in /etc/init.d/... the system won't be of much use (no networking
etc.) but it should give you the chance to remove the offending entry in


> -- 
> Michael J. Hammel           |  I can please only one person per day.  Today is 
> The Graphics Muse           |  not your day.  Tomorrow's not looking good 
> mjhammel at graphics-muse.org  |  either. -- Dilbert
> http://www.graphics-muse.com 
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