Chapter 3: 3X Window System Setup

Chapter 3: 3X Window System Setup


Secrets in This Chapter

  • Understanding the X Window System

  • Configuring XFree86 Using redhat-config-xfree86

  • Examining the XF86Config File

  • Understanding the Screen Section

  • Understanding the Device Section

  • Understanding the Monitor Section

  • Computing a ModeLine

  • Running X

  • Trying Different Video Modes

If you have used Apple Mac OS or Microsoft Windows, you are familiar with the convenience of a graphical user interface (GUI, pronounced gooey). In Linux, the GUI is not an integral part of the operating system. Instead, Linux distributions, such as Red Hat Linux, typically provide GNOME and KDE as the GUI. GNOME and KDE are, in turn, built on a windowing system called the X Window System, or X. Red Hat Linux includes a version of X called XFree86, which is designed to work with your PC's video card and monitor. The video card and monitor you use do not matter much if you work only with text. But to install XFree86, you need detailed information about your video card and monitor.

The companion CD-ROMs contain the XFree86 software, which you might have installed on your hard disk during the installation process shown in Chapter 2. At that time, the Red Hat installation program would have detected your video card and monitor, and configured XFree86. This chapter describes the attributes of video cards and monitors and explains the X Window System. It also shows you how to use the redhat-config-xfree86 GUI utility to configure X in case the Red Hat installer fails to configure XFree86 properly on your PC.