Chapter 17. X11

Table of Contents
17.1. X Configuration
17.2. Window manager

17.1. X Configuration

The X11 configuration is stored in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Many distributions provide special configuration tools for X, but Slackware Linux only provides the standard X11 tools (which are actually quite easy to use). In most cases X can be configured automatically, but sometimes it is necessary to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf manually.

Automatical configuration

The X11 server provides an option to automatically generate a configuration file. X11 will load all available driver modules, and will try to detect the hardware, and generate a configuration file. Execute the following command to generate a xorg.conf configuration file:

$ X -configure

If X does not output any errors, the generated configuration can be copied to the /etc/X11 directory. And X can be started to test the configuration:

$ cp /root/xorg.conf /etc/X11/
$ startx

Interactive configuration

X11 provides two tools for configuring X interactively, xorgcfg and xorgconfig. xorgcfg tries to detect the video card automatically, and starts a tool which can be used to tune the configuration. Sometimes xorgcfg switches to a video mode which is not supported by the monitor. In that case xorgcfg can also be used in text-mode, by starting it with xorgcfg -textmode.

xorgconfig differs from the tools described above, it does not detect hardware and will ask detailed questions about your hardware. If you only have little experience configuring X11 it is a good idea to avoid xorgconfig.

17.2. Window manager

The "look and feel" of X11 is managed by a so-called window manager. Slackware Linux provides the following widely user window managers:

If you are used to a desktop environment, using KDE or GNOME is a logical choice. But it is a good idea to try some of the lighter window managers. They are faster, and consumer less memory, besides that most KDE and GNOME applications are perfectly usable under other window managers.

On Slackware Linux the following command can be used to select a window manager:

$ xwmconfig

This configuration program shows the installed window managers, from which you can choose one. You can set the window manager globally by executing xwmconfig as root.