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Xorg is the default X Window server since Debian 4.0 (etch). It replaces XFree86 and is maintained in Debian by the XStrikeForce.

Current Status

The current versions shipped in Debian are listed on packages.debian.org:

Version numbers

Xorg version numbering has changed since xorg 7.0. Nowadays, Xorg is released with a version number (like 7.4). This release is composed of various modules which have their own version number (each module started at version "1.0" when Xorg 7.0 development cycle started). For instance, Xorg 7.3 was shipped with Xserver version v1.4, xf86-input-evdev v1.1.5, xf86-video-intel v2.1.1, etc.. If you want to learn more about Xorg releases/versions, see this blog.

Debian version number follows upstream convention. The module's version may be different (The maintainers sometimes cherry-pick more recent and stable modules). Reminder: Debian package version sometimes starts with a digit followed by a column, like 1:7.3.1-2. That part (1:) is Debian-specific. Also, anything after the dash (-2) is the Debian packaging version.

Configure X

To reconfigure keyboard settings in Squeeze (and later) run as root in a terminal:

# dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

Edit xorg.conf

Some settings are only accessible through editing xorg.conf by hand.

How can I edit my xorg config file?

Open a terminal (or console) as root, then run :

# editor /etc/X11/xorg.conf

What if I do not have an xorg config file?

If xorg.conf is missing for some reason, Xorg will probe your hardware on every startup. Though this works fine in most cases, some settings remain inaccessible. To create a starting point for customization, do the following.

Switch to a console as root (not a terminal emulator in X), then run:

# /etc/init.d/gdm stop && /etc/init.d/gdm3 stop && /etc/init.d/kdm stop && /etc/init.d/xdm stop
$ cd /etc/X11/
# Xorg -configure

Alternatively, reboot the machine in single user mode, then run:

$ cd /etc/X11/
# Xorg -configure

Follow the on-screen instructions. This should give you something to work with.

Question: what should be done if generating this file fails, giving the message, 'Number of created screens does not match the number of detected devices'?

Anyway, probably, this is unnecessary. Per this comment and this advice, it seems best to create the directory /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d and place in it a few files in order to tweak sections of the implicit xorg.conf, as for example is done here.

Xorg reads vendor configuration information from the directory /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d, as stated by man xorg.conf.d.

Rather than in xorg.conf, another quite useful way to adjust X settings is on the fly, in a desktop environment's list of scripts to run at startup.

Run X

After installation run:

$ startx

or as root run:

# service gdm start

(see gdm manpage).

KDE users should use kdm. Others might use xdm or gdm3.

Video drivers

See Also


CategoryXWindowSystem