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Thread: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

  1. #1
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    HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    This HowTo Guide is primarily for users who cannot get into the GUI after a fresh install, a dist-upgrade, a new video card install, or a video driver upgrade, and for users who cannot set their screen resolutions correctly from within the GUI. It is designed to be easy to use without being overly simplistic.

    UPDATE: This method does not work with Hardy Heron and probably all versions to follow (including Intrepid Ibex). This method seems to ONLY work with Gutsy Gibbon and older.
    I think this is because the newer versions of xserver-xorg rely more on auto-detecting the configuration during runtime rather than looking at xorg.conf.
    /UPDATE

    Step 1: Get to the terminal

    1a) If you are already in the GUI.
    For Gnome and Xfce: Applications->Accessories->Terminal
    For KDE: KMenu->System->Konsole

    1b) If you are NOT in the GUI (maybe you have a blank screen after boot-up)
    Do CTRL+ALT+F1 to get to a tty, and login with your username and password. Then depending on your desktop environment, run
    For Gnome (Ubuntu):
    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
    For KDE (Kubuntu):
    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/kdm stop
    For Xfce (Xubuntu):
    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/xdm stop
    Step 2: Run the reconfiguration

    First start by making a manual backup (even though one will be auto-generated in the form xorg.conf.YearMonthDayTime):
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup
    Now run the configuration:
    Code:
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
    Details:
    --You will be asked a bunch of questions about your hardware, do your best to answer. If you don’t know the answer, take an educated guess or use the default selection.
    --When asked about video drivers, select “ati” if you have an ATI card, “nv” if you have an Nvidia card, or “intel” if you have an onboard Intel graphics card. Otherwise select “vesa” – this is more of a fallback driver if the other options don’t work, it is useful to select this to get into the GUI initially, then install the propriety drivers if needed (step 4).
    --When asked about screen resolutions, use TAB to move and SPACEBAR to select your monitor’s max resolution and everything less.

    Once the questions are finished, you may proceed.

    Step 3: Restart the GUI

    3a) You are currently in the GUI, so restart X with CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE

    3b) You are in a tty, so run
    For Gnome (Ubuntu):
    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start
    For KDE (Kubuntu):
    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/kdm start
    For Xfce (Xubuntu):
    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/xdm start
    Step 4: (OPTIONAL) Setup Proprietary Drivers
    This is for users whose cards do not have full support with the open source drivers. Nvidia users tend to use this more, but newer ATI cards also need them.
    See links for details on card compatibility.

    Installing Nvidia propriety drivers
    Installing ATI propriety drivers

    Details on ati/radeon open source drivers

    If something doesn’t work out correctly and you want to recover your previous configuration for X, then restore your backup:
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    Then restart X.

    Please do not post help questions on this thread, start a new thread on the Absolute Beginner’s Forum instead. Suggestions, reviews, and critique are certainly welcome.

    Keywords: can’t login, broken X, no login screen, blank screen, low or wrong resolution, new video card
    Last edited by Rocket2DMn; March 27th, 2008 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    sorry

    but i hope this could help me out....
    sigh... i have an onboard card
    and it's poor quality
    but then Ubuntu cant' detect it?? so it's appeared blank?

    OMG.... help me...!!

  3. #3
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    and the blank screen was appeared after i choose it
    from the Boot Logon...

    then BANG!
    blank...no other loading or someting else

    but after few days.. it happened working OK
    suddenly a few hours i restart it again.. .same problems happened...
    it's appeared BLANK again hiks

  4. #4
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    I have usually used the following to reconfigure xorg when the screen did not work properly (such as booting into a black screen).

    Press ESC at Grub prompt and select RECOVERY MODE

    Code:
    dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
    This would usually ask me a series of questions concerning my video card, resolution, driver etc.

    Removing "-phigh" from the command added a lot more questions concerning the keyboard.

    Until recently when I ran that command on a new computer using hardy. -phigh did not work at all and taking it out allowed me to configure they keyboard but does not ask me to configure video (which is what I want to configure). I got the following error:

    xserver-xorg postinst warning: overwritting possibly customized configuration file: backup in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.20080203121105

    Any Tips? Currently using Intel Mobile VGA GM965/GL960 (Rev3) on Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 alpha5, but I have also seen this when trying to reconfigure an ATI Radeon 9200.
    Last edited by komputes; March 4th, 2008 at 06:24 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    "xserver-xorg postinst warning: overwritting possibly customized configuration file: backup in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.20080203121105" - is not an error. This is normal, it is making a backup of your old xorg.conf and putting the new one in its place. Backups are made automatically in the format xorg.conf.YearMonthDayTime
    If you need specific help with cards, please start a new thread and somebody will be glad to help you out there. Remember that Hardy is still in alpha, and you will need "intel" driver for the onbard graphics and "ati" open source driver for the 9200.

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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    I completely understand that this is not an error. I expected to be able to select my video driver with this command. What I experienced is that this command skipped right over the part where it asks questions about the video driver and monitor refresh rates etc. How do I get to that screen?
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  7. #7
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    That command without phigh should ask about video drivers and screen resolutions. By default it should be asking low priority questions as well, but you can double check by using the "-plow" flag with the command. Otherwise, I need to see your xorg.conf file:
    Code:
    cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    lspci | grep VGA

  8. #8
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    I have tried this at all prority levels and none of them asked be video driver or monitor related questions. I ended up rewriting my xorg.conf file and it seems to work in low resolution now.

    The good side: I got to familiarize myself with xorg.conf (once again) yaaay!

    The bad side: There is no way for my grandmother to do this. Bring back the config! ;p
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  9. #9
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    OK, why don't you make a manual backup of the working xorg.conf file just in case:
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak

  10. #10
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    Re: HowTo: Reconfigure X with “dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg”

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket2DMn View Post
    OK, why don't you make a manual backup of the working xorg.conf file just in case:
    Code:
    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak

    Doesn't solve lack of auto-configuration or user-interactive configuration.
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