View Full Version : [ubuntu] Puzzled by xorg.conf

September 19th, 2009, 02:02 AM
Hi guys,

I'm in my first week of using Ubuntu and so far have found this community really helpful.

One things that puzzles me, though, is that my xorg.conf file seems to contain, essentially, nothing:

# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
# Note that some configuration settings that could be done previously
# in this file, now are automatically configured by the server and settings
# here are ignored.
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
Device "Configured Video Device"

. . . .

The problem is, I am trying to configure my VIA Graphics card, following instructions such as "under Section, where it says device driver, change to OpenChrome". And there is nothing apart from "Identifier"in my xorg.conf file. Is this normal? I did try to add this "device driver" field and the system would not start.

I am sorry guys, I know this is prob the lamest question but I really could not find an answer to a similar question in this forum.

Any help would be appreciated.


September 19th, 2009, 03:07 AM
The instructions you are following refer to an older version of xserver, which used xorg.conf as its config file. Newer xserver don't use it anymore, although it still can be edited to affect xserver. That said, I am not sure the instructions will work with current distros, but you can try using xorg-options-editor-gtk from the repositories to edit xorg.conf.

September 20th, 2009, 09:40 AM
Hi Mike,

That explains a lot. Thanks for the help. I have been reading up on shell command lines and some more general Linux stuff, but I'm sure the guide you recommended will be very useful as well.

Best Regards,


September 20th, 2009, 10:22 AM
Unless you have very escoteric hardware (display card etc), much of what had to be hand written instruction telling X how to behave are automatic now. If you are interested, take a look at /var/log/Xorg.0.log and see what kind of final "xorg.conf" all these automation comes up with.

September 20th, 2009, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the reply, Mathfeel.

This is an old desktop computer which was given to me by a friend who was going to throw it away. After installing Jaunty, I had three main problems:

1. No sound
2. Low Resolution
3. USB ports are dead.

I think this might all be related to weird BIOS settings, as this is how I managed to fix the sound, which was simply disabled in the BIOS for some reason.

I will try to look for some tips on how to set up the BIOS as I'm not that great with it either! I am a fairly competent Windows user, but totally new to Linux.

Thanks very much for the comments, I must say I really like the community spirit in this forum.



October 21st, 2009, 09:56 PM
Hey guys,

Just a quick update to tell you that I've managed to solve my Via Card/Hanns G monitor problem. The card problem I sorted out by installing the OpenChrome drive, the monitor was a bit touch, until I stumbled upon this bit of a post floating around the forum. Unfortunately, I didn't copy the author's name or the URL (you can so tell I'm a newbie :-) so I can't give them full credit, but I am ever so grateful:

The specifications in the user manual of the HW173A mention the following specs:
H-Frequency 31KHz 80KHz
V-Frequency 55 75Hz
Display colors 16.2M Couleurs
Max Resolution 1440 X 900 @75Hz

This means that it will work by setting your xorg.conf to:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Hanns.G HW17"
Option "DPMS"
HorizSync 31-80
VertRefresh 55-75

This was it, problem solved. Screen size is a nice 1400 x 900.