Below you will find information on fine tuning the components of the
X Window System. The documentation
links are specifically for XFree86,
which has been retired in BLFS, however, the information contained in
those documents usually pertains to Xorg as well. Detailed descriptions are also
located in the
xorg.conf man page.
The following external links provide a good introduction to setting up various keyboards.
Multi-button mice can be used to their full potential by mapping the additional buttons to X button events. Wheel mice are a common example. The ordinary ones contain two buttons, and a scroll wheel that doubles as a third button. As far as X is concerned, there are 5 buttons as it counts the 'scroll up' and 'scroll down' functions (internally they are buttons). Here is an example 'InputDevice' section for a typical PS/2 wheel mouse:
Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Mouse 0" Driver "mouse" Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice" Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2" Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" Option "Buttons" "5" EndSection
Button assignments differ for every mouse type. On more exotic
mice, you may find that the rocker wheel buttons are 6 and 7.
Simply add those values to the
ZAxisMapping option, and set the
Buttons option appropriately to enable side to
side scrolling. Additional information on button assignment can
be found in the following XFree86 document:
One or more monitor sections specify the characteristics of your
monitor(s). Usually, the setup program can probe your monitor and
setup a monitor properly, however, this does not always work. The
most common entries that need to be updated are
VertRefresh. If the configuration program does
not set these properly, you will notice a resolution much lower
than desired. The default
setting is 28-33kHz which is very conservative. The default
VertRefresh is 43-72Hz. Consult your
monitor documentation or search online for the proper settings
for your monitor.
It is also possible to control many detailed timing
characteristics of a monitor with a
Modeline setting. Most users will not need to do
this, but details are in the man page referenced above.
Incorrect monitor settings can destroy your monitor or even set it on fire! For most newer monitors, the result of overly aggressive settings is a blank screen, but older monitors do not all have built in safeguards.
Other items that may be of interest in this section is the
DPMS and associated
OffTime options. These parameters control the
energy saving features of your monitor. They may also be
controlled at runtime with the xset command or via a graphical
interface such as KDE's Control
A typical monitor section will normally look like:
Section "Monitor" DisplaySize 400 300 # mm Identifier "Monitor0" VendorName "VSC" ModelName "G810-2" HorizSync 30.0 - 92.0 VertRefresh 50.0 - 180.0 Option "DPMS" Option "StandbyTime" "10" Option "SuspendTime" "20" Option "OffTime" "30" EndSection
This section basically controls your video card. The key entry is
Driver setting. This can be a
driver from the X distribution
you are using, from the kernel source, or a proprietary driver
for devices such as a Nvidia graphics adaptor. The driver often
is a kernel module or built into the kernel itself, but there are
also separate non-kernel components usually found in the
directory. These were either built with the X server or installed via external (i.e.,
There are many options for device drivers and most are specific to the driver being used. Documentation for many drivers can be found at the XFree86 Driver Manual Pages.
A typical Device section will look like:
Section "Device" Identifier "Videocard0" Driver "radeon" VendorName "Videocard vendor" BoardName "ATI Radeon 7500" EndSection
Within the X Window System configuration file there may be multiple layout sections like:
Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "X.org Configured" Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0 InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer" InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" EndSection
The default layout is the first, but if you have special needs, you
can create others with different configurations. The
Identifier line in each section is the key.
Different layouts can be created using different Screen and
After the configuration file is updated, an alternate configuration can be specified on the startx line. For instance, to start X with an alternate layout with an Identifier of "layout2", use the following command line:
startx -- -layout layout2
Last updated on 2008-05-03 00:18:57 -0500