Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Recovering xorg.conf

xorg.conf, usually in /etc/X11, is the configuration file for the X-windows system. The X-windows system runs the graphics card and serves, I think, as basis for the GUI (Graphic User Interface).

Have lost it twice. Spent the whole day today recovering it for the second time. Had not managed to, would have had to reinstall Ubuntu - a time-consuming process entailing loss of settings.

Net Search Thanks to Dual Booting with Windows XP
So, to recover xorg.conf, had to manage by using Bash (the shell allowing access to the OS through command line only, not a GUI) commands. Used Firefox (dual boot system with Windows XP) to study solutions on the net. Some red herrings - Xfree68, for example, seems not to be relevant, a previous version of X.org.

Knight in Shining Armour - 'sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg'
Finally, following net advice, did 'sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg'. Put me through a whole series of questions, some quite technical and requiring a leap into the dark. When done, still no GUI...

Edit the xorg.conf File to Mint a New One
At this point, crucially, asking to edit the xorg.conf file was necessary. This worked on both occasions of loss of proper xorg.conf file, today and about two weeks ago. The system proposes a command to mint a new xorg.conf file: 'dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg'.
To enter editing mode, 'gedit' won't work, perhaps because it requires a window. Used 'nano', another text editor: 'sudo nano xorg.conf' (from inside the /etc/X11 directory).

Finally, though the file was properly rewritten, it was still necessary to relaunch the GUI (GDM? Gnome Desktop Manager? Or the X-Windows system - what is being relaunched?) by CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE.

But then, happy end, the beatiful GUI was back there on the flat panel. Oof.

Actually XFree86 is still alive and well: http://xfree86.org/

The reason for X.org is stated here: http://wiki.x.org/wiki/XorgFoundation
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