posted by Clinton De Young on Sun 27th Oct 2002 18:15 UTC

"Installing XFree86 - Part II"
Step 9 (Selecting your mouse type)
The next screen will show a bunch of mouse drivers. Please choose the one that matches the brand or type of mouse you have and press Enter. I realize that isn't as easy as it sounds since a lot of the options in the list are quite cryptic. If you chose "/dev/psaux" on the last screen, and you have a mouse without a wheel on it, select the PS/2 option. If, on the other hand, your mouse does have a wheel on it, you need to select the ImPS/2 option in order to get the wheel functionality. If you selected one of the serial mice (ttys) options on the last screen, the choices should be a little more apparent.

Step 10 (Is your monitor an LCD?)
The next screen asks if you are using an LCD monitor. If you are using a laptop or a flat panel monitor, you will want to say "Yes"; everyone else should select "No". Please press Enter to continue.

Step 11 (Configuring you monitor)
The first screen in this section describes the three options you have for configuring your monitor. These options are:
Simple
Medium
Advanced

Advanced: If you were able to find the specifications for your monitor, and you know the scan frequencies, you will want to choose Advanced (which is what we will do in this tutorial).

Simple: If you don't have any idea what your monitor's refresh rates are, or what it's resolution capabilities are, you can choose simple. You will be asked for the physical screen size of your monitor and Debian will estimate its abilities. As noted on this screen, this may not estimate the optimal settings for your monitor.

Medium: If you know the resolutions your monitor supports (for example, you know it can to 1024x768 at 70Hz, and that is the resolution you want to use) you can select the appropriate resolution from a list.

Simple and Medium are quite easy to figure out, so I will leave them and move to the Advanced option. However, if you wish to do a simple or medium configuration, then select those now and skip the rest of this section and go to Step 12.

If you know your monitors refresh rates, select Advanced option on this screen press Enter to continue. Before continuing, please note that you have to have the information for your monitor. It can't just be a similar monitor. If you are unsure, please do a Simple or Medium setup.

Step 11a (Horizontal Scan Frequency)
The next screen is asking you to enter your monitors horizontal sync range. This is two numbers separated by a hyphen. There is a default value listed, but this most likely is incorrect. Delete the default values and enter the correct range for you monitor. For example, my monitor's horizontal sync rate is 30-96, so I will enter that on this screen and press Enter to continue.

Step 11b (Vertical Scan Frequency)
The next screen is the asking for the vertical scan frequency for your monitor. Enter that information now and press Enter to continue. Make sure you don't confuse the horizontal and vertical frequencies. At best it won't work, and at worst, it can damage your monitor.

Step 11c (Resolution)
The next screen is where you will set all the resolutions you wish to support. Highlight each of the resolutions you wish to support and then press the space key to enter an asterisk (or remove an asterisk if you need to) I would recommend only using the common resolutions since many monitors don't support the odd ones. These are:
640x480
800x600
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200

Note: Smaller monitors and video cards with small amounts of memory will not support the higher resolutions. Please only pick resolutions that you know your monitor will support.

If you select multiple resolutions here, you will be able to switch between those resolutions on the fly once your X server is installed. Once you have Xfree86 installed, to switch between resolutions, you hold the CTRL + ALT keys down and press the '+' key on your numeric keypad to increase the resolution or the '-' key to decrease it. Press the Enter key to continue.

Step 11d (Color depth)
This screen is asking you to select the color depth you wish to use. This depends on which resolutions you chose and what color depth your video card supports at those resolutions. If you have a pretty good video card and monitor, I would recommend choosing "24" since it will give you millions of colors. If your video card doesn't have a lot of memory and you think it won't support that color depth, choose "16" which will give you fewer colors, but will still look pretty good. Anything less than that and I would suggest you buy a new video card or monitor.

If your video card has 16MB of RAM and you are only going to run at 1280x1024 or less, you should be fine picking "24".

Make your selection and then press Enter to continue.

Step 12 (Choosing a window manager)
You will have to wait a minute while the X server is installed and configured. Once it is done, you should be back at the root prompt '#'. If you type "startx" at this point, the X server should start and show you a grey background and an 'X' for your mouse cursor. Not very fun yet is it? Press CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE in order to kill the X server.

You will need to install a window manager. I am going to install WindowMaker for this tutorial because that is what I like to use. Once this is installed, I will have you install a program that makes it easy to find and install Debian packages. Once that is installed, you will be free to search for and install any window manager you wish.

To install WindowMaker, please type the following at the command line, "apt-get install wmaker", and then press Enter. When prompted if you wish to continue, enter 'y' at the prompt and press Enter to download and install WindowMaker.

Once apt is finished downloading and installing WindowMaker, you will be back at the '#' prompt. Type "startx" at the command prompt, and when X loads again you should be in the WindowMaker environment.

Now, I don't like running X as root, so let's exit WindowMaker and then logout of the root account.

To exit WindowMaker, right click anywhere on the desktop to bring up the Debian menu. Next, go to "Window Managers" and select "Exit" from that menu. X should exit and you should now be back at the '#'.

At the '#' prompt, type the word "exit". You should now be back at your user account's prompt, which ends with a "$".

To go into X as a regular user, type "startx" again at the command prompt.

Table of contents
  1. "Introduction and how to get hold of Debian"
  2. "Getting to the main installation"
  3. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part I"
  4. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part II"
  5. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part III"
  6. "Going through the main installation cycle - Part IV"
  7. "System Configuration - Part I"
  8. "System Configuration - Part II"
  9. "Installing XFree86 - Part I"
  10. "Installing XFree86 - Part II"
  11. "Synaptic, Mozilla, Conclusion"
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