Linux - Editing your X config file

Answer ID 137
Published 11/08/2004 02:29 PM
Updated 02/25/2008 10:48 AM

Linux - Editing your X config file

In April of 2004, the Foundation released an X server based on
the XFree86 X server.  Many Linux distributions will use the
X server in the future, rather than XFree86.  The differences between
the two X servers should have no impact on NVIDIA Linux users with
two exceptions:

  1) The configuration file name, though it uses the same syntax

    as XFree86's XF86Config file, is called /etc/X11/xorg.conf;

    this README refers generically to these configuration files as

    "the X config file".

  2) The log file, though its output is nearly identical

    to the XFree86.0.log file, is called /var/log/Xorg.0.log; this

    README refers generically to these files as "the X log file".

When XFree86 4.0 was released, it used a slightly different XF86Config
file syntax than the 3.x series did, and so to allow both 3.x and 4.x
versions of XFree86 to co-exist on the same system, it was decided that
XFree86 4.x was to use the configuration file "/etc/X11/XF86Config-4"
if it existed, and only if that file did not exist would the file
"/etc/X11/XF86Config" be used (actually, that is an over-simplification
of the search criteria; please see the XF86Config man page for a
complete description of the search path).  Please make sure you know
what configuration file your X server is using.  If you are in doubt,
look for a line beginning with "(==) Using config file:" in your X log
file ("/var/log/XFree86.0.log" or "/var/log/Xorg.0.log").

If you do not have a working X config file, there are several ways
to start: there is a sample config file that comes with XFree86,
and there is a sample config file included with the NVIDIA driver
package (it gets installed in /usr/share/doc/NVIDIA_GLX-1.0/).
You could also use a program like 'xf86config'; some distributions
provide their own tool for generating an X config file.  For more
on X config file syntax, please refer to the man page (`man XF86Config`,
or `man xorg.conf`).

If you already have an X config file working with a different driver
(such as the 'nv' or 'vesa' driver), then all you need to do is find
the relevant Device section and replace the line:

     Driver "nv"

  (or Driver "vesa")


     Driver "nvidia" 

In the Module section, make sure you have:

     Load   "glx"

You should also remove the following lines:


     Load  "dri"

     Load  "GLcore"

if they exist.   There are also numerous options that can be added to the
X config file to fine-tune the NVIDIA X driver.  Please see Appendix D
for a complete list of these options.

Once you have configured your X config file, you are ready to restart X
and begin using the accelerated OpenGL libraries.  After you restart X,
you should be able to run any OpenGL application and it will automatically
use the new NVIDIA libraries. If you encounter problems, please see the

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS section of the read me file that came with

your driver.

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