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GUI in Mandrake???

Ali Gilani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 01, 2002
Posts: 137
i fianlly mamaged to get mandrke installed along with Xp and win98. but now when i start linux it starts in text mode like ms-dos. when i write STARTX it gives an error"screens found but none with usable configuration" i also tried XFdrake. but doesnt work either.. plz help
i installed all gui's in installation!!!
Ali
[ June 23, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11437
    
  87

Hi Ali
You need to do two things:
  • Configure the X Windows System
    Under RedHat (Mandrake is built on RedHat so you may have this) you can run <code>Xconfigurator</code> which will build the configuration file for your hardware.
    If you dont have that, then you could try running the old standby <code>xf86config</code> which comes with all X11 based systems. It will ask you lots of questions about your hardware rather than trying to guess it itself.
  • Have the X Windows System start automatically at startup (I assume you want this).

  • Once you can run the X Windows System from a shell prompt, you can set it up to start automatically. Edit the file <code>/etc/inittab</code>. You should find the first non comment line will look similar to <code>id:3:initdefault:</code> Change the runlevel from 3 to 5 to have the system start in graphics mode.

    Regards, Andrew


    The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
    Enamul Haque
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jun 07, 2003
    Posts: 21
    I have another problem!
    I first installed Mandreake Linux - 9 and then found a very good boot loader! But after installing the WinXp in another drive the loader gone and now I know that if I again install Mandrake I'll get the OS with Boot loader back but without installing again what can I do ???


    <b><i>We all are the components of a huge program...... the programmer is always debugging us with His debugger.</b></i>
    Ali Gilani
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 01, 2002
    Posts: 137
    thanks andrew but i am just a beginner so can u write all that down again in simple english plz. it would be very helpful. post the reply on the forum plz. thanks
    Ali
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Marshal Commander

    Joined: Mar 28, 2003
    Posts: 11437
        
      87

    Hi Ali
    This post is just providing background / explanitory information. You do not need to know anything in here, so you can just skip to the next post where I get a bit more practical if you like.
    In the Microsoft world, when you install the operating system, either Microsoft or the hardware manufacturer develops the drivers (software) to operate in graphics mode. These are quite often "lowest common demoninator" drivers - you have a choice of only the 3 or 4 resolutions that they have defined (the card I currently have in my Linux box will only allow 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768), and limited support for different monitors.
    In contrast, under Linux the drivers are often made by a person who has a particular graphics card rather than by the manufacturer. And instead of the driver being tied to the particular card, it is developed to work with the particular components that are on the card. So if two manufacturers build graphics cards that use the same components, then the one driver should work for both cards. All configuring of the cards, and of the monitors (and keyboards / mice etc) can be modified by the end user. For example, in Linux I run at 1152x864 resolution. I could have moved up to 1280x1024 but I find the text to be a bit too small at that resolution. 1152x864 is a very non standard resolution. 1280x1024 is a standard resoluton but Microsoft do not support it for my graphics card.
    Anyway, to support the many ways that the cards and monitors can be configured, the X Windows System (the GUI) has a very complex configuration file, where all sorts of low level options are configured. These are as complex as:
    <code><pre>
    Mode "1024x768i"
    DotClock 45
    HTimings 1024 1048 1208 1264
    VTimings 768 776 784 817
    Flags "Interlace"
    EndMode
    </pre></code>
    This information is all needed by the X Windows system to tell the graphics card at what time it should turn on the raster to produce a dot on the screen.
    If you have the manual for your graphics card and monitor then you can usually work out these numbers by running some formulas (and/or drawing graphs to find non standard solutions ).
    But most people do not want to do this. They just want to use the @#$%%^ thing.
    So, there are tools that try and determine what chipset you have installed (which graphics card you have) and what your monitor can support.
    If you install in text mode, then these tools have not yet been run, so the configuration file will not contain useful information.
    Alternatively, if the tool guessed the wrong card (or offered a couple of choices for cards and the wrong one was chosen) then the configuration file will be wrong.
    In either case, when the GUI tries to start up, it works through the list of what it thinks should be available. So in the case above, it will try and set the dotclock to 45 (dont worry about what that means) and the graphics card will tell it that it cannot use that mode. So the GUI will try the next resolution / mode.
    Eventually it will have worked through all the configurations in the config file, and report that no screens are available with a usable configuration.
    By the way, the reason why it reports "screens" instead of "configurations" is quite literal - the X Windows System has (since the late 80s I believe) allowed for multiple physical screens to be attached directly to the one computer (multi head displays) as well as multiple screens to be attached to remote workstations. So it is quite literal in that it is saying it could not find a useable screen.
    Regards, Andrew
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Marshal Commander

    Joined: Mar 28, 2003
    Posts: 11437
        
      87

    Hi Ali,
    OK, first step is to get the GUI to run when you type <code>startx</code> at the text mode prompt.
    By the way, in case you do not know this already, Linux (and all Unix systems) are case sensitive. I will always type the commands using the correct case. So even if a command looks weird, it is probably correct (baring typos )
    What has happened is that the GUI (X Windows System) is trying to get your graphics card to work in a manner that your graphics card cannot do. It reports back that it cannot do this, and so you get the no "usable configuration" message.
    What you need to do is re-configure the GUI so that a uesable configuration can be found.
    To do this, you need to run a program that will allow you to rebuild the configuration file.
    You have said that XFdrake does not work. I am unfamiliar with this program, although I am aware that it is meant to do the configuration for you. When you say it does not work - what happens when you run it?
    Presumably if XFdrake was working correctly, it would configure everything for you, and you would be able to type <code>startx</code> at the shell prompt and get the GUI working.
    Since this is not working, then I recommend you type <code>xf86config</code> at the command prompt. This is a very interactive program, relying far more on user supplied information on what your hadware is, rather than trying to guess for itself.
    If you have the manuals for your graphics card and your monitor, then the answers to all the questions <code>xf86config</code> will ask you are in the manuals.
    If you do not have the manuals, then I suggest you boot into XP or Win98. Go to the control panel and open your display control. Then write down all the configuration settings that Microsoft have already worked out (what the card type is, what the resolution is, etc). Then see if you can give this information to <code>xf86config</code>.
    If you are still having troubles, and just want to get something working (just to prove that something does work!!!) then choose the "generic" options within <code>xf86config</code>. (Generic SVGA card capable of 800x600, generic monitor capable of 800x600 (assuming your PC is capable of this)). That way you can at least see what is going on.
    Still nothing - then you will need to post here (or on your local Linux user group's mailing list) some more details of exactly what type of graphic card you are trying to get running.
    Let us know how you get on.
    Regards, Andrew
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Marshal Commander

    Joined: Mar 28, 2003
    Posts: 11437
        
      87

    Hi Enamul,
    You should really start a separate topic for this, as people may decide to skip this topic if they dont like the heading of "GUI in Mandrake", so some very clever people may miss your question and not answer it.
    I am obviously getting old. I am way back in RedHat 7.1 and I refuse (on moral grounds) to even touch a system with XP on it). So therefore my information may be out of date.
    Can you still boot into Linux (do you have a boot disk?)
    Under RedHat 7.1 and earlier, the boot loader was <code>lilo</code>. From RedHat 7.2 (I believe) onwards the boot loader is <code>grub</code>. (Mandrake is, I believe, based on RedHat). You could try doing a <code>man</code> on either <code>lilo</code> or <code>grub</code> to see which is installed. The man pages will tell you how to configure them, and how to run them.
    Both will allow you to overwrite the boot sector. Lilo at least will allow you to back up the boot sector in case you later decide that it was a mistake. I think grub should do the same.
    Lilo can boot Windows 9x, Linux, and BSD systems, however it cannot boot Windows NT systems. I do not know whether Grub can boot Windows NT systems. I do not know which category XP falls into, although I suspect that it will be the 9x category.
    Hmmmm, this post seems to be a lot of "I dont know"s. If you are willing to take things very slow, I can try and work through this with you. But it will be a very slow process.
    Regards, Andrew
    [ June 09, 2003: Message edited by: Andrew Monkhouse ]
    Gray Geek
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jun 19, 2003
    Posts: 5
    Originally posted by ali gilani:
    i fianlly mamaged to get mandrke installed along with Xp and win98. but now when i start linux it starts in text mode like ms-dos. when i write STARTX it gives an error"screens found but none with usable configuration" i also tried XFdrake. but doesnt work either.. plz help
    i installed all gui's in installation!!!
    Ali

    Ali,
    I had the same problem trying to install Mandrake 9.0 on my new DELL GX260 box. I could only get a reliable xserver going if I kept the resolution 660X800 or less, and XFDrake wouldn't help.
    I think it was an MDK 9.0 specific problem since MDK 8.2 worked perfectly on this box and MDK 9.1 works even better!! In fact, MDK 9.0 failed to install on xserver on all six boxes I tried to install it on, while MDK 9.1 slid like a silk glove onto each of them.


    ==========<br />GrayGeek
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Marshal Commander

    Joined: Mar 28, 2003
    Posts: 11437
        
      87

    Hi Ali

    well my exams are over and i am back to trying to get mandrake to work. i tried all the things u said but still mandrake doesnt start. oh by the way i dont have a graphics card, i have a graphics software by intel installed and that provides me with all graphics handling. please advise on how i can get mandrake to work, thanks. u can reply to here or on the topic forum. just tell me if u r doing it there. thanks

    I prefer to answer in the forum, since others can then correct me if I make a mistake, or can add things if I miss something (especially those who are more familiar with Mandrake).
    You said that you are back to trying to get mandrake to work
    Just a technicality, but Mandrake is working - just not in graphics mode. Not much help I know, but it is worth pointing out, since one of your earlier posts was talking about setting up a Linux system as a server. If all you want is to run a server, then you have that already, and you may not need to get graphics running in order to use the server. Regardless of what your use is though, we will try and help you get graphics working.
    You also said: i dont have a graphics card
    It is possible to have a computer without a graphics card installed, and Linux can handle this (I don't know about Microsoft Windows). However it is very unusual. I suspect that you do have a graphics card, possibly one built directly into the motherboard (since you are unaware of it's existance). If you can plug a monitor or a TV into your computer, then you do have a graphics card. Did you buy a "named" computer (e.g. Dell, IBM, Compaq) and if so, can you tell us the name and model. Even if not a named brand, perhaps just giving us as many specifications as possible might help to identify what you need to do.
    Did you see "Gray Geek"'s post suggesting that Mandrake 9.0 may have issues identifying hardware? You previously mentioned that you were using Mandrake 9.0. Is it possible for you to try an earlier or later version of Mandrake?
    Did you follow the suggestion:

    If you do not have the manuals, then I suggest you boot into XP or Win98. Go to the control panel and open your display control. Then write down all the configuration settings that Microsoft have already worked out (what the card type is, what the resolution is, etc). Then see if you can give this information to <code>xf86config</code>.

    If so, what was the result? What does Microsoft think you have?
    Did you follow the suggestion:

    If you are still having troubles, and just want to get something working (just to prove that something does work!!!) then choose the "generic" options within <code>xf86config</code>. (Generic SVGA card capable of 800x600, generic monitor capable of 800x600 (assuming your PC is capable of this)). That way you can at least see what is going on.

    If so, did it work? If not, what happened?
    I am sorry that I havent provided much help here, but we do need to get some of the results back from the questions we are asking in order to go to the next step.
    Regards, Andrew
     
    With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
     
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