XF86Config file configured, you're ready to fire up the
X server and give it a spin. First, be sure that
is on your path.
The command to start up XFree86 is
This is a front-end to
xinit(in case you're used to using
xiniton other UNIX systems).
This command will start the X server and run the commands found in the
.xinitrc in your home directory.
.xinitrc is just a
shell script containing X clients to run. If this file does not exist,
the system default
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc will be used.
.xinitrc file looks like this:
This script will start up two
#!/bin/sh xterm -fn 7x13bold -geometry 80x32+10+50 & xterm -fn 9x15bold -geometry 80x34+30-10 & oclock -geometry 70x70-7+7 & xsetroot -solid midnightblue & exec twm
oclock, and set the root window (background) color to
midnightblue. It will then start up
twm, the window manager. Note that
twmis executed with the shell's
execstatement; this causes the
xinitprocess to be replaced with
twm. Once the
twmprocess exits, the X server will shut down. You can cause
twmto exit by using the root menus: depress mouse button 1 on the desktop background---this will display a pop up menu which will allow you to
Be sure that the last command in
.xinitrc is started with
and that it is not placed into the background (no ampersand on the end of
the line). Otherwise the X server will shut down as soon as it has
started the clients in the
Alternately, you can exit X by pressing
in combination. This will kill the X server directly, exiting the window
The above is a very, very simple desktop configuration. Many wonderful
programs and configurations are available with a bit of work
For example, the
fvwm window manager will
provide a virtual desktop, and you can customize colors, fonts,
window sizes and positions, and so forth to your heart's content.
If you are new to the X Window System environment, we strongly suggest
picking up a book such as The X Window System: A User's Guide.
Using and configuring X is far too in-depth
to cover here. See the man pages for
twm for clues on getting started.
This document is copyright 1996 by Eric S. Raymond. You may use, disseminate, and reproduce it freely, provided you:
These restrictions are intended to protect potential readers from stale or mangled versions. If you think you have a good case for an exception, ask me.
This document was originated by Matt Welsh in the dim and backward abysm of time. Thanks, Matt!