How To Configure Display On CentOS 6?

How exactly are you supposed to configure the display (i.e. set up X11)
on a CentOS 6 system? I mean, in the past, there was system-config-display, but that’s not supported any more. There is gnome-display-properties/System->Preferences->Display, but that seems to rely completely on auto-detection of the graphics card and monitors. What if this fails? Surely there should be a way to specify everything by hand?

Help, anyone?


- Toralf

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  1. #1 by Toralf Lund on January 25th, 2013 - 2:02 am

    Exactly.

    I have to say that I had some major headaches (mostly related to using KVMs) even with system-config-display with CentOS 5, though, related to the fact that the “auto” stuff would sometimes override the xorg.conf settings…

    Yep. This sort of worries me. I mean, one of the main reasons for using Linux, is that it does not traditionally take that approach – so you’re not completely stuck the day things don’t “magically” work after all.

    It worked out of the box exactly “like Windows”, by the way, that’s why I needed to fix things ;-)
    What I found was this:

    http://pkgs.org/CentOS-6-rhel-6/russian-fedora-free-x86_64/system-config-display-2.2-3.el6.R.x86_64.rpm.html

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  2. #2 by Ned Slider on January 22nd, 2013 - 9:44 am

    Yes, Xorg will still use /etc/X11/xorg.conf if present so you can craft a config file by hand.

  3. #3 by on January 22nd, 2013 - 9:58 am

    Ned Slider wrote:
    *sigh*
    I still miss Xfree86 and the xconfigurator, that was *NOT*
    desktop-dependant, and let you configure graphically and tune it.

    mark

  4. #4 by Toralf Lund on January 23rd, 2013 - 8:29 am

    Exactly. The tool mentioned above was actually post XFree86, though…

    Anyhow, I guess I suspected that the program was removed completely with no real replacement. Bad decision, if you ask me, but I suppose Red Hat is to blame, and not the CentOS people. It’s nice to know that you can still use the config file, but creating it from scratch is not always that easy. Perhaps especially if you have to do something like setting up a monitor the system somehow fails to detect automatically, but that may be listed in the config utilities, if you know what I’m saying…

    It seems like the system-config-display still can be built and used on the latest versions, though. I actually found a binary version via a little search. It actually turned out that I didn’t need it to get my display up and running, as the problem was actually a missing driver package, but I still think it’s nice to have.

    - Toralf

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  5. #5 by Scot P. on January 23rd, 2013 - 8:33 am

    I think you can also use

    X –config

    That should build an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file for you…

    Scot P. Floess RHCT (Certificate Number 605010084735240)
    Chief Architect FlossWare http://sourceforge.net/projects/flossware
    http://flossware.sourceforge.net
    https://github.com/organizations/FlossWare

  6. #6 by on January 23rd, 2013 - 10:04 am

    Toralf Lund wrote:

    Right. I hate having to edit xorg.conf by hand – it’s a real pain, init 3, edit, startx, wait for it to crap out, or ….

    Oh, of course it was RH’s. I think they’ve gone to “but it’ll work out of the box, like WinDoze!!!” (not that they’re alone in that).

    Really! Do you have a link to src?

    mark

  7. #7 by Scot P. on January 23rd, 2013 - 10:33 am

    I ran into a similar problem when using a diskless laptop – the display was not working in graphical mode…and I had not system-config-display
    (using CentOS 6.3)…

    Anyway, you can definitely do “X –config” to configure the xorg.conf file.

    Scot P. Floess RHCT (Certificate Number 605010084735240)
    Chief Architect FlossWare http://sourceforge.net/projects/flossware
    http://flossware.sourceforge.net
    https://github.com/organizations/FlossWare

  8. #8 by Cal Webster on January 25th, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    That’s a good start (the command is actually “Xorg -configure”) but it may leave open questions to the OP and others who may consult this thread in the future.

    We’ve had occasion to use 4 different methods of X-Windows configuration in EL6, without the old system-config-display tool. The choices are:

    1. Accept the Xorg auto-detected, “built-in” configuration. If it works, why mess with it?
    2. Generate and customize your own xorg.conf file.
    3. Use Xorg “hot-plug” config (/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/) to replace only part of the built-in configuration.
    4. Use a proprietary video driver and X configurator. This may be necessary with high-end video cards and/or multiple displays.

    I’ve outlined choices #2 and #3 below, as they are probably going to be of primary interest to the OP.

    I hope this information is of some use.

    ./Cal

    (I work on a restricted, isolated network without direct Internet access so I may not be able to respond to replies quickly.)

    ========================================[Generate and customize a xorg.conf file]
    ========================================
    # Save the Xorg log file to capture any errors (as root):

    cd /var/log/
    cp Xorg.0.log Xorg.0.log.beforeConfigure

    # Drop to run level 3 or boot into run level 3

    cd init 3

    # Tell Xorg to generate the config file:

    Xorg -configure

    # Make a copy to work on:

    cp -p /root/xorg.conf.new /root/xorg.conf

    # Look at the created config – get rid of extra screens and unnecessary data

    - Use for reference any xorg.conf in similar machines if you have them available
    - There should be one section for “Monitor”, “Device” (video card), and
    “Screen” to match the “ServerLayout” section.
    - See sample below

    =========================================[/Generate and customize a xorg.conf file]
    =========================================

    ============================[Xorg "hot-plug" config file]
    ============================
    # Use the same steps as above to get something to start with or to ensure proper formatting.
    - We just extracted the data we needed from the Xorg.0.log to create a hot-plug file, then dropped it into /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/.
    - We were only interested in getting the VNC module to load and vncpassword to work so ours probably has more in it than we need but it works.

    Xorg will pull anything not listed in the hot-plug files from its built-in configuration. All the same rules apply to a hot-plug file as do for xorg.conf

    See the sample hot-plug file below.

    =============================[/Xorg "hot-plug" config file]
    =============================

    =================[Sample xorg.conf]
    =================
    ## This is an edited, auto-generated xorg.conf from a Dell PowerEdge
    2800 running CentOS 6.3

    - We were interested in running the native VNC X server
    (tigervnc-server-module) so we added those entries in the appropriate places.
    - If you look at the top of your Xorg.0.log you’ll see what the Xorg server has auto-detected. It’s usually very good at detecting your video hardware. Armed with that information, you should be able to select and load the correct driver.
    - Some of our machines have high-end nVidia graphics cards so we opted to use the proprietary video drivers from nVidia to maximize the use of dual screens and high resolution. We’ve found that the open source drivers can sometimes be problematic, like on some of our Dell Precision T3400 machines.
    - The ATI Radeon driver was automatically listed and configured on this machine. According to our documentation, this machine had a “Radeon
    7000″ chipset so it matched.

    [root@pegasus log]# lspci | grep -i radeon
    10:0d.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI
    RV100 QY [Radeon 7000/VE]

    # From the Xorg.0.log
    ——————-

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