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Lesson 9 Troubleshooting common X problems
Objective List common X problems and explain how to solve them.

Troubleshooting common X Problems

X windows problems commonly arise from incorrect configuration files and initialization scripts. Naturally, troubleshooting is the most challenging aspect of system administration. The examples in this lesson serve to illustrate the principles of identifying possible sources of the problem and systematically narrowing down this list.
The table below illustrates some common problems and possible solutions to help you troubleshoot your X problems.

Common problem Iems to check or possible solutions
No windows appear Make sure the X applications exist Make sure the window manager is listed last in the .xinitrc file in your home directory Make sure the window manager's configuration files exist
The mouse doesn't respond Make sure the mouse is attached Use mouseconfig to verify the configuration Restart X
X Windows doesn't start Check /etc/X11/XF86Config for any possible problems Use SuperProbe to verify you're using the correct X server
Display is off-center Check the monitor's internal alignment and adjust as necessary

Gnome Desktop

The term desktop refers to the presentation of windows, menus, panels, icons, and other graphical elements on your computer screen. Originally, computer systems such as Linux operated purely in text mode, which means no mouse, no colors, just commands typed on the screen. Desktops provide a more intuitive way of using your computer. As with most things in Linux, the desktop is built from a set of interchangeable building blocks. The building blocks of your desktop, to use a car analogy, are:
  1. The X Window System (which is like the frame of the car)
  2. The GNOME, KDE, or Xfce desktop environment (which is like a blueprint of how the working parts fit together)
  3. The Metacity window manager (which provides the steering wheel, seat upholstery, and fuzzy dice on the mirror)
  4. The Fedora desktop theme (the paint job and the pin stripe)
The next lesson concludes this module.

Troubleshooting Xproblems - Exercise

Before moving on to the next lesson, click the Exercise link below to practice troubleshooting a typical problem with X.
Troubleshooting Xproblems - Exercise