LKBEN11084: Howto reconfigure your xserver (xserver-xorg) in a debian like system


You have problems with your graphical interface and need to reconfigure your X server


Most of the time this is a configuration problem


The graphical interface used in Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, SuSE, ...) comes in two parts: X and a desktop manager like KDE or GNOME. The X server is an underlying chunk of software that ensures your graphics card and monitor work, and it provides a base for your desktop manager to run on. X is used as an engine to create the rich desktop platform. If you start the computer and you can only see text and no graphical interface, this is a problem with X.

First, reboot your computer to see if that fixes the problem. When your computer has booted, if you still have the same problem, your system may have told you that it cannot start X. If you did not see this message, press Ctrl-Alt-F7 to see if you can access the graphical interface. If this does not work, there is a configuration problem with X.

X stores its configuration in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Before you mess up your configuration, it is always wise to make a backup of the file. Even if X is not starting, some other parts of the configuration may be working fine. When you are logged on as user on a kubuntu or ubuntu system, you need to put the word sudo before the cp command.

cd /etc/X11
cp xorg.conf xorg.conf.old

First you move to the /etc/X11 directory and then you use the cp command to copy the existing file (xorg.conf) to a backup file (xorg.conf.old). You now have both an xorg.conf and an xorg.conf.old with the same information in them.

Now run the X configuration process: (on kubuntu and ubuntu you need to put sudo before the command)

dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

A configuration routine will start, and you can experiment with different settings in the routine. For more information about the configuration file you can use

man xorg.conf

Hope you get your X running.


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About the Author

Author: Wim Peeters - Keskon GmbH & Co. KG

Wim Peeters is electronics engineer with an additional master in IT and over 30 years of experience, including time spent in support, development, consulting, training and database administration. Wim has worked with SQL Server since version 6.5. He has developed in C/C++, Java and C# on Windows and Linux. He writes knowledge base articles to solve IT problems and publishes them on the Lubby Knowledge Platform.