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For XFree86 4.2.x with Debian see this HOWTO. This approach works with 4.5, too.

This is not an official Debian document! Please don't bother the Debian mailing lists or the bugreport system with problems resulting from following this document.

On my laptop (Sony Vaio R600HMK), I could not get 4.2.1 running in 1024x768@24. A test with RedHat 8.0 failed, too. A choice was to be made between 1024x768@8 or 640x480@24. XFree did not recognize the graphics memory above 1MB. Hello, shared memory...
After fiddling around with some driver binary for the i830 gfx chip and a little program which did weird stuff with the memory, I wanted to try the upcoming 4.3 release. It claimed to have proper support for the i830. Since there are no Debian GNU/Linux(http://www.debian.org) packages available yet (January 2003), I have decided to grab the current cvs from XFree86(http://www.xfree86.org/cvs). That was on 2002-12-17. Finally Debian packages are available, see backports section below.

Prerequisites

A working installation of XFree86 4.1.0 was installed on the Debian system. Additionally some packages from the archive had to be installed before building XFree86:

I made a separate directory, e.g. /usr/src/xfree86, changed into it and downloaded the sources from the cvs-server. Read the documentation at XFree86 CVS(http://www.xfree86.org/cvs) to learn how to do it. I checked out the latest release with cvs checkout -A xc.
Just to have a backup copy around, I moved the /etc/X11 directory to /etc/X11_Debian. Please note you may have to do other backups, too.

Compilation

I changed to the directory xc and read the INSTALL-X.org file first. The default settings were OK for me, so I just built by typing:
make World &> world.log
. After compiling had finished half an hour later, I checked the file world.log for any errors. Everything went smooth.

Installation

Stop all running X servers and/or displaymanagers before running the install script, e.g. /etc/init.d/gdm stop (change gdm to xdm or kdm according to your system).
I did not uninstall the already existing packages, because hundreds of packages rely on X. Yes, this gives you some inconsistencies in your package management, but I could not wait for Debian packages to show up.

Installation itself was quite easy with
make install &> install.log and
make install.man &> man.log
for the manual pages.

Configuration

To configure the X-Server I did: dpkg-reconfigure xfree86-xserver. Seems there are no ground-breaking differences between the configuration of 4.2.1. and 4.3, nice. :) But you may even succeed using the old configuration file. To check it I just started X. It worked after tweaking the collaboration of gpm and X. I had some problems after copying the old /etc/X11 directory from Debian to the aforementioned destination, so I switched back and reconfigured as explained above.

Post-Install

To avoid overwritings by further package updates I set these packages on HOLD with dselect. Maybe you have to check even more packages, fonts, libraries like OpenGL and so on, you may check the x11 and libs sections with dselect (my workaround to get a list of packages uses the version number of the X packages, which is hopefully unique dpkg -l | grep "4.2.1-3"):

lbxproxy
proxymngr
x-window-system
x-window-system-core
xbase-clients
xfree86-common
xserver-common
xserver-xfree86
xfonts-base
xfonts-base-transcoded
xfonts-scalable
xfonts-75dpi
xfonts-75dpi-transcoded
xfonts-100dpi
xutils
xvfb
xterm
xdm
xfs
xfwp
xlibmesa3
xlibs
xnest
xprt
twm
libdps-dev
libdps1
libdps1-dbg
libxaw7
libxaw7-dbg
libxaw7-dev

The above list can probably read into the package list (you have to put the keyword "hold" to the end of each line) with dpkg --set-selections.

You may remove the backup directory /etc/X11_Debian.

Troubleshooting

In case of trouble check the log files, e.g. /var/log/XFree86.0.log. Please use also the XFree86 docs, you may consider to copy them into /usr/share/doc/xserver-xfree86-4.3 Further information on X11 you may find in these HOWTOs at the LINUX DOCUMENTATION PROJECT - LDP(http://www.tldp.org):

Other HOWTOs:

Backported Packages

Sorry, I do not have time to keep a list of current back ports. So please check these repositories:

Credits


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