We strongly recommend that our XFree86 4.0 binary distributions
be installed using the
Xinstall.sh script that we provide.
The main reason that we make this recommendation is that there are a lot
of steps in the manual installation process, and those steps can vary
according to the situation. There is, however, a description of the
manual installation process for the most common cases below for those who
might need it.
Put all of the downloaded files into a single directory (choose some temporary location with enough space). Become the super user (root), cd to that directory, then run the installer script as follows:
Answer the prompts that come up. If you are missing something that is required to run this version of XFree86, the installer may tell you to install it before trying again. If you don't have all of the mandatory files listed above, then the installer will tell you which ones are missing and ask you to download them before trying again.
The installer asks some questions that may not have obvious answers. The information here should help you answer them. In most cases, apart from the first question, the default answers should be OK.
If you run the installer from within an X session (the installer checks
$DISPLAY is set), you will be warned that doing so is not
a good idea. Unless you have a good reason for knowing that this won't
be a problem, you should exit your X session, including stopping xdm or
equivalent if it is running, before continuing. If you ignore this
warning and run into problems, well, you were warned!
If you have an existing X installation, you will be warned that proceeding
with this installation will overwrite it. Only those things that are
part of our standard distribution will be overwritten. Other X
applications that you may have installed will not be removed. Some
configuration files may be overwritten though, but the installer should
prompt you before doing so. As the opening greeting says, it is
strongly recommended that you backup any existing installation
before proceeding. If you want your old applications to still be there
after you've installed, don't do the "backup" by simply renaming
/usr/X11R6 directory. It is better to make a copy of
it, and then install over the top of the original one. If you run into
problems and want to revert to the old installation, you can then
delete the overwritten one and copy the saved version back.
During the first part of the installation over an existing version, the script may remove some old files or directories that would get in the way of the new installation. It will list which files/directories have been removed. If none are listed, then none were removed.
The next step when installing over an existing version is to check for
existing configuration files. As of XFree86 version 3.9.18, the run-time
configuration files are installed by default under
instead of under
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11. The installer will move
the existing ones for you and create the necessary symbolic links. If
you don't want to have these configuration files under
then you should answer "no" when asked about it. Answering "no" here
also means that the new configuration files will be installed in the
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11 location. Note: for the rare systems
that don't have symbolic links, this question will not be asked.
The default answer is "yes" because that is best for most situations.
It is our new default. It makes it easier to share the
directory between multiple hosts, and allows it to be mounted read-only.
If you don't need these features, then you can safely answer "no" if you
don't want them moved.
When installing over an existing version, you will be prompted before
each set of configuration files is installed. If you haven't made any
customisations to your existing configuration files, then you can safely
answer "yes" for each of these. If you have made customisations, you
can try answering "no". If you run into problems later, you may need
to manually merge your customisations into the the new version of the
configuration files. The configuration files can all be found in
Xetc.tgz tarball. See the section below about manual
installation for information about extracting them separately.
After the configuration files have been dealt with, the other mandatory components of the binary distribution will be installed. This should proceed without any user intervention.
If you downloaded any of the optional components, the installer will ask you about each one before it is installed. The default answer is "yes". If there are any that you've since decided that you don't want to install, answer "no" when prompted.
After that is done, the main part of the installation is complete. The
next steps are to tidy up some aspects of the installation. The first
of these is to run "
ldconfig" on systems that require it, so
that the newly installed shared libraries are accessible. Then
fonts.dir files in some directories are updated so that
the fonts can be accessed correctly. Next, the installer checks to
see if your system has a termcap file or terminfo files. If it finds
the former, it tells you how my may update the entries in that file.
If it finds the latter, it asks you if you want it to update them
Finally, the installer asks you if you want a link created for the
rstart utility. On most modern systems, the link isn't essential,
so the default answer is "no". Answer "yes" if you know that you need
it. If you find later that you need it, you can create it easily by
rm -f /usr/bin/rstartd ln -s /usr/X11R6/bin/rstartd /usr/bin/rstartd
The next step is to configure the X server. That is covered in detail
in an as-yet unwritten document :-(. In the meantime, there are two
ways to create a basic X server configuration file for XFree86 4.0.
One is to run the
xf86config utility. Another is to use the
-configure X server option:
The X server config file (
XF86Config) format has changed
compared to 3.3.x. Also, its default location is now
Finally, there is now only one X server for driving video hardware,
and it is called "
XFree86". Once you're satisfied with the
operation of the new X server, you can safely remove the old
XF98_* X server binaries from
After the X server configuration is done, it may be advisable to reboot, especially if you run xdm (or equivalent) or the font server (xfs).