I broke xwindow


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Thread: I broke xwindow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    I broke xwindow

    Hello all,

    Unfortunately I broke the Linux computer at work. It has software on it that is configured so I can't just reinstall and loose these settings.

    To break the machine I was struggling to install an ATi X1600 GPU driver. I was attempting to install the required packages Xfree86-mesaGL and Xfree86-libs. I think I screwed things up by partially installing an older Xfree86 version (4.3) and possible disabling the current mesaGL and libs (which I later found to be registered not as the whole Xfree86-libs string etc) which I think were version 6.5 or something.

    When I rebooted the machine I was greeted with a failed Xserver start.

    So my question is:

    Can I manually install XServer from the CDs without loosing the installed programs? (much like a dirty reinstall on Windows).

    Being a rookie I need to be told the commands to do the Xserver configuration/reinstall also please.


    Machine is running Redhat Enterprise (EL) 5.1 (Kernel 2.6) KDE desktop (pretty sure). All packages were up to date via the software updater tool.


    All help much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    There's no way for me to know what you did, or how to fix it. My suggestion is to use the command line to back up the OS to a dvd or network drive, then search out a command line redhat update tool (there's got to be one) to bring all packages up to date.
    But yeah, you can install X from the cd's no problem.
    Need help in realtime? Visit us at #linuxnewbie on irc.libera.chat

    Few of us will do as much for our fellow man as he has done.
    --Andrew Morton on RMS

  3. #3
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    Not to throw salt in your wounds but if you didn't know what you were doing, why did you try this on a work computer? I broke much Linux stuff when I first started but it was my stuff and I did it without harming anything important. I hope you fix it and I hope you learned a lesson!
    I equivocate, therefore I might be.

    My Linux/Unix Boxes:
    Home: Slackware 10, CentOS 5.3, RHEL 5, Ubuntu Workstation 9.10, Work: RHEL 5, CentOS 5

  4. #4
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    Feb 2008
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    I'll accept the salt! Unfortunately for me, I know the most about computers and have been delegated to tend the linux box. It is a steep learning curve. It makes me appreciate how Windows doesn't let you modify files in use.

    It wasn't as though the OS told me that the changes may result in XServer failing to load.

    Can I access the equivalent to add/remove (the package manager) from the command line?

    What are the command lines to access the x-server configuration?

    All the suggestions on the internet seem not to relate to the Redhat flavor of linux but rather Fedora/Ub/Suse etc.

    I'm none to pleased. It was way to easy to break X.

  5. #5
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    It makes me appreciate how Windows doesn't let you modify files in use.
    OK, you've had a hard day, I'll forgive you for this one. Here's the difference, Windows insults you by assuming you're stupid and that you don't know what you're doing. Linux says if you've got that root password, you must know what you're doing so have at me. Don't blame the OS here. It just did what it was told and so did the software you installed. We all make mistakes. In time, assuming you stick with Linux, you'll come to understand my position.
    I equivocate, therefore I might be.

    My Linux/Unix Boxes:
    Home: Slackware 10, CentOS 5.3, RHEL 5, Ubuntu Workstation 9.10, Work: RHEL 5, CentOS 5

  6. #6
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    As was suggested....Backup!!! then you might try........
    http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/R...t-up2date.html
    "I was pulled over for speeding today. The officer said, "Don't you know
    the speed limit is 55 miles an hour?" And I said, "Yes, but I wasn't going
    to be out that long."

    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    COME VISIT ME IN RUSSIA NOW!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    system-config-display --reconfig

    That might work. Make sure you are in run level 3
    - TIMMY!


    Linux user #306469.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Ok, other things have kept me busy.

    I managed to TAR the /home directory, mount a Vista network drive and copy that archive out.
    Then I went to see what the RH boot ISO had to offer. I tried a repair but the moment you hit go it caused a fatal error.

    Things went bad to worse.

    Now the system won't even boot to console. It is stuck in the FSCK with a bad inode which can not be corrected (it crashes with signal 11). I had rebooted several times before into the console (after breaking X) so it appears the crash of the boot ISO screwed things up.

    I also found out I need to backup some more directories for the software to function.

    Running FSCK from a boot ISO like Knoppix isn't possible either since the HDDs are RAID1 and can't be mounted.

    Have setup a meeting with a Linux IT guy tommorow to see what is going on.

  9. #9
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    i can't stress enough to backup xorg.conf or xfree86 config file. as well as always back up a working kernel .config file. always backup inportand config files before trying new things. you have to edit the xfree86 config file if you use xfree86 . if you are using xorg then edit xorg.conf and change the driver settingt for your card. i might use a live cd and copy over a working x config file that would be the easy way to get it back
    "Software is like sex: it's better when its free."
    -LINUS TORVALDS

  10. #10
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    The file system glitch has wrecked the dependencies. Reinstall is only viable option. New HDD and new install.

    Shame on the linux file system for being so unstable.

  11. #11
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    Shame on the linux file system for being so unstable.
    Umm...no. Shame on inexperienced users for doing things they shouldn't be doing.
    I equivocate, therefore I might be.

    My Linux/Unix Boxes:
    Home: Slackware 10, CentOS 5.3, RHEL 5, Ubuntu Workstation 9.10, Work: RHEL 5, CentOS 5

  12. #12
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    Shame on the linux file system for being so unstable.
    Those are practically fighting words!

    But yeah, what klackenfus said.
    Check out the Unix/Linux Administration Program at Seneca College.
    Thanx to everyone that helped/helps me on this forum!

    t0mmyw on #linuxn00b

  13. #13
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    Shame on inexperienced users for doing things they shouldn't be doing.
    The FSCK failure was nothing to do with breaking XOrg. The system had been rebooted several times and successfully booted to console.

    Even when this system is up and running I will always be worried that it is going to spontaneously destroy itself. This is backed up by a Google search of all the people who have encounted a FSCK signal 11 failure. Repairing from the repair cd results in many broken dependencies. In my case, so much so that the system was not worth patching up.

    I have used and built PCs for over 15 years. I have never encounted such failure of an OS so soon into a build. You can not blame inexperience for a file system failure.

  14. #14
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    But, I do appreciate the suggestions for repairing. It was a shame that it was guzumped by the FSCK problem.

  15. #15
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    windows power users have the hardest time with the transition to linux
    Need help in realtime? Visit us at #linuxnewbie on irc.libera.chat

    Few of us will do as much for our fellow man as he has done.
    --Andrew Morton on RMS

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