X Window Management

Because this appendix is a Linux text command reference, this section addresses only tools that you can call from a command-line interface. However, many of the tools in this section require a GUI such as GNOME or KDE. Several important tools are available to help you configure the GUI, as well as the GNOME and KDE desktop environments. Red Hat is also creating a series of GUI tools that enable you to administer just about every part of Linux.

X Window Configuration

There are two basic tools for configuring the Linux GUI: xf86config and redhat-config-xfree86 . You can run either tool from the regular command-line interface. Both tools are designed to help you edit the main X Window configuration file, /etc/X11/XF86Config . Alternatively, you can always edit this file directly in a text editor such as vi . You ll find more information on each of these options in Chapter 15 .


While xf86config is not included in Red Hat Linux 9, it is a standard tool that you can use if you download another version of the XFree86 server from www.xfree86.org . When you run xf86config , you can configure serveral different components , as described in Table A.16. Note that you don t have to have every possible bit of information.

Table A.16: Information for xf86config





Nine different protocol types available

Microsoft protocol

Third Button

Chord Middle (for a Logitech mouse with three buttons or a mouse with a clickable scroll wheel)


Simulate Middle Button

Eumlate3Buttons (when you click both the right and left buttons simultaneously , this simulates a middle button command in the GUI)


Mouse Device

Device name



25 options

Generic 101-key PC (choice 1)

National Layout

By country

Must make a selection; U.S. English is most standard

Variant Name

Create your own label

Default label = us

XKB Options

If you want special keys, type y


Monitor Horizontal Sync

You can select or type in a special rate


Monitor Vertical Refresh

You can select or type in a special rate

50 “70KHz


Monitor label

My Monitor

Video Card Database

Type y for preconfigured cards


Video Card Memory

Memory in KB



Video card label

My Video Card

Color Depth

1 “24 bits

Configured for 8, 16, and 24 bits


One of the advantages of redhat-config-xfree86 is that you can start it from the command-line interface. It s functionally similar to the older XF86Setup tool; it probes your system and opens menus in a minimal GUI configuration. And you don t have to make so many choices with redhat-config-xfree86; unlike with xf86config , you don t need to make decisions on input devices (a mouse and a keyboard). Based on what you know about your video card and monitor, you can configure a number of items, as described in Table A.17.

Table A.17: Information for redhat-config-xfree86




640 480 through 1920 1440.

Color Depth

8 bit (256 Colors), 15 bit or 16 bit (Thousands of Colors), and 24 bit (Millions of Colors).

Monitor Type

Configurable by make/model; generic versions available. Can also set Horizontal Sync and Vertical Refresh Rate; in some cases, probing is allowed.


Click the Set DPI button and you can enter the height and width of your monitor.

Video Card

Configurable by make/model. You can set memory; some cards can be probed. You can select a different driver. If your card was detected , special options may be added; you can add other options for XF86Config .
In some cases, it s also possible to enable 3D acceleration; however, Linux support for 3D often lags the hardware release from the video card manufacturer.

GUI Administration Tools

Linux provides several other GUI-based administrative tools. Many are in the redhat-config-* series; they re available only if you ve installed the corresponding RPM packages. Most of the tools listed in Table A.18 are discussed in more detail in Chapters 15 and 19 . Most won t work unless you re already in a GUI such as GNOME or KDE. However, you can start them from a terminal window in a GUI using the tool name shown in the table.

Table A.18: Graphical Administration Tools




A network traffic analyzer; see Chapter 22 .


A tool for formatting 3.5- or 5.25-inch floppy disks.


A tool that reads detected hardware on your computer.


A GNOME file manager.


A DNS Server configuration tool; closely related to redhat-config-bind-gui .


A date/time zone configurator; can synchronize with an available NTP server (both commands start the same tool).




A tool for configuring the Apache Web server via /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf .


A basic keyboard configurator.


A tool for configuring a Kickstart file; see Chapter 05 .


A tool that allows you to select the default from the languages you ve installed.


A tool for configuring Linux for your mouse or pointing device; if you have a serial mouse, you can set the port. It s the GUI version of mouseconfig .


A tool that allows you to configure existing network devices, /etc/ hosts , /etc/resolv.conf; different profiles allow for different configurations, such as docking ports. The text version is redhat-config-network-tui .

redhat-config-network- druid

A tool for configuring new network adapters, including telephone modems; a.k.a. the Internet Configuration Wizard.


An NFS server configuration tool.


A basic RPM package management tool; you can install or remove packages by groups, or individual RPMs. Successor to gnorpm .


A printer configuration tool, equivalent to printconf; see Chapter 25 for more information; closely related to redhat-config-printer-gui; the text mode version is redhat-config-printer-tui .


A kernel tuner; changes are written to /etc/sysctl.conf , and used in /proc files.


A tool that allows changes to the root password.


A tool to configure shared directories on a Samba server.


An iptables firewall configurator; it s the GUI version of lokkit .


A graphical front end for chkconfig; controls active services in different runlevels.


A tool that probes for and lists detectable sound cards; if you need to customize settings, use sndconfig or edit /etc/modules.conf directly.


A user and group management tool; frond end for editing the main user and group files in /etc : passwd , group , shadow , gshadow .


Previously discussed; successor to Xconfigurator .


A tool that opens log files from /var/log .


A tool that allows you to switch between available GUIs; normally GNOME, KDE, and twm.


Mastering Red Hat Linux 9
Building Tablet PC Applications (Pro-Developer)
ISBN: 078214179X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 220

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