Monday, February 23, 2009

Repair a Broken Xorg File

A reader recently tried out Ubuntu Netbook Remix's desktop-switcher and it killed his xserver-xorg file. He rebooted and could not load into Ubuntu's graphical user interface. He left a comment about how he had to reinstall Ubuntu to fix his Mini. Reinstalling Ubuntu for a broken xorg file is like killing a mosquito with a hand grenade. Reinstalling is not necessary, the fix is simple and can be done in about three minutes.

A Little Background On The X-Server:
The X.Org Server (officially the X.Org Foundation Open Source Public Implementation of X11) is the X server in the official reference implementation of the X Window System.

The X Window System (commonly X or X11) is a computer software system and network protocol that provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for networked computers. It implements the X display protocol and provides windowing on raster graphics (bitmap) computer displays and manages keyboard and pointing device control functions. In its standard distribution, it is a complete, albeit simple, display and human interface solution, but also delivers a standard toolkit and protocol stack for building graphical user interfaces on most Unix-like operating systems and OpenVMS, and has been ported to many other contemporary general purpose operating systems. Most modern GUIs developed for Linux and other UNIX-like systems, such as GNOME, KDE, and Xfce, use the X Window System as a foundation.
from Wikipedia

How to Fix Your xorg.conf File:
In a terminal type:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
This will allow you to reconfigure your xorg settings, fixing any resolution or graphic problems. In most cases, selecting the default options will fix the majority of your issues.

How To Access the Failsafe Terminal:
If you can't boot into a graphical user interface, you can always access the failsafe terminal from your GDM (Gnome Display Manager) screen.
Start your computer and wait until you get to the GDM (pictured below).
1. Click the Options menu and select the "Select Session..." option
2. Choose the Failsafe Terminal option
3. Log in with your username and password
4. Run the command as you would in the regular terminal:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
5. For most users, select the default settings
6. Reboot your machine and everything should be in working order

Have a question or problem that this article doesn't cover?
Ask our Ubuntu Mini 9 Google Group for help.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Desktop-Switcher Released for Intrepid

Desktop-Switcher is a desktop-mode switching applet. It allows you to quickly and easily switch between the default Ubuntu Gnome desktop and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. It has been available for Hardy since launch but only was released for Intrepid three days ago.


Once you have added the Ubuntu Netbook Remix Repository
You can install the desktop-switcher applet by typing in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install desktop-switcher

Once you have installed the desktop-switcher, you can find it under System>Preferences

It will pull up a simple menu allowing you to switch between Ubuntu Netbook Remix and the Classic Desktop.
Screenshot-Switch Desktop Mode

When the applet switches your desktop, your menus might need a little tweaking, but after a minute I had everything up and running.
tweaked desktop

Desktop-Switcher has been a long time coming to Intrepid. It's not perfect yet, it did have a problem remembering my theme preferences.
But now is the time to download, test, and report any bugs.

Have a question or problem that this article doesn't cover?
Ask our Ubuntu Mini 9 Google Group for help.