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As a new user of Mandrake, first I apologise if you've seen this question before! I did do a search but couldn't find anything that answered my question. Am just trying to understand, as I want to use Linux a lot more.


OK, I've installed on my laptop, and the graphics card didn't list the driver, so I just chose 1024x768 flat panel, chose Intel 85x I think, and then set the colour depth.


It then went on about XFree86 (two options, one hardware accelerated), which I chose the faster one obviously (my previous install I chose not to have it loaded automatically, and I only got command prompt, so I reinstalled to get the GUI loaded as I couldn't figure out how to do it manually).


When I installed on the desktop, it didn't install XFree.


Do laptops have to use XFree or is it just certain video cards if the drivers aren't present?


Am I able to install a graphics driver that doesn't require using XFree? Or is there a benefit of using it?

Edited by ianw1974
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The X server is the core of desktop Linux, without you would just have a terminal (CLI) - some power users prefer not having a graphical desktop environment, but I don't think that's you.


XFree is one possible solution as a desktop environment, but has been taken over by Xorg - which is now the preferred X server.


Now that we've got the background out of the way ;) :


The X server will be installed with Mandrake (unless you tell it not to) and the driver for your screen card will allow you to fully utilise it WITHIN the X environment.


So, laptop or desktop it is still required.


That answers your basic question, but I suspect you are having problems actually getting into X? Please clarify...

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Hi, thanks for the reply.


I'm OK getting into it. Initially I said no to auto-load, and as you said, I just got a prompt to login and use it at CLI level.


I did try to load XFree, but I just got a blue screen and cross cursor and that was it. So I just turned off, reinstalled and said yes I want auto-load, and then I'm all working fine.


My main reason was, that when I installed the desktop (Dell Optiplex), I set the graphics card, colour depth etc when installing off the CD, but it made no mention about XFree. It was only when I came to my laptop (Toshiba Satellite A10), that when configuring the graphics card, it mentioned XFree as options for me to choose.


This kind of confused me, as I didn't see it with the desktop, and wasn't sure if it was because Mandrake didn't detect the drivers on the CD for the video card. I'm using Mandrake 10.0 Original.


The desktop is using ATI Radeon and detected this no problem. My laptop wanted me to choose a resolution for a Flat Panel, which I set to 1024x768, and then mentioned the XFree bit, and acceleration, configuring the heads independently and then setting the 24bit colour depth.


The graphics card in my laptop is Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME controller, however the default driver I used after selecting the Flat Panel, was Intel 85x.


I'm quite happy with using the XFree as obviously it sounds a requirement, I just wondered why I never saw it mentioned when I installed the desktop.

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It wasn't actually asking you to choose whether to *use* XFree86 or not. It was asking you which of two drivers (or possibly driver settings) you wanted to use. For some graphics cards / chipsets, asking this is necessary. For most, though, it isn't. Obviously your desktop uses a chipset / card for which the standard settings are always the best, and the installer does not need you to make a choice of which driver or which settings to use. If you have a graphical environment on your desktop machine you certainly have XFree86 (or, er, actually, X.org, as has been explained. My memory stinks, I don't remember if 10.0 used XFree86 or if it had already been replaced by X.org.) installed.

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It must be just the adapter in the laptop. I noticed when I visited the Intel website for updated drivers, it mentioned for X Server or similar (my memory gone!).


When I loaded 10.0, it didn't mention X.Org, so am assuming since it says XFree that this is what it is. Or did they package it as XFree even though it's X.Org? Either way, it's all working fine, so I'm happy with that.


I noticed a thread on upgrading to X.Org, is this necessary or shall I just stick with what I've got (the old addage, if it 'aint broke, don't fix it?). :D


Many thanks for all your help on this, I appreciate it as a newbie user. I'm going to persevere!!! :-)

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