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mouse playing up after changing XF86Config

now i can't even use my mouse?



10:32 pm on Jan 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


well i solved the dual boot problem, now it's onto the setup :)


i read the howto on linuxlookup and plunged straight in at the deep end. not before i had made a XF86Config.BAK

well RH8 didn't boot properly, it said that there was an error in the config file - and gave me a graphical option to configure the monitor / graphic settings again. I chose the default settings and it said that the XF86Config had been overwritten with the new settings.

i then rebooted and x appears to load fine - the resolution and colours are good - but my mouse has gone completely haywire? i am unable to see it and it keeps on jumping around the top of the screen.

i have even tried copying the XF86Config.BAK (the copy i made of the original file) back onto itself and rebooting, but no joy. my mouse is completely crazy.

anyone have any clues?

much obliged.


11:22 pm on Jan 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Jamie,
Glad to here you are up and running...

If you can get to the start-here: icon on your desktop and then system-settings and then mouse you will be able to set up your mouse again , hopefully that will solve your problem.


5:56 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Only a nitpick-note: you probably are using a post-4.0 version of XFree86, that means that the configuration file should be /etc/X11/XF86Config-4: without the -4 a new server will not even look at it and will not change anything.

If you can't solve it with

icon on your desktop and then system-settings

above then post the contents of /etc/X11/XF86Config-4, only the parts under Section "InputDevice", should be about 7-15 lines (I hope it is not against the forum rules) and we'll see how to fix it.


9:12 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

my mouse has gone completely haywire

Do you have a nvidia video card? I had the same problem if I made the wrong graphic or mouse settings. It's been awhile but if I remember right, to get the mouse to work right again I had to set the screen resolution to 800*600 and use the vesa video drivers.

To fix it so I could set the resolution to what I wanted and still have the mouse work right, I had to install the nvidia drivers that nvidia makes available from their site. There are two ways to do it and I still needed to edit XF86Config but before going into the how to do it, it best to find out if you have a nvidia card.


6:51 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

hi all,

well at the end i wimped out and reinstalled RH8 - it seemed to be the faster option. especially as when i tried to edit the XFConfig file again, the window focus kept on changing.

well at least i'm getting some good vi practice in ;)

now i'm gonna have another go at the dual monitor setup.

there is no XF86Config-4, only XF86Config.

i am just about to download the newest nvidia drivers - there's even an rpm, which i hope will make installing easy. both cards are nvidia geforce 2 mx (one on agp with 64mb one on pci with 32mb)

on another note, my second monitor which runs on the pci card only uses 3/4 of the screen to display - no ammount of twiddling positional knobs can center and fill the screen. i suspect this has something to do with the refresh rates, it's an old 14" monitor - am going to investigate.

thanks everyone


7:05 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Jamie ...

The newest 4191 nvidia drivers have some problems. Check out the forum for linux link on the down load page.

You should use version 3123

added: Redhat 8 uses XF86Config the -4 one went away


7:25 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

beginners question: how can i exit the x server and just use the terminal?

i am unable to find a command for it anywhere. and i have to exit before insalling or changing graphic cards, etc


<added> thanks david i am reading them now </added>

added again after reading the post on installing redhat 8 and nvidia - how depressing ;) - i don't even know what a kernel is?


7:45 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The way I do it is change to run level 3 , type telinit 3 at the prompt should do it.

If you are going to mess with the nvidia drivers I would reccomend editing your file /etc/inittab and set the default run level to 3. You will see a line "id:5:initdefault:" change the 5 to a 3 and save. That will boot you to a command prompt not the Xwindow system. Then when you want to start the window system you can type "telinit 5" or you can start X in run level three with "startx". Once you have your drivers installed and you are comfortable all is working change the /etc/inittab file back to 5. Doing this will keep you from locking your self out should it mess up.


8:04 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just had a thought you will need the kernel source installed to install the nvidia drivers.

If you have registered with the Redhat network and updated your system you can install the source by typing "up2date -f kernel-source". If you are serious about Redhat this is a good thing to do. All security and package updates come from this.

If you are not going to use the redhat network you can install from your instalation cd using the package manager.

With the nvidia drivers every time you update the linux kernel you need to reinstall the nvidia drivers.

I think of the "kernel" as the heart of linux, everything else is software that you plug in to it.


8:15 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

thanks david. will do.

how do i then stop x windows and go back to just command prompt without rebooting?


8:21 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I change runlevels (explained in post 8), there may be another way but I don't know it.


8:56 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

sorry misunderstood - thanks


2:21 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

how do i then stop x windows and go back to just command prompt without rebooting?

It depends in part on how you started it. If you are running XDM, GDM, KDM, or some other program that lets you log directly in to X, then you have to stop that program after you have logged out of your X session. The way I usually do this is as follows:

1) Log out of your X session. If you are using Gnome or KDE, then use the foot menu/ KDE (I think it's a gear?) menu to choose the log out option. Any other window manager will probably produce a menu that includes an 'exit <whatever>' option if you click on the screen some place where there isn't anything else showing. (Try all three buttons - which one produces this menu varries.) Failing all of the above, use the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Backspace

2) If logging out puts you back at a command prompt, you weren't running KDM, GDM, or XDM. X is no longer running. Otherwise, you will need to stop your display manager. Start by hitting Ctrl+Alt+F1, which should give you a text-only login prompt. (on /dev/tty1) Log in as 'root'. On a Debian system running GDM, the command now would be '/etc/init.d/gdm stop'. Substitude kdm or xdm if you are running that instead. I *think* these are right for Red Hat as well, but I don't have an RH machine handy to double check, and this is an area where there is some difference between the two distros.

Of course, if you don't actually need to *stop* X, just want a command line for a while, you can simply hit Ctrl+Alt+F#, where F# is F1-F6 (Probably. This is configurable, and I've certainly set up systems to use more, but if you don't know how to do all this, you've probably still got the defaults.) You can then switch between six separate command line screens with Alt+F#, and go back to X with Alt+F7.


2:44 pm on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

thanks dingman - will try these out. some great info for newbies (me) there :)

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