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Full Version: Redhat 9 Almost Installed! Wrong Monitor Selection
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I've been a computer fanatic since I was 5 years old back in 1982 or so. I've always had a strong learning curve and dabbled in various operating systems and programming languages as well as gaining lots of hardware experience. But when I started getting into Linux, I finally knew what it felt like to be totally lost as if I didn't know anything. It took me about 10 hours of searching this forum over a period of weeks just to find one single post that revealed to me how to get a "terminal" window to open in Linspire 4.5. Before looking at this forum, I looked on the Linspire website and performed various google searches. I really want to love Linux but all I've learned so far is that I HATE Linspire almost as much as I hate Windows XP and the only reason I hate Windows XP more is because you have to pay for it.

I'm using M$ Virtual PC under Windows 2000 (<rant> I LOVE emulators, by the way, I use Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, PlayStation, Commodore Vic20/64/128, Apple II e/c/gs, old school Macintosh and Mac OS X 10.3, TI graphing calculators, various ATARI, MAME32 arcade emu, GameBoy and Advance, among others </rant>)...Anyway, I have various operating systems installed under Virtual PC, including, of primary importance, Linspire 4.5 and Red Hat 9.


How do I control the display mode and monitor scan/refresh rate before booting into the GUI?

When I installed Red Hat 9, it asked me for the desired display mode and monitor settings, and, if I would have left it alone, I believe all would be well, but I set it to use the scan/refresh rate for my actual monitor, a Gateway VX900 with a maximum vertical refresh rate of about 160Hz, instead of using settings that Virtual PC could handle, like 60Hz. So when the setup restarted the virtual system, upon entering the GUI, the display was stretched and somewhat garbled. I could partly make out the words "Welcome, There are a few more..."

So I searched the forum some more and found that I could boot with a "init=3" or something like that so I got to a "command prompt"<?terminology> and navigated to etc/dev/.... something or other and changed something in a file there that I thought might make the GUI boot to 800x600, BUT no luck.

Sorry for not being more specific, but I can't remember how I did it. All I know is that I need help.

My goals are to: 1. Learn to Love Linux 2. Be able to do EVERYTHING that I can do in Windows 2000 including using ALL applications that are designed to run under Windows possibly by using VMWare which I have.

Please remember, I ask you to be VERY specific. It took me two weeks to "open a terminal"!!!

Also, I just got SuSE 9.2. I don't know anything about that either.

Some computer info:

AMD Athlon XP 2400+
GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
Primary IDE: 250GB (not much free space) five NTFS partitions, pagefile, system, programs, data, spare
Secondary IDE: 120GB five NTFS partitions, CDRW
Monitor: Gateway VX900

Note: Virtual PC emulates the video card as an S3 chipset and the hard drive, which linux had no problem partitioning to it's settings except that I had to limit it's size, is a single file in my NTFS data partition.
cagey cretin
Here is how I solved that issue when I got a flat screen:

Start over and install the OS as before, *except* select text mode to start up this time, not the graphical user interface. When you go through the whole deal, your system will start in text mode (run level 3).
#You'll need to edit the contents of a file:
# But first, make a backup:
cp /etc/X11/XF86Config /etc/X11/XF86Config-backup
vi /etc/X11/XF86Config
# Find the section (using the up and down arrows) Identified by "Monitor"
# This is mine:
# Section "Monitor"
#    Identifier   "Monitor0"
#    VendorName   "Monitor Vendor"
#    ModelName    "Xerox XL-350"
#    DisplaySize  330    240       <=== This is what you probably need to edit
#    HorizSync    31.0 - 61.0         <=== This is what you probably need to edit
#    VertRefresh  56.0 - 76.0         <=== This is what you probably need to edit
#    Option     "dpms"
# EndSection
# Now, go into insert mode of vi editor by pressing the letter i
# Now, just change the values you wish to change
# save the document by pressing "ESC" and then entering ":" followed by "wq" -no quotes and case sensitive!!
# or quit the doc without saving: "ESC" and then entering ":" followed by "q!"
# Once you've edited and saved the file, go to run level 5 (GUI level) :-)
telinit 5
# Should work, assuming you have the right values and enter them correctly
# If it doesn't, reboot and edit the file again.

Regards, cc
1) Post! Don't spend 10 hours looking through the forum, honestly, post. Yes, search the forum first, but if you don't find it, just post, we aren't that big of jerks here that we will burn you if you ask a question that we have already answered.

2) EMULATORS SUCK (aside from video game emulators, those are ok). Yes, VMware is an awsome app, ya its really powerful and works well, but screwed it dude, just make a dual boot system. Especially for the linux systems. Obviously you can't dual boot to OSX but running OSX on x86 architecure is a sin anyways.

3) Ok, now to fix your monitor problem. Since you are using VMware I don't really know how to fix you're problem. Do you get to see grub when you start to boot up a system? Where and how do you specify the kernel params? Normally you would pass a boot option (init 3) that would boot it up into a CLI (Command Line Interface i.e no graphics) you could edit the files and reboot. I can talk to my friend who is almost as big as a VMware fanatic as you seem to be and see if I can't figure out the specifics but it might take me a little wile.

Honestly dude, if you want to learn linux you need to slow down, stop installing a thousand distros and just pick one, pick a good one, install it to your core, not a virtual machine, and we are start to work through it. Trust me, you will be happier in the end. And, just as a note, you can even set it up (in theory mind you) to boot your physical partitions through VMware wile you are in windows, so you could boot up your real linux install in windows if you wanted to. But thats in theory.

Lastly, about running windows apps in linux. Why? Its like spending a lot of time putting wheels on your boat so you can drive it on the road. Just get a car. There are apps for everything in linux, and you use those when you are in linux, and use your windows apps when you are in windows. It makes life easier.

I look forward to your response.
Dude, cagey you posted while I was posting, and I have to say, thats not the way to go about this. Rarely rarely ever does fixing a problem in linux involve re-installing and starting over. There is always a better way. That is part of the reason why linux is better than windows, because you can fix things without re-installing. Plus you learn more if you fix it without re-installing. Honestly, I have never encountered a problem I couldn't solve without re-instaling and I have hit some pretty hard problems. Sorry cagey, I don't meen to step on you, but I wouldn't recomend that.
YESSSS! Got it. Thank you so much.

I still didn't know how to boot in run level 3 but this thread was on a similar topic:

And cagey directed me to the right file and commands to copy and edit the file.

These are the values I changed which seem to work perfectly well.

Section "Monitor"
.....HorizSync 31.0 - 61.0
.....VertRefresh 60.0 - 60.0

Section "Screen"
.....DefaultDepth 16...........<----|............I think these may have been critical to Virtual PC
.....Subsection "Display"...............|-------- If I recall correctly, it can handle 16 bit and 32 bit,
..........Depth 16...............<----|.............but not 24 bit depth!

Its working great now. I'm beginning to love it already and I feel much more at home with Red Hat 9 rather than Linspire 4.5.

I'd like to make a brief reply to Jim. I'm not sure of the exact reasons I do what I do, but my first guess is that some psychological disorder causes an overwhelming obsession for me to relentlessly push my system to its limits in an attempt to gain the knowledge and understanding required to advise and support the average consumer in areas of any variety of technological advancements and so thereby I am doing my best in the overall advancement of technology. Or, something like that. Oh, and the underlying fear that I use such a wide variety of applications that I won't be able to do one thing or another. I hear about people being perfectly satisfied with browsing the internet and checking their email and managing documents and graphics and such, but I can't help but think about the one thing that I can't do, whatever it may be, and by "can't do" I mean while doing all the other things I constantly have running in the background without shutting down and rebooting into another OS.

Thanx for the replies.
cagey cretin
QUOTE (Jim @ Apr 2 2005, 11:26 PM)
Dude, cagey you posted while I was posting, and I have to say, thats not the way to go about this. Rarely rarely ever does fixing a problem in linux involve re-installing and starting over. There is always a better way. That is part of the reason why linux is better than windows, because you can fix things without re-installing. Plus you learn more if you fix it without re-installing. Honestly, I have never encountered a problem I couldn't solve without re-instaling and I have hit some pretty hard problems. Sorry cagey, I don't meen to step on you, but I wouldn't recomend that.

Sorry Jim; only way I could figure it out. I originally tried installing RedHat a year and a half ago, and I had issues similar to Jonathan: I went through the entire install, with a monitor, and when the system booted into level 5, I got no monitor. No clue why, no one could answer (I posted on numerous boards). I had checked every piece of hardware, and it all met the requirements put forth by RedHat. I finally just got a different display adapter and it finally worked.

Since I changed default run level to 3, I had no problem changing the file to reflect new monitor settings when I did get a new monitor. I suppose in hindsight, I could have used a boot disk to change the file settings, but hey, didn't happen.

Jonathan, glad you got it. I assumed since it was a new install, you wouldn't lose any info with a new install.
Just in respone to Linspire - yuck yuck yuck. Linspire is not a good distribution, no distro should let users run as root by default...

Anyway, glad you fixed it

What I was saying about not having to reinsall is that you can pass the command to linux at boot to have it boot up into run level 3, so you don't have reinstall to get a CLI to edit the files to fix the issue.

Johnathan, I understand what you are saying about wanting to push your machine to the edge, I know exactly what you are saying, I tend to concider myself some what of an OS whore. I have installed and run so many OSs that I can't keep track. RedHat, Mandrake, Fedora, Gentoo, Slackware, Whitebox, SuSE, Knoppix for linux, Solaris for S&G Every windows since 3.1 including the Server 2000 and Server2003, and any pre-release of Longhorn I can get my hands on. OS9 OSX10.0-3 I know exactly what you are talking about. What I am saying is, if you are really interested in your system, you should try doing some real installs and see what those are like.

And I second Corey's oppinion, I didn't know that before, but not that I do, Linspire just took a dive on my list. What ever you do Johnathan, VM or real, do not, I repeate do not use root as your user. Make an account.
Jim said: "What I am saying is, if you are really interested in your system, you should try doing some real installs and see what those are like."

Jim, I do intend to eventually install linux to a clean partition, but I deduct from your first reply that you may not understand that Microsoft Virtual PC is "virtually" like having another PC that can be in a window or fullscreen. It looks and acts like a PC on boot-up with a post screen and any OS that runs on x86 architecture boots as though it were running on its own system. Many people would easily be tricked into thinking that they were running the host operating system and never even know that they were running a guest OS. Even the OS reboot is "virtually" indistinguishable from a host reboot. It also has a unique IP address on the LAN. So for someone like me who can financially and spatially afford only one PC, it makes a very useful tool to learn and experience another OS and the installation and use of applications associated with it before making a commitment that may possibly weaken the link that helps the majority of PC users out there who often need assistance with their windows applications (i.e. I built a PC for my pastor and his wife whose profession is in graphical design and she uses Adobe Photoshop and Corel. If she calls me up and asks, "How do you do [this]?" I need to answer her question promptly. The same thing goes for a car garage for which I built a PC. If they call me and ask how to do something in their new invoicing software, I need to have an answer as quickly as possible so their business is not hindered. Also, even though I despise adware and spyware on my host OS, I still allow for it's familiarity by intentionally using one of my Windows 2000 installations under Virtual PC to visit websites that are known threats to system stability, and then try various methods of removing the corruptions, like booting to a command prompt and deleting the offending files, then editing the registry to remove the references to them, so I also need to be familiar with the windows registry.) To face the facts of the associations in my life, I believe I am committed to having a recent popular OS installed that can be accessed at the flick of a button in order to serve those to which I have offered help because they expect that help will be available to them as long as my relationship with them lasts.

I hope I wasn't too verbose, but expressing my feelings this way is a very good form of therapy for me.

OH! And since DS2K3 and Jim brought it up, I created a user account, but I gave myself membership to all the groups, including root. Is that ok?

And what's up with this:
I started the OpenOffice word processor and that link is to the screenshot of what I got.
So I changed some display settings and rebooted and then got a long chain of messages like this:
That kept popping up every second or so just after I tried to login and keeps on going until all I have is a blue screen and a mouse pointer.

This all started happening while I was typing this post. I guess I have to go back to a command prompt and edit something manually. But what??
I have used both VPC and VMware, I understand exactly what you are saying. I was probably a little to quick to jump on you. Obviously they serve a purpose otherwise nobody would take the time to write these massive and extreamly finnessed programs, and the purpose they serve is exactly what you are using it for. The only time I ever use VPC or VMware is in system testing where I need multiple OSs at my finger-tips quickly, and short of draggin a ton of boxes around, VMware is the best way to do it.

What bothers me to no end are people who use VMware run not the os they need for a few mins to answer a question or such, but to run the OS they use. I know people who isntall Windows, then install a vm of linux, full screen it, and just run that all the time. That to me defies logic. Never bouncing between the two, not using both equally, just running linux all the time virtually.

The thing about VMs is no matter how good they get, they are still a drain on your system. So there is no reason to run an emulated machine as your main machine. But running a second OS to answer questions, or test a piece of software or a network connection, now thats why emulators were created in the first place (that and to play video games).

Your point about being able to see linux with out having to physically install it. For me, thats what knoppix is great for. If you aren't familiar with knoppix his Knoppix is a live CD, you pop it in, reboot, and you are running linux without having installed anything to your hard-drive. Thats a great (and free) way to "test drive" linux on your box. With VMware and VPC both costing hundreds of dollars knoppix is the best way to go.

This thread should get moved over to the general discusion forum before you and I go on forever, but its to late now.
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