Ubuntu 8.10 does away with xorg.conf

One of the biggest Ubuntu stories on the net is the elimination of xorg.conf.  They haven’t made it unnecessary, they’ve completely eliminated it.  If you create one and edit it – it will have no effect.  I have not yet upgrade to 8.10, so I can’t verify it, but so far I haven’t seen any news to the contrary.  I think this is very much against the spirit of Linux.  I think that people should not have to know that an xorg.conf exists, but I think if you are “smart” enough to know about it and want to muck about then you should be able to.  Perhaps you want to run your monitor at a non-standard resolution or refresh rate; Or maybe the default settings don’t work well.  Ubuntu – let’s make xorg.conf available for the tweakers and uncessary for the tyros.  Then we will have the best of both worlds.

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me

8 thoughts on “Ubuntu 8.10 does away with xorg.conf”

  1. Xorg.conf is still there. And making changes to it will take affect as desired. It’s just that, intrepid doesn’t use xorg.conf for configuring stuff anymore. Ubuntu does a great job not using xorg.conf. Xorg.conf i’m glad is still there, because now it just serves me only as a file filled with my own xorg.conf modifications and nothing else. Which is really nice. I still need xorg.conf for getting dual monitors, but dual monitor entries is all that’s inside of my xorg.conf and nothing else. Less to maintain inside of my xorg.conf.

  2. Oh, I see. The ubuntu team would do well to communicate this more effectively as I’ve seen this claim made in many, many reviews online.

  3. It is part of the very reason I’m looking for a new distro. I started using Linux around -95 and been a big user of RH. When I got my 64 bit system I checked out most available distro’s and decided to go with with Kubuntu to have something new.

    I use KDE because I don’t want to be limited in what I can customize and do, but Ubuntu has some bad habits where it does things like removing additional spaces in the hosts table, undoing my formatting. Why is beyond me.

    Ditto the piece of crap network manager. Make it an option to activate. Best is to not use it unless you have no idea about networks. Using standard DNS settings will be overwritten and mess up your configs.

    This big brother thing gets old very fast. I like that it CAN make changes IF I WANT TO. Not without my approval however.

    Todays distro’s can take care of a lot of details which is really nice. But they simply have to make it optional to bypass me!

  4. Holy…crap?

    I’m trying to get my Wacom Bamboo to work. It was fine before the upgrade, but I had to play around in xorg.conf a bit.

    Then I updated 8.04, and it quit.

    I didn’t get working again before the 8.10 came out.

    It does work, partially — pressure sensitivity OK, side buttons OK — but the eraser doesn’t work, and neither does the mouse. (Pad buttons probably don’t work either, but I hadn’t learned how to use those anyway.)

    All of which is to say: I’ve just spent the last four or five days dinking around with xorg.conf.

    I can absolutely confirm that changes there will screw things up, and can keep the desktop from booting. At one point, I had to boot from a live CD to recover.

    And now you tell me I don’t need it? Hm…

    OK, I’m going to rename it, and see what happens.

    (I’ll note that I’m pretty much a Linux newbie when it comes to messing with the internals. Adding the Wacom is the most challenging thing I’ve had to do so far.

    (Although moving my /var and /tmp partitions to a different drive came close — nobody told me when I laid out the disks that they had to be hugely oversized to accommodate the upgrade temporary files.)

    OK, so I’m going away now to try this. I’ll post again when I regain control of my system….

  5. OK, renamed xorg.conf, shut down, unplugged the pad, rebooted, plugged in, and…

    …And the stylus works fine, but the eraser and mouse are still dead.

    I think this means that the mouse handler, rather than the Wacom driver, is grabbing the input stream, but that’s off topic here.

    Fact is, yes, xorg.conf is not being created, and everything else works fine.

    I’ll note that in the old xorg.conf, all the sections dealing with the mouse, keyboard, and the Wacom were “# commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used”, and flagged with that comment.

    So, whatever the problem is, it’s not xorg.conf.

  6. I could be wrong, but traditionally, xorg also handled pointing devices. But I guess it’s all in HAL now. I’d check with linuxquestions.com

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