10.3. Installing XFree86
You can find the Linux binary distribution of XFree86 on a number of FTP sites. On ftp://ftp.xfree86.org, you can find it in the directory /pub/XFree86/4.2.0/binaries; there you will find systems for various architectures in subdirectories. (At the time of this writing, the current version is 4.2.0; newer versions are released periodically.)
It's quite likely you obtained XFree86 as part of a Linux distribution, in which case downloading the software separately is not necessary. If you are downloading XFree86 directly, see Tables 10.1 and 10.2, which list the files in the XFree86-4.2.0 distribution.
In order to find out the set of files you need to download, we highly advise that you download a small shell script called Xinstall.sh first and run it as follows:
sh Xinstall.sh -check
This will output the directory containing the set of binaries you need to download.
Table 10-1 lists the required files.
Table 10-1. Files required for installing XFree86
There are also a number of optional files that you should download only if you need them, as shown in Table 10-2.
Table 10-2. Optional files for installing XFree86
The XFree86 directory should contain README files and installation notes for the current version.
Obtain these files and save them in the directory /var/tmp (you can use any other directory; just change the pathname accordingly in the following examples). Now run the installation script again, this time without the -check option:
This will ask you a number of questions. Usually, you can just press the Enter key in order to accept the defaults. Particularly, when asked whether you want to create links for OpenGL, say yes. This will install a compatible version. OpenGL is a library for fast 3D graphics; applications that display 3D graphics often use it, other applications never do. If you plan to run any 3D graphics applications, you should enable this. The installer will also ask you whether you want a link to the rstart utility to be created. If you do not know what rstart is, you can safely say no here.
Once the script is done running, XFree86 is installed, and you can start configuring it. This is covered in the next section.
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