Gnome green screen of death
matthew at FreeBSD.org
Fri Sep 27 06:53:48 UTC 2013
On 27/09/2013 04:34, leeoliveshackelford at surewest.net wrote:
> Good afternoon, dear FreeBSD enthusiast. I have installed X11 and Gnome on my computer equipped with FreeBSD 9.1. The X11
> and Gnome packages were taken from the d.v.d.-r.o.m. that
> contained the operating system. The computer is an H.P. Z220
> with an Intel Xeon quad-core processor. I do not want Gnome
> to start automatically on bootup. I wish to call it from the
> command line on the local console. When I have finished
> working with Gnome, I expect the operating system to return me
> to console session from which Gnome was called. I have
> started Gnome with the command "exec gdm-session". I do not
> know if the "exec" keyword is necessary, but it worked. When I
> am finished working with Gnome, I click on the logoff (or
> logout?) button. The screen turns solid green with none of
> icons, characters, image, or splash. The computer does not
> respond to the keyboard. When I cut the power to the computer,
> and then reboot, I receive a sequence of messages complaining
> that ada0s3a, ada0s3d, and so on, are corrupt, and that I must
> run fdsk. What am I doing wrong here? The following error messages, which are shown only partially because they flash quickly on the screen, appear before Gnome starts:
There's a number of things:
-- you seem to be logging into your X environment as root.
This is not a particularly good idea. Much better to
create yourself a normal user account for that, and use
su(1) or sudo(1) to take rootly powers as required.
-- You don't say what sort of graphics card the system has.
If you look at /var/log/Xorg.log.0 (or something similar to
that) it will have that information amongst a lot of other
The nature of the graphics card is important, because some
models don't switch back to console mode from graphics mode
very well. It's a known bug, and unfortunately if you have
one of those models the best advice at the moment is to run
a display manager (xdm, kdm, slim) and always use a graphical
-- The use of 'exec' in ~/.startx is correct, but not if you're
typing that from the shell command prompt. What exec does is
*replace* the current process with the one you called. That's
fine if you're replacing the (very small) shell script that is
~/.startx, but not if you're replacing your login shell.
The recommended way to start X from the command line is to set up
a ~/.startx script (which could contain just your 'exec
gdm-session' command, or quite a bit more. Then type startx to
(like it says on the tin...) start X.
Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.
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