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Xorg was successfully tested on :

  • qemu
  • VMware
  • VirtualBox
  • Actual Hardware Installations


Xorg is available in extra, and so can be installed as simply as anything else:

pacman -Sy xorg xf86-input-keyboard xf86-input-mouse xf86-video-vesa

You will also need to add "-c" to the CONSOLEOPTS variable in your /etc/rc.conf file. While you are editing rc.conf you also need to set a driver for CONSOLEMOUSE (usually pc_mouse). Once you have done this, reboot.

You should now see a new directory, /dev/cons. This contain the console mouse and keyboard interfaces, but Xorg expects those device nodes to be in different places. If you use a xorg.conf file, you can simply edit it to point to those devices, if not:

ln -s /dev/cons/kbd /dev/kbd
ln -s /dev/cons/mouse /dev/mouse

Additionally, if you wish to run X terminal emulators as a normal user, you need to create the ptyp device:

cd /dev

Now your system is ready to run Xorg.


The most convenient way to run Xorg is to set up a .xinitrc file starting various programs and suchlike for you when you start the X server. A simple example below, saved as ~/.xinitrc, is sufficient to start openbox:


exec openbox

The .xinitrc file is executed by whatever interpreter you specify (even python, if you so desire), so it can contain whatever logic or commands you like, for example:


if [[ "$WM" == "" ]]; then
    echo "Starting openbox..."
    exec openbox
    echo "Starting $WM..."
    exec $WM

Starting X

It is advisable to install a window manager, such as openbox, which is currently in the xorg repository.

pacman -S openbox

Once you have your .xinitrc (or whatever you're using) and your window manager set up, simply start X:

startx -- -retro