Xorg-Server Upgrade Nightmare¶
Recently when applying the updates to my Gentoo Linux machines a new version of Xorg-Server was presented. Normally package updates are straight forward, this one on the other hand needed a big change in drivers and config files. My main issue with the upgrade is the poor upgrade documentation, there is a lack of detail surrounding the conversion of the old config file into the new config file. Now I can see the reasoning behind the change in config file syntax, it now provides fine grained control of options on a per device basis whilst allowing for common options to be applied to mutiple devices.
I found myself booting one of my laptops and discovering the keyboard and mouse wouldn’t work. This meant I could not login and change the config files. My way around this was to boot into a rescue shell, disable the xdm service running the graphical login screen and editing the config file from the command line where the keyboard worked.
My second laptop was not as much trouble but proved a little tricky by insisting on giving me a US English keyboard layout instead of GB English. This was partly my fault in that I had had missed out a set of quotes on one line of the new config file. I discovered that if a set of attributes were added to the section of the config that dealt with my mouse and they were not recognised it would not process the entire file resulting in the correct keyboard settings not being processed. This leads me back to my initial problems with the quality of the upgrade documentation not outlining common issues.
Lets get on to another issue now, getting my mouse buttons to work, previously I had specified some options in the old config to remap the forward and back buttons onto the hozizontal movement of the scroll wheel. The upgrade documentation lead me to believe I could transfer the options across to the new config, but this lead to the problem I described previously with the options not being recognised. Instead I have had to specify my button map in the .Xmodmap file in my home directory. In someways its a better place to put it but it would have been handy if the upgrade guide had given me a pointer that this was the way to achieve the result.
I now have 1 of my 4 machines fully upgraded, the rest can wait until the weekend.