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Recipe 15.4. Editing XF86Config

15.4.1 Problem

You installed a new video adapter in a system, and you prefer to make the new settings manually. Your distribution utility doesn't do what you want, or you just want to edit a text file and be done with it.

15.4.2 Solution

X configuration is stored in the XF86Config file, which can be in a number of locations:


Installing a new driver means changing a single section. This example shows changing from a Voodoo 3 adapter to an nVidia card. Simply change the Driver and the Identifier, by commenting out the old lines and adding your new values:

Section "Device"

#    Identifier     "3Dfx"

#    Driver         "tdfx"

    Identifier  "nVidia"

    Driver      "nv"


The Identifier can be anything you like; the Driver must be the actual name of the driver. You'll find these at

15.4.3 Discussion

If you're using vendor-supplied drivers, you'll have to download the drivers and follow their installation instructions.

Commenting out old lines instead of deleting them makes it easy to undo your changes, if necessary.

15.4.4 See Also

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