dexconf(1) generate Xorg X server configuration file from debconf data


dexconf [ options ]


dexconf retrieves values from debconf(7)'s database and uses them to build an xorg.conf file.

The information that dexconf uses is typically entered via a debconf frontend (or possibly in part by hardware autodetection tools). Note that dexconf itself does not set any values in the debconf database; it only retrieves them. If configuration parameters of the debconf database need to be changed, dpkg-reconfigure(8) should be used to do so.

More experienced users should feel free to use dexconf-generated configuration files as a starting point for their customizations, since individual preferences vary greatly.


-h, --help
Display a usage message and exit.
-o file, --output=file
By default, dexconf writes to /etc/X11/xorg.conf This option instructs dexconf to write to file instead. Note that dexconf unconditionally overwrites its destination file if it has sufficient access rights to do so.


This variable is used to format diagnostic messages so that they fit the width of the terminal. If not set, a terminal width of 80 columns is assumed.
dexconf creates a subdirectory of the directory name stored in this variable, and uses that subdirectory as a scratch area. If not set, /tmp is used as the parent of the scratch directory.


is the configuration file for the Xorg X server.


dexconf produces diagnostic messages upon encountering various error conditions. These messages are prefixed with the name of the command and a colon; for example:
dexconf: message
A list of diagnostic messages currently issued by dexconf follows.
This option, and XFree86 3.x output, are no longer supported.
dexconf no longer supports the -f, --format option. See the "HISTORY" section below.
cannot create temporary work directory; dirname does not exist or is not a directory
dexconf was unable to create a scratch directory to work in because the parent directory (dirname) was not does not exist or is not a directory. Create dirname and set its permissions properly, or set the TMPDIR environment variable to the name of an existing directory.
cannot create temporary work directory in dirname; directory not writable
dexconf had insufficient permissions to create a directory in dirname. Change the permissions on dirname or set the TMPDIR environment variable to the of a writeable directory.
cannot generate configuration file; question not set
An answer to the indicated question was expected in the debconf database, but none was found. dexconf cannot write a valid configuration file without this information. This problem can be rectified by reconfiguring the X server package with the dpkg-reconfigure(8) command.
creation of temporary work directory dirname failed
dexconf was unable to create a scratch directory (dirname) to work in. This diagnostic is only issued after dexconf has checked to ensure that the parent directory of dirname is writable, and after the temporary directory to be used has been removed (if necessary). This diagnostic message could indicate that something on the system is attempting to use a temporary-file race condition to compromise the system's integrity.
error while getting options
dexconf received an error from getopt(1) while attempting to interpret the command-line arguments. Use only the documented options.
received signal; aborting
dexconf was sent a fatal signal; see the section on asynchronous events below.
this program does not know how to configure the package X server
dexconf only knows how to write configuration files for XFree86 version 4.x X servers. The value of the shared/default-x-server debconf template was set to a package name that dexconf did not recognize. A different tool will have to be used to configure the selected X server, or dpkg-reconfigure(8) will have to be used to change the default X server.
unable to write to configfile
dexconf was unable to write to configfile because it lacked permissions to do so. Run dexconf as a user with permissions to write to configfile, or specify an alternate file to write with the -o or --output options.
unrecognized option option
An unrecognized option was specified. Use only the documented options.


dexconf traps the HUP, INT, QUIT, and TERM signals. dexconf removes its scratch directory and exits when it receives any of these signals.


A configuration file was successfully written.
An error occurred, or dexconf was interrupted. See the section on diagnostics above.


See the Debian Bug Tracking System <URL: >. If you wish to report a bug in dexconf, please see /usr/share/doc/debian/bug-reporting.txt or the reportbug(1) command.


dexconf was written by Branden Robinson with sponsorship from Progeny Linux Systems.