Arch Linux: X11 and XFCE4 Setup

The Arch Linux Installation Guide gets X11 up and running in fairly short order, leaving you with a bare xterm session. That handled a single screen, so I copied the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file I’d hand-carved for Xubuntu, restarted X, and by gosh-and-golly, it worked perfectly!

The right-hand screen is still in landscape mode while physically rotated to portrait, but that’s fixable with xrandr.

For future reference…

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "RotatedPortrait"
    Screen      0  "Landscape" 0 0
    Screen      1  "Portrait" RightOf "Landscape"
EndSection

Section "Module"
    Load           "dbe"
    Load           "extmod"
#   Load           "type1"
#   Load           "freetype"
    Load           "glx"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option         "Xinerama" "0"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    # HorizSync source: edid, VertRefresh source: edid
    Identifier     "Dell2001FP"
    VendorName     "Dell"
    ModelName      "DELL 2001FP"
    HorizSync       31.0 - 80.0
    VertRefresh     56.0 - 76.0
    Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    # HorizSync source: edid, VertRefresh source: edid
    Identifier     "Dell2005FP"
    VendorName     "Dell"
    ModelName      "DELL 2005FPW"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 83.0
    VertRefresh     56.0 - 75.0
    Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "GF9400_0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 9400 GT"
    BusID          "PCI:1:0:0"
    Screen          0
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "GF9400_1"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 9400 GT"
    BusID          "PCI:1:0:0"
    Screen          1
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Landscape"
    Device         "GF9400_0"
    Monitor        "Dell2001FP"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "TwinView" "0"
    Option         "metamodes" "DFP-0: 1600x1200 +0+0"
    Option         "NoLogo" "Off"
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Portrait"
    Device         "GF9400_1"
    Monitor        "Dell2005FP"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "TwinView" "0"
    Option         "metamodes" "DFP-1: 1680x1050 +0+0"
    Option         "NoLogo" "Off"
    Option         "RandRRotation" "On"
#    Option         "Rotate" "CCW"
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

With that in hand, the Install Guide gets you through setting up XFCE4 with no problems at all; consult the XFCE guide for more details.. It handles both screens, lets you install panels on both with no complaint, and generally Just Works.

Useful widgets:

  • clipman
  • cpugraph
  • datetime
  • netload
  • screenshooter
  • time-out (wish it knew about screensaver timeouts)

Add xscreensaver which politely blanks both screens. Timeout in 5 minutes, lock after 1 more, then power saving stages in at 7/8/9 minutes.