NetBSD Documentation: The X Window System
NotePlease see the NetBSD Guide's chapter on X for more information about X.
- How to make the Caps Lock key another Control key
- How to bypass xdm
- startx: not found
- startx fails -'X connection to: 0.0 broken'
- How do I change the default window manager?
Many Unix key bindings are designed around this layout, because it was traditional on older terminals until the standard layout was changed by IBM.
Add the following to your
setxkbmap -layout us -option ctrl:swapcaps
You can also disable Caps Lock entirely:
setxkbmap -layout us -option ctrl:nocaps
Many other layout options are available, see
If xdm(1) is enabled but you are unable to login for some reason, possibly because there is no root password, and you do not have virtual consoles enabled (or they are not yet supported on your port), you can either press ^C at the immediately after the boot messages indicate xdm is starting, or:
- Boot to single user mode - Usually this is accomplished by passing '-s' at the end of the boot command.
- Start the shell - Press
ENTERwhen prompted for the shell.
- Check and mount the disks using fsck(8) and
fsck -p ; mount -vat ffs
- Set term terminal type -
TERM=vt100 ; export TERMNote: you may need to use a different terminal type such as 'pc3' or 'sun'.
- Fix problem - Edit
/etc/rc.confto disable xdm, run passwd(1) to set root's password, or take whatever other corrective action is needed
If the X sets are installed but no X commands work,
you need to add the location of the X binaries
/usr/X11R7/bin) to your
PATH variable. For sh(1) and
its derivatives, you'll need to modify your
For csh(1) and its derivatives, add
to the line in your
.cshrc file which
To see the error messages in this case, run:
First thing to do is to install the window manager you
prefer. You can find a lot of them, ready to install, in
wm category. After
a successful installation, figure out how is the
binary named. It will usually match package's name.
Once you know how to execute the window manager, you
have to configure your X session to start it up. We will be
using ctwm in our examples (which comes with X), whose binary
You can see that the content for each file is the same, so you may want to create a link between them.
If it is a third party item of software, you should
check if a version is available via the NetBSD packages collection.
Otherwise, you need to ensure the linker flags (or
Back to NetBSD Documentation