grml-x - create xorg.conf file and start X window system on grml-system


grml-x [ options ] [ window-manager ]


grml-x creates the configuration file for the X server ( letting you override some options and then starts up X server with the specified window manager.


grml-x depends on the X server to configure itself. It will generate a very minimal xorg.conf, or, at your option, write some common options to it. If an xorg.conf file already exists, grml-x won’t touch the file unless the --force option is specified.

If you specify a window manager, the x-window-manager alias will be updated.

Important! Please do not run X or grml-x with root permissions! When used in grml live-cd mode running grml-x works as normal user as well (thanks to sudo). Just switch to an appropriate console where user grml is logged in (for example on tty5 via pressing Alt-F5). If you use grml-x on systems other than grml in live mode you can invoke it as user root but please use the --nostart option to avoid startup X server. This allows you to generate a xorg.conf file on harddisk systems as well as on distributions other than grml/Debian.

Notice that you do not have to use grml-x to start X server if you already have a working X config file (usually the case on harddisk installations). Just adjust $HOME/.xinitrc to your needs (most common is adjusting the exec line for choosing the according windowmanager) and then run startx to start X server.



Provide options for startx, see man 1 startx.

--display <number>

Specify display for use with Xserver.


Force creation of xorg.conf file. This option is also assumed when another option which needs to be write values to the X config file is provided.


Display help.

--hsync <number>

Specify horizontal sync frequencies. Use a number like "30-65".

--mode <width>x<height>

Set resolution for X server.

--module <name>

Use <name> as module for X server.


Do not start X server. Useful when you only want to generate xorg.conf.

--vsync <number>

Specify vertical sync frequencies. Use a number like "50-60".

Usage examples

grml-x --mode "1280x1024 1024x768" wm-ng

Use resolutions 1280x1024 and 1024x768 and start windowmanager wm-ng.

grml-x --module vesa openbox

Use vesa-module and start windowmanager openbox.

grml-x --hsync "30-65" fluxbox

Use 30-65kHz for horizontal sync frequency and start windowmanager fluxbox.

grml-x --display 8 ratpoison

Use display 8 for Xserver and start windowmanager ratpoison.

grml-x --nostart -f fluxbox

Force writing of config file but do not start X server. Please do not forget to add a window manager as last option because grml-x changes the according exec-statement in $HOME/.xinitrc.

Known problems and limitations

Sometimes the X server does not find the correct resolution and/or frequency settings for the monitor. Please adjust configuration manually using the --hsync and the --vsync options then. Also check out the usage examples section in this manpage and the help output of grml-x running grml-x --help.


Please report feedback, bugreports and wishes to us!


This manual page and grml-x itself have been written by Michael Prokop <> and are licensed under the GPL v2 or any later version.