Virtual desktop

Request new features that might make using Gentoox better.
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Virtual desktop

Post by honukele » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:24 pm

I think you should either include a virtual desktop setting in the xf86config file, or put up a brief note in your manual on how to set it for us noobs.

For those of us with 1.6 who are limited to 640x480, Gentoox is useless for most software because the dialog boxes are not accessible, until a virtual desktop is set. For example, I was ready to scrap the whole project until I discovered Virtual Desktop.

Shallax, if I may presume to chastise you a bit: I think you tend to focus too much on the negative i.e. that there is no support for xcalibur chip. Instead of pointing out that there is no way to set a higher resolution, why not post this simple information that makes Gentoox useful to those of us with 1.6 boxes?

The cup is half full, and all that. . . :wink:

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Post by vplayer » Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:52 pm


I dont see how its ShallaX responsibilty and fault that 800x600 doesnt work off your v1.6 xbox. Why dont you try to be helpful rather than a whiny brat.

I dont see you doing your part of putting in a document on how to setup virtual desktop to help others.

All the manuals are meant to be read before you jump into this problem and not after you fall into it. You should have known that Gentoox supports only 640x480 on a v1.6 before you installed and you should have known people could not see part of their window on a v1.6. You should have also known that people/users try to use vnc or other tools to use it better.

Try to contribute to the forums rather than complaining like a little baby...
Box: XBOX ver 1.1
Mod: Xecutor 2.3 lite+
Hdd: WD 80GB
Dash: Evox, Ava, XBMC
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Post by honukele » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:52 pm

1) I read the manuals and the Gentoo website and figured out how to use Virtual Desktop on my own. I did do something productive by making a post on how to use virtual desktop. I am being helpful: this is constructive criticism intended to make Gentoox more useful for the benefit of other users, not whining.

2) I truly appreciate Shallax's hard work at bringing Gentoo to the xbox. I am now able to use the Xbox for presentations in my classes, using's Impress. In fact, I was so amazed and impressed by Shallax's work that I sent him a small monetary contribution. Have you done that 'vplayer'?

4) It just seemed counterproductive to me to constantly berate and alienate people who are only trying to figure out how to use Gentoox. There is a very simple work-around for the Xcalibur problem that is mentioned nowhere in the manuals or tutorials. I suspect that if the work-around was mentioned somewhere, then the frustrated noobs who are unable to use Gentoox at all after spending hours installing it would stop asking the same question about the resolution on the 1.6 box.

5) Many of us have real lives and want to use Gentoox to do something or accomplish some task without spending days and days just trying to get the system configured. For example, it took me three full days to get Gentoox working on my Xbox. If it is Shallax's intention to create something that is useful for people and not just a 'gee whiz, look what my Xbox can do now let me erase it so I can get back to my gaming' then perhaps you guys need to come down off of your technocratic elitist thrones and think about things from the perspective of us non-linux experts.

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Post by ShALLaX » Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:52 pm

*Wonders what happened to 3)*

But anyway, when I do things, I like to do them right. Virtual desktops are not the right way of doing this. They dont get around the overscan issue properly. It's a real Heath Robinson way of doing it. The PROPER way would be to write drivers which work -- however, this is not possible... but I still refuse to integrate a second rate "fix".

I think the point being put across here was that you could possibly have asked in a more delicate way ;) No harm done, though.
The original Xbox adaptation of Gentoo

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Post by honukele » Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:43 pm

3) Communication is a wonderful thing. I re-read my original post and agree that I could have put things better. My intent was to be constructive, not critical. My apologies. :oops:

6) I have to admit, when I fire up my 'box in front of the class and whip out my controller to scroll through the PowerPoint slides, I take a certain pride in having 'stuck it to the man' (aka B.G.). When students ask how I did it, I always give you credit for your brilliant work in making the Xbox a useful tool/ real computer.

7) When I was in college, taking Pascal classes back in the 80's, the word we used was 'Kluge'. Admittedly, the Virtual Desktop is a 'Kluge'. But, as I personally will not be able to hack the Xcalibur chip any time soon, I am able to do what I need to this way.

8) People defect from M$t all the time. If only we could get some disgruntled former M$ employee to share the Xcalibur code with us . . .

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Post by quickline » Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:20 pm

honukele, care to teach me how to do it? I'm pretty frustrated with it right now :evil:


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Post by honukele » Sat Feb 05, 2005 2:16 am

Sure, it's easy. You need to edit the XF86Config file. This is a text file. I believe that it is located in /etc/x11/xf86Config, however, you may have to search for it.

I have set up xedit in xfce by adding the launcher to my panel. You can use any editor you like, though.

1. In xedit open xf86config, or in a terminal window type nano -w /etc/x11/xf86config or whatever the correct path to the xf86config file is.

2. Scroll down and you will note that the default depth is set to 24
3. Below that you will see
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "XBOX"

4. after the line with Modes, add this line:
Virtual 800 1000

(Or whatever numbers you want your virtual desktop to be sized to (X Y).
5. If you want to change your default depth from 24 to something else, be sure to add the Virtual line in the SubSection for that depth.
6. in nano type ^X, save file, and reboot. In xedit, just save, exit, and reboot. Voila!
7. I believe there is a file called xf86config.example in the same directory that you can look at, as well as searching the net. (Try google 'xf86config' or 'xf86config.example'.

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