I found this Is `/etc/X11/xorg.conf` deprecated?

However it didn't shed much light on the issue.

I am trying to make use of remote desktop software (nice) and it is erroring on there not being an xorg.conf file. For the past couple years I suppose I have been installing RHEL 7.6+ from dvd and everything seems to be working fine and all the while there not being an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

I also install Nvidia + CUDA and that squawks a little bit about xorg.conf such as when uninstalling nvidia it tries to restore the xorg.conf file it thinks it backed up but there never was one. But Nvidia + CUDA has been working fine for me with there not being an xorg.conf file.

  • So, can someone tell me what the deal is with xorg.conf these days in RHEL 7.9 and what to do when other software seems to require and does not work without it?
  • Since xorg.conf is no longer there in RHEL 7.9, what takes its place? What files do you now go look at and edit to mess with linux graphics?
  • Gone Wayland only ? Aug 3, 2021 at 21:43
  • @user2284570 not in RHEL 7... Aug 4, 2021 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


X.org configuration lives in a number of places, notably /etc/X11/xorg.conf (if it exists), and .conf files in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d and /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d. (For an exhaustive list, see man xorg.conf on your system.)

Most settings which used to require an xorg.conf file in the past are now auto-detected, and many others can be specified generically in configuration snippets, which is why most systems run without an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file at all. It’s hard to give a general answer for what to do with software which doesn’t cope well with the absence of this file; it might be sufficient to create an empty file.

To understand how your X server is configured, see the files listed in the first paragraph above, and the server logs (in /var/log or ~/.local/share/xorg). As JoL suggests, you can also generate a configuration file corresponding to the auto-detected configuration, by running

Xorg -configure :1

in a virtual console which isn’t already running X. This will leave an xorg.conf.new file in your home directory.

  • 1
    Wonder if the remote desktop software of the OP wants to parse the file for itself. Switching to another console and running Xorg -configure :1 generates a xorg.conf.new file in the home directory. Maybe that's equivalent to what it auto-detects. The manpage says: "This option currently has some problems on some platforms, but in most cases it is a good way to bootstrap the configuration process. This option is only available when the server is run as root." However, despite it saying that, I was able to generate the file with a regular user.
    – JoL
    Aug 3, 2021 at 21:38
  • If I remember correctly, the X server executable (Xorg) is setuid root in the Linux distributions I used. Maybe this explains @JoL's success. I remember seeing the X server process running as root.
    – FooF
    Aug 4, 2021 at 1:53
  • @FooF Xorg can run as a regular user if the display is handled by the kernel, which is generally the case nowadays. The Xorg binary in RHEL 7 isn’t setuid. Aug 4, 2021 at 7:55
  • @StephenKitt That's great (old?) news for security!!!
    – FooF
    Aug 4, 2021 at 8:55
  • 1
    @FooF somewhat old, yes ;-). The xorg-x11-server package was modified to drop the setuid bit from the Xorg binary in September 2010 (but it used capabilities, it didn’t fully run as a regular user). Aug 4, 2021 at 9:04

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