Working in the X Window system

Starting X

Assuming that you have the X Window system properly configured (more on this later), and that you're working at the command-line at one of the virtual consoles, you should be able to start X by simply typing:

$ startx

This should, if all goes well, dump you into your default graphical environment. If this fails, chances are your X configuration is broken; proper X configuration is covered later in the documentation.


There are actually two variations for starting an X session:

$ startx             start X in foreground
$ startx &           start X in background

The difference here is that starting X in the background leaves that virtual console free if you need to switch back to it later (this will be explained shortly). Simply, there's no real reason not to start X in the background, so you might as well make a habit of it now.