Wrong paths

Vector Linux 3.0

This text reflects my installation trial of vector-linux 3.0 on the aero.

I didn't succeed with it, due to missing knowledge on my side.
I think I could do much better now. Hope you have more luck and confidence.

The Vector-Linux-Distribution bases on slackware. It has the advantage of beeing very easy to install. It only needs three installation files and two bootdisk-images. All files are 8.3-dos-filesystem-compatible, so having a previous windows 3.x or DOS partition for the installation files is enough.

Additionally to the existing partitions I made a ext2-Partition and a swap-partition for linux with partition magic. Vector Linux did install right into these partitions while setup (after prompting). If you don't have partition magic, you can let the vector linux setup software make these partitions.

So here we go:


I downloaded vector linux 3.0 from

I followed the install.txt on their page and downloaded the following files:

veclinux.bz2 ----	63 MB The main installation package
i386ide.bz2  ----	08 MB The kernel for the aero
xf336.bz2    ----	44 MB The xfree drivers for x-windows


i386ide.img  ----	The boot-disk for setup

This one works also as rescue disk if you lock yourself out of linux or didn't configure lilo correctly.

rootdisk.img ---- The ramdisk for setup

I also downloaded rawrite.exe to make the Floppys from DOS. I found the file in the dosutils download directory.


The correct keyboard (the german one in my case) was not found while installation. So when setup asked to choose a keyboard I chose the german one, but it wasn't possible to use the keys while installation. But I didn' get nervous, I kept hitting "z" instead of "y" - after the installation was over I changed it manually like described a little bit further in this document.

I used the ext3 filesystem which made no problems. If you want to uninstall and remove the partition afterwards with software like partition manager this may cause probelems - at least ver 5.0 of it doesn't know ext3.

The mouse must be the PS/2 Mouse.

After installation:

I used the setup software vasm (just type "vasm" at the prompt) to change settings. It's at least important for the keyboard settings (if yo are living ouside the us), to do so.

The X - Configuration:

Don't do xconfiguration with vasm. Do it by hand, by editing the XF86Config file.

All file manipulations are relative easily to be done if you use the filemanager mc (the midnight commander, a norton commander clone). Just type "mc" at the prompt. mc has an internal editor which is relatively easy to use for someone who once worked with a dos-editor.

I opened the the file "XF86Config" which sits in the directory "/etc/"

First of all I set all parameters exactly like it is described in the Aero FAQ, sections " X-configuration for color" and " X-configuration for mono".

In the "Monitor section" I commented everything out that didn't match with the settings from the Aero FAQ.

The path-problems:

I had also problems with the "file section": Wrong paths or missing symlinks made x unable to find the fonts and the rgb-file. So I changed the font path from




There was also a wrong symlink "X11" in the directory


So I created a symlink "X11" with mdinight commander in that directory that pointed to the directory:


So the line:

RgbPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"

in the XF86Config should now point correctly to the file rgb.txt which originally lays in "/var/X11R6/lib/" but is connected with the just created symlink as laying in "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/" as well.

Because I was unsure if the RGB-Path would find the rgb.txt-file I also copied rgb.txt to file "rgb" without the extension "txt". I think now that this wasn't necessary.

Section Keyboard

I use also XKEYBOARD for getting a correct german keyboard in x (with ä and ü).

Because of misconfiguration of XF86Config this produced the error message:

"The XKEYBOARD keymap compiler (xkbcomp) reports:
" -emp "> " -eml "Errors from xkbcomp are not fatal
to the X server"

Solving this problem is astonishingly easy:

You have to make sure that the language selected in the "XkbKeymap" line in the Section "Keyboard" matches those taken in the lines "XkbLayout" and "XkbModel". Those were in my XF86Config remd out with a "#".

After enabling them it looked like:

XkbModel "pc102"
XkbLayout "de"
XkbVariant "nodeadkeys"
XkbKeymap "xfree86(de)"

X starts now without any error message! I tried it out, The Window-Manager IceWM is preinstalled. Although it is perhaps the fastest window-manager for the aero, it is still very slow on that machine...


Lilo disables the F10 Setup button right after booting.

Solution (from the Aero Linux FAQ):

To add setup partition to your LILO add following lines to your /etc/lilo.conf:

other = /dev/hda3
label = setup
table = /dev/hda

then give command 'lilo' as a root in your shell. Now you can access your setup by booting your machine and hitting Alt, Cntr or Shift key when text LILO appears and writing 'setup' to LILO's prompt.


After the work I had with configuring x I had the impression that there was much more trouble ahead. There was also much work to do because I didn't install the pcmcia-cs-package yet. Vector Linux also only detected 16 MB RAM - so this was another problem to solve (see my main page about how to solve these things).

As I was very frustrated about the work laying before me I thought that trying out a bigger linux-distribution like Debian or Red Hat would solve all these things "automatically" for me. I know now that this was wrong: You have to solve all these problems with all distributions by your own and by hand.

So now I come to the conclusion, that Vector Linux had a very comfortable install for the aero. It came with midnight commander already installed which was very nice for a beginner. The vasm-tool is a comfortable setup-tool. It came with kernel 2.4.19 which is quite modern and all the installed software and compilers are also state of the art.

So there are no arguments against using this distribution. Good luck.


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