This section details the manual installation and configuration of the Xorg display server and common related services and utilities. If you would just like to install a full desktop environment, it is recommended to try the xfce image.
Void provides a comprehensive
xorg package which installs the server and all
of the free video drivers, input drivers, fonts, and base applications. This
package is a safe option, and should be adequate for most systems which don't
require proprietary video drivers.
If you would like to select only the packages you need, the
package contains the base xorg server only. If you install only
xorg-minimal, you will likely need to install a font package (like
xorg-fonts), a terminal emulator (like
xterm), and a window manager to have
a usable graphics system.
Void provides both open-source and proprietary (non-free) video drivers.
Open Source Drivers
Xorg can use two categories of open source drivers: DDX or modesetting.
The DDX drivers are installed with the
xorg package by default, or may be
installed individually if the
xorg-minimal package was installed. They are
provided by the
For advanced configuration, see the man page corresponding to the vendor name, like intel(4).
Modesetting requires the
mesa-dri package, and no additional vendor-specific
Xorg defaults to DDX drivers if they are present, so in this case modesetting must be explicitly selected: see Forcing the modesetting driver.
For advanced configuration, see modesetting(4).
Void also provides proprietary NVIDIA drivers, which are available in the nonfree repository.
A number of input drivers are available for Xorg. If
installed and a device is not responding, or behaving unexpectedly, a different
driver may correct the issue. These drivers can grab everything from power
buttons to mice and keyboards. They are provided by the
Although Xorg normally auto-detects drivers and configuration is not needed, a
config for a specific keyboard driver may look something like a file
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/30-keyboard.conf with the contents:
Section "InputClass" Identifier "keyboard-all" Driver "evdev" MatchIsKeyboard "on" EndSection
Forcing the modesetting driver
Create the file
Section "Device" Identifier "GPU0" Driver "modesetting" EndSection
and restart Xorg. Verify that the configuration has been picked up with:
$ grep -m1 '(II) modeset([0-9]+):' /var/log/Xorg.0.log
If there is a match, modesetting is being used.
Starting X Sessions
xinit package provides the startx(1)
script as a frontend to xinit(1), which can
be used to start X sessions from the console. For example, to start
~/.xinitrc to contain
exec /bin/i3 on the last line.
To start arbitrary programs together with an X session, add them in
before the last line. For example, to start
pipewire(1) before starting i3, add
pipewire & before the last line.
~/.xinitrc file which starts
i3 is shown below:
pipewire & exec /bin/i3
startx to start a session.
If a D-Bus session bus is required, you can manually start one.
Display managers (DMs) provide a graphical login UI. A number of DMs are
available in the Void repositories, including
gdm (the GNOME DM),
KDE DM) and
lightdm. When setting up a display manager, be sure to test the
service before enabling it.