There are two ways to start X. The first is to start X manually when you feel
like using it. To do so, log in to one of the text consoles and type startx.
This will start X and switch you to its virtual console.
The second (and recommended) way to use X is with xdm or X Display
Manager. Basically, xdm gives you a nice graphical login prompt on
the X virtual console (probably VC 7), and you log in there.
By default, either method will also start an xterm, which is a small
window containing a shell prompt. At the shell prompt, you can type any commands
just as you would on a text VC. So you can follow all the examples in this book
using xterm; the only difference between an xterm and the
text console is that you don't have to log on to the xterm because
you already logged on to X.
There are also a lot of things you can do only in X, which are covered in this
One note: The default xterm window has a smallish font. If you have
a small monitor or very high resolution or bad eyesight, you may want to fix
this. Follow these steps:
Move the mouse pointer into the center of the xterm window.
Hold down the Control key and the right mouse button simultaneously.
This will give you a font menu.
Point to the font you want and release the mouse button.