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Dual boot linux system


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I have Ubuntu 7. 10 installed on my gateway M285-E notebook.  it was simple and everything works great.  ubuntu however is too simple for me, i want to configure my system how i want it.  i have downloaded and attempted installs of Gentoo, Slackware, Suse10. 3, fedora, Free BSD, Backtrack2 and 3beta,  and a few other flavors.  Suse and Fedora installed with few problems.  the others it seemed did not like my grafix card (ATI Radeon Mobility x1400).  I really would like to playaround with some of these other Linux flavors though.

If anyone can help me out, point me to some step by step tutorials on configuring these systems it would be helpfull to say the least.  I am someone of a novist with Linux yet but i am learning quickly.

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i boot up, login as root and enter the startx command I get:

/usr/X11R6/bin/Xauth:  creathing new authority file /root/Xauthority

xauth: (stdin) :1:  bad display name ":0" in add command

and it repeats itself like five times then tells me server names are Xorg  and  something else i cant remember right now.

I know i have to configure the x server but i dont really now how and google is not being friendly on this either.

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