.-file copying

I'm a Linux newbe.  I've installed Redhat 4.1 on my Pentium 100 Mhz clone.

My problem is configuring X.  The documentation is scattered, outdated and/or missing.  *Very* confusing for a newcomer.
When I type "startx" as root, I get a screen configuration I can live with, but still would like to modify.  (In particular, I don't need to be thanked for "installing Red Hat Linux" anymore).  If I'm not logged in as root, I get a screen I like much less (and Arena rather than Red Baron!)

The book "Running Linux" told me to look for an ".initrc" file.  I found /var/X11R6/lib/xinit/xinitrc (no "." on the filename).  When I looked at this file I found the line

"if [ -f $HOME/.Xclients]; then exec $HOME/.Xclients .....

and said "Aha!" that's why I get a different screen logged in as root.

Sure enough, I found a .Xclients file in the root directory.

As root I entered the command

  cp .Xclients /home/kk

and got the error message

cp: cannot create regular file '/home/kk/.Xclients': Invalid argument.

The directory /home/kk was created when I first installed linux and used the control panel to add the user kk.

I find that I cannot write any file whose name begins with a period to /home/kk.  I opened (as root) .Xclients with PICO.
and tried writing (^O) to /home/kk/.Xclients.  I got the error message: [No room for file:  Invalid argument].  I then tried ^O and gave it the name /home/kk/foo and it saved it.

I did ls -l from /home.  The line for kk was

drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 32768 Mar 26 19:17 kk

Help will be greatly appreciated.

Kenneth Kellum
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crbildConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Maybe i did answer to your question ?(before)
if so i'd like to know .
for better answer, i need to know your exactly line
of command you used for copy the .Xclients.
cause it's seems problem about line of command or about the cp.
can you try to create with "vi" or other editor a file named
.Xclients ?
and can you check the permissions of this directory,where you tried to copy?
(anyway you can comment the line about if [....etc
and write directly :

exec mine_window_manager
where you can use : fvwm,twm,olwm and so on.

kellumAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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what kind of filesystem are you using ?

can you do the :


it seems a filesystem that not support this kind  of names

check the kernel you have about the filesystems known
kellumAuthor Commented:
crbild's comments seem to have been garbled.

I'm a newbe.  I don't know what kind of file system I'm using.  Does RedHat 4.1 support more than one kind of file
system?  How do I check the kernel?

Yes, I can do a mount.  I've mounted my cdrom.

excuse me but when i told "can you do a mount"
i meant "please,can you do the command mount and after tell me
the result (cause i can now the kind of filesystem you have)"

and do (please) this command and report me the result :

cat /proc/filesystems
it wasn't my intention to undervalue anything .
ok... i have 1 hour now to follow ,so i wait your result as soon
as possible for you :)
kellumAuthor Commented:
The output from mount was:

/dev/hda3 on / type ext2 (rw)
/dev/hda1 on /home type msdos (rw)
nome on /proc type proc (rw)

and to cat /proc/filesystems:

nodev   proc
nodev   nfs

The problem is about the kind of filesystem for /home

DOS filesystem that doesn't permit the kinf of name :

name with .
only 8 chars plus a dot and 3 chars.
You need to change the kind of installation,unfortunately.
In this case usually when you do an installation of Linux
it's better to prepare a Linux native partition or
a Umsdos partition.

I can explain you better all ,but it go over the question you did.
So if you want you can e-mail me ,but this is out the rules
of this site so ,please,put an other question about
the setup of first installation for Linux.

So your problem is due to a not right filesystem,in this case
DOS filesystem.
And you can't change the kind of filesystem,you need "only"
a new partition for Linux.
If you have enough space on /dev/hda3
(and you can check this with :

it's possible to change the mount point of /home in / (/dev/hda3)
kellumAuthor Commented:

Yep!  That was it.  The RedHat 4.1 installation lays a trap for the newcomer.  At one point you're asked if you want to mount other disk partitions such as MSDOS.  You're prompted to give a mount point (when, of course, a newbe doesn't know what a mount point is.)  Not knowing any better, I gave it /home as a mount point.  The problem was that this made /home an MSDOS directory!

Following Cribld's advice, I re-installed Linux.  I'm pleased with the solution I found.  The installation allows you to escape and issue shell commands.  I escaped, created a directory "c", and mounded MSDOS there.  It worked.

Now, for reasons that aren't clear, I get the same X-window logged as root or not.

Now to configure X.  Any hints will be appreciated.

did you tried to copy the .Xclients
or to create one in the home directory for your user
and inside .Xclients
did you put a line so :
or twm
or ... the window manager you want.
if yes.
try :
then try:

for exit this you can press control alt backspace

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