HAL, xserver 1.5.3 and AllowEmptyInput

I still haven’t really traced the source of my scrambled Crux graphical systems — I’m hoping the Crux 2.5 release candidate sorts it out for me — but one thing that was mentioned to me in IRC was that an xorg-server 1.5.3 “bug” (“feature”?) causes both the keyboard and mouse to go dead if HAL isn’t running on the machine.

Of course, I run without HAL as a course of habit, so it didn’t surprise me when an Intrepid system I build up from nada had nada coming from the mouse and keyboard. A quick double-check of my personal desktop wiki, a sharp three-finger salute to regain control of my system, and with this line added to the “ServerLayout” option in my xorg.conf file,

Option "AllowEmptyInput" "false"

everything was right as rain. If, for some reason, you find yourself in the same boat, that might be what fixes it.

It’s worth mentioning that this didn’t solve my mangled X systems in Crux though. The solution to that problem is still out there somewhere. I want to believe.

Tilman’s note to the Crux faithful is here, and the Xorg mailing list discussion is here.


14 thoughts on “HAL, xserver 1.5.3 and AllowEmptyInput

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  2. K.Mandla Post author

    No problem! πŸ˜€ For what it’s worth I’ve been needing this tweak for both Arch and Ubuntu systems, mostly because I prefer to run without HAL and dbus. Ubuntu is a little less hamfisted about it because it will more or less automagically configure things, but Arch needs the option or you definitely get the dead X. Progress, we call it. … πŸ™„

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  4. johnraff

    How much do HAL and dbus slow things down?
    Conversely, what functionality do you lose by not having them, beyond automounting of plugin usb sticks?

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Ech, that’s a matter of personal experience really. I wouldn’t even consider using either HAL or dbus on that 100Mhz laptop, but my 1Ghz machine doesn’t flinch at them. I suppose it’s part of my reluctance to use daemons or subsystems that aren’t truly essential, and on a modern machine, it’s hardly noticed at all.

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  8. kone80

    menuconfig -> device drivers -> input device supports -> event interface
    is the real solution for this


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  12. Anton Eliasson

    Actually, I was in that same boat for a moment while downgrading the X server in Arch to work properly on a Thinkpad T23. It appears that this “feature” was removed in later X versions and was only present in versions ~1.5 to ~1.7. Thanks for the protip!


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