Description of problem:
No error message is given, when the system in general (as oppsed to the X server
config) has some kind of problem that prevents the X server from starting. This
is for instance the case when the root file system is full or there is something
wrong with the network setup.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Fill up the system disk
The system pretends that it is configured for text-mode only, and that
everything is otherwise fine.
I'm not sure I understand exactly what you mean; does the system get to the
part where it tries to start the X server? does gdm start? at what point
are you saying the failure occurs?
I'm not in my office now so I can't check any details, but essentially what
happens is that after a reboot, it looks like the system has (successfully)
entered runlevel 3, but closer inspection reveals that it's actually in
runlevel 5, but X just hasn't started - and I can't find anything wrong with
inittab or similar.
Happens on Red Hat 9, too; we have an old laptop that ended up in this state
after upgrade to version 9 (and I never bothered to fix it as it's not really
being used anymore.)
It looks like you may get this kind of behaviour when X fails due to a problem
with the general system setup, as opposed to an XFree86 config error. One
example of such a problem is an incorrect network configuration; maybe you'll
see what I mean if you remove the localhost entry from /etc/hosts.
GDM reports when X fails to start now.