On Thursday, I decided to upgrade from OpenSuse 11.2 to 11.3.
I was highly suspicious that this would work so bundled up all my important documents, systems, settings & whatever and stored them safely away in my secret place. Downloaded and made a CD from the 64b Network Install ISO and promptly booted my system from the CD. Chose the upgrade option and went and made a couple of nice curries while the beast took 2 hours to download whatever it needed. …and when I came back… almost everything was working perfectly!
Better than that, some of the packages I had installed from the Packman repository were flagged correctly and through Yast's Software Management tool I was able to update, remove or whatever any packages that the installer did not know what to do with. And that was it; local applications were working fine, and all my important apps were all brand new and shiny recent versions - even weird stuff I had in /usr/local/bin continued to work fine. Wow! Seriously impressed.
Getting multi-head dual screens to work in OpenSuse 11.3 with a Radeon card
Only one fly in the ointment - almost a disastrous one as well. I have 2 monitors fed off a Radeon card which had given problems before though 11.2 seemed to cope well. But not 11.3 and definitely not KDE. Here's what I had to do:
Seems the latest kernel does not support automatic mode lines from RadeonHD cards so this feature should be turned off. Quite simple when you know what has to be done; edit your /boot/grub/menu.lst file and add the switch
to each of your kernel lines. Then just reboot. This allows you to at least choose multi-head behaviour.
Why graphics mode setting has been moved to kernel is beyond me; I would think this will make life much more difficult for folks pulling graphics cards in and out (yes, I have done that in the past) and general graphics issues. But perhaps this is only the start of some grand design thought up by someone.
Anyhow, if you have a Radeon or Nvidia card, this tweak may help you sort graphics problems.
Saving Multi-head Settings
Now I was able to choose the KDE control for configuring my multi-head setup:
System Settings → Display
After some experimentation, this was fine. But as soon as I logged out and back in again, the settings were lost. Here's what you can do:
- As before, configure your display as required and leave the configuration tool
- at this point, the settings have been saved in
/etc/kde4/kdm/Xstetupas a set of xrandr commands
- you can test these settings by logging out and in again and then running this script
- what we really want to do is execute this script as we login; presumably KDE does attempt this but if the X session is not ready, then nothing happens. We could add it to our profile or .bashrc, but then it would execute every-time we opened a terminal. Instead add a link to the script in
~/.kde4/Autostartthenit will execute as KDE comes up for your user's account
Of course, this is only a workaround for KDE which should be doing it for us; if anyone has a better plan, please let me know.
Despite this minor hiccup, I am loving OpenSuse 11.3 - it actually feels quicker and more responsive than 11.2 and several tools that I use all the time have improved dramatically. Well done the Suse team on delivering such a painless upgrade!