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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SuSE:Configuring graphics cards

SDB:Configuring graphics cards
# cat /etc/SuSE-release
Experienced Linux users should note that in many cases an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file is not needed for openSUSE-11.2 / 11.3. 
Once you have determined
  • your openSUSE version,
  • your graphic hardware, and
  • your in use graphic driver [whether it works or does not work],
please proceed to the next steps in this guide. 
Read the practical theory guide
The 4th thing to try is to edit the configuration file for X window graphics
(/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ directory)

to attempt to force a boot to a specific graphic driver. If you have not read the practical theory guide referenced above, PLEASE do so now, else this step will be difficult to understand. 
Again, boot to run level 3 like the 3rd step
Boot to run level 3 (a full screen text mode) and try to use the installation graphic configuration file xorg.conf.install as a temporary measure. You can do this by typing 3 when the very first openSUSE menu appears, and you should see a 3 in the options line.
Then press and your PC should boot to a full screen text mode with a login prompt. You are now in run level 3un level 3

Check if there is an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, and if there is you need to move that file so it does not interfer with the configuration you are to setup. Hence if there there is such an xorg.conf file, then change the name of that file to something different, such as:
su -c 'mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.myoldbackup'
New users - again note that Linux is case-sensitive and so be accurate when typing uppercase and lower case characters, as they are treated differently. X11 is NOT the same as x11.
Then edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf file, adding an entry for your chosen graphic driver. You will need to do this edit from a text editor (such as the mc editor(recommended - see link for installation/use details) or the vi editor or the nano editor or joe editor ... and there are many other editors) with root permissions.
For example, to make the change, if the mc editor is installed, type:
su -c 'mcedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-device.conf'
enter root password when prompted, and make the needed edits, and exit the mc editor afterward, being very careful as one is using this editor/file-manager with root permissions. Tip: Prior to doing the above, to see what graphic drivers are available for use on one's openSUSE-11.3, there is guidance at the start of the openSUSE Video Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)
For example, you could change that file to:
Section "Device"
  Identifier "Default Device"
  #Driver "radeon"
  Driver "nv"
  ## Required magic for radeon/radeonhd drivers; output name
  ## (here: "DVI-0") can be figured out via 'xrandr -q'
  #Option "monitor-DVI-0" "Default Monitor"
where in the example above the line Driver nv was added to try force the load of the open source "nv" graphic driver for nvidia cards. It is important one read the practical theory guide referenced above to understand what graphic drivers may be available.
Warning Nvidia graphic card users who discovered that the "nouveau" driver did not work for them, should pay attention to the openSUSE-11.3 release notes and as appropriate blacklist the "nouveau" driver in the /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf file. This can be done with root permissions by typing:
echo "blacklist nouveau" >> /etc/modprobe.d/50-blacklist.conf
It may also be necessary to run "yast" (you can run yast in text mode with root permissions if X window not available) and navigate to yast > System > /etc/sysconfig Editor > System > Kernel > NO_KMS_IN_INITRD and change it to "yes". This takes a minute or two to save once changed is submitted. (see below image examples).
For users trying to blacklist "nouveau" driver, examples of how to specify NO_KMS_IN_INITRD from a text yast are here, illustrated sequentially below (note one must also blacklist nouveau as described above). So to edit the /etc/sysconfig start yast from a text login by typing:
su -c yast
Use the spacebar, tab key, enter key, and arrows to navigate yast in text mode, and then follow the example screens.
Enter /etc/sysconfig Editor
Locate system in sysconfig Editor
In case a more complex edit is needed (hopefully not needed), then another example of an edit in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ directory (but this time to configure a monitor instead of specifying a graphic driver) is an openSUSE forum example of customizing the 50-monitor.conf file. Note one might have to click on that link twice to connect to the proper page.
And then after making any such edit(s)/change(s), as a regular user again reboot as before with the
su -c 'shutdown -r now'
command and hopefully your PC will boot to X window graphical desktop and if this works, you "may" wish to stop here.

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