Can't call up graphics card settings in Yast after 11.3 upgrade

I’ve just upgraded from 11.1 to 11.3. When I go into Yast and try to invoke the Graphics Card and Monitor settings, nothing happens - I get the spinning circles for a few seconds and nothing after that. How can I get at those settings, and why doesn’t Yast let me do that?

11.3 is very different
I suggest you read this
openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

In addition to reading the ‘practical theory’ in the guide noted by caf4926, I recommend you also look at this wiki, which is mostly specific to 11.3: SDB:Configuring graphics cards - openSUSE

Note there has been a MASSIVE change in how graphics are handled in openSUSE-11.3 as opposed to the much older openSUSE-11.1.

In openSUSE-11.3 it is no longer necessary to have an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file (in most cases) and instead X by using udev will handle the configuration automatically. However there are problems wrt this X automatic handling when it comes to “kms” (read the openSUSE-11.3 release notes) and hence for some users it is necessary to specify the boot code in grub “nomodeset”.

Also, in 11.3, provision has been added for a new subdirectory called /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ with many configuration files inside that, such as 50-device.conf, 50-monitor.conf … etc …

The implementation is

  1. IF there is an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, openSUSE X will use that. Hopefully there is no need for such a file, and
  2. IF there is no /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, openSUSE X will then check the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ directory/files for implementations that might instruct X on how to configure the graphics, and
  3. with or without the above configuration information, X will try to configure the graphics card. Ideally it won’t need the 1st two points, but in practise many users still find they need to do some edits.

Wrt “sax2” which was the old graphic wizard in openSUSE-11.1, it has been discontinued. In openSUSE-11.2 it was removed from YaST, but still available on the installation. But SuSE-GmbH “reached out” to the community, advising with the massive number of new graphic cards coming out on the market, and the big changes coming to X, it was not possible for them to maintain sax2, and it was in fact broken in many places. They asked for volunteers from the community to take over the package, so that they could continue with it. The community response was inadequate, and so sax2 had to be dropped.

I hope that explanation helps.

The material you referred me to seems to be directed at people who can’t get a usable desktop at all. I can get a usable desktop, but it’s probably not optimal. In fact, when I first started up I had an unreadable font, but removing xorg.conf fixed that, so now I do have a readable font.

It isn’t clear to me from your replies whether it should be possible for the user to select the resolution at all, or whether the choice of resolution is fully automated in 11.3 and not adjustable. It is also not clear whether the Graphics Card and Monitor section of Yast is just a stub or is really supposed to bring up something for adjusting video parameters. The problem I’m encountering is when I select Graphics Card and Monitor from Yast, nothing happens. That does not seem to me like correct behavior; either Graphics Card and Monitor shouldn’t be there, or it should bring up some facility for adjusting (or at least viewing) settings such as the resolution.

Is there a graphics setting facility that I can get at from the command line rather than from Yast?

No. The graphics setting facility you are refering to was sax2, but it no longer exist in openSUSE 11.3. That’s what said oldcpu to you.

If you’re in KDE, you set the screen resolution via the system settings->Display.

In GNOME, you have the little icon in the panel.

Yes, I see the place to work on this in System Settings / Display. Is the Graphics Card and Monitor section of Yast just an artifact that should be removed, then? Or is there a missing link to the Display section of System Settings?

There is NO “system settings / display” in the KDE YaST in 11.3. I don’t know where that is coming from. Is that in a Gnome YaST ?

It was intended to be general information, as from your post it appeared to me that you did not understand:

  • that graphics had undergone a MAJOR change between 11.1 and 11.3 and
  • that sax2 (which was the openSUSE graphic wizard in YaST) was no longer included with openSUSE.

I guess you know that already, and my apologies for wasting your time on this thread if that is the case.

The resolution IS automatic.

But you can tune it if you wish. If you type in a terminal:


you will see what sort of resolutions are relatively easily available without having to mess much with configuration files.

There is no such setting in 11.3 KDE YaST.

You could post here the output of:


and also advise as to your graphic driver and graphic card, with output of:

/sbin/lspci -nnk 

providing all lines associated with the VGA device.

Sorry for the confusion. I can get at the settings via K menu / Personal Settings / Computer Administration/ Display / Size and Orientation. The unresponsive Yast entry is at Hardware / Graphics Card and Monitor.

There is no YaST entry at HARDWARE > Graphics Card in 11.2 nor 11.3 KDE. That reads like an openSUSE-11.1 ‘hangover’ to me.

Reference K menu / Personal Settings / Computer Administration/ Display / , from what I understand that is more or less a front end to “xrandr”. If “xrandr” does not show the desired resolution, then you need to dive deeper into your configuration/settings using a different method to obtain the resolution that you may want.

11.1 > 11.3 should be fresh install IMO

Yes, that Hardware / Graphics Card facility in Yast is almost certainly an 11.1 hangover. I didn’t realize that the update from 11.1 to 11.3 might allow that kind of anachronism to survive. Perhaps that’s a Yast bug.

Here’s the output of xrandr:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 768, maximum 4096 x 4096
VGA-1 connected 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
1024x768 60.0*
800x600 60.3 56.2
848x480 60.0
640x480 59.9

These are the same resolutions that show up in Systems Settings / Display (as they should be). Note that the resolution I want, 1280x1024, isn’t there. I had a similar problem when I installed 11.1, but I need to research this further before I ask for any more help.

How about checking the appropriate LOG file to see if it is there ?

You can do that by opening up the file /var/log/Xorg.0.log with a text editor. If that appears to be a bunch of gobbly gook, then copy and paste it to a paste bin site such as SUSE Paste and post here the URL that is provided.

Also, the VGA section from the following being run in a terminal would be helpful:

/sbin/lspci -nnk

Hi pwabrahams

Follow oldcpu’s advice re the lspci and Xorg.0.log output. That will help us to determine your best course of action. I note your display device is connected via a VGA cable, and that can cause issues for the graphics card and driver with determining your display’s real capabilities. Automatic detection is great, until it doesn’t work for user’s particular hardware :slight_smile: However, its not generally hard to make any manual configuration if necessary.

FWIW, both Gnome and KDE4 DE’s have graphical display configuration tools available, but KDE4.6 has only just aquired the ability to make persistent changes. For those of use using earlier versions of KDE4, this can be achieved via an xrandr command embedded in a script that runs after at login, or via Xorg config files.

I’ve done some investigation and I now understand at least what the choices are of drivers: fbdev, vesa, nv, nouveau, and nvidia. From what I read about them, it would appear that nouveau is the best choice – if I can get it to work. Here’s the output of hwinfo --gfxcard:

21: PCI 0d.0: 0300 VGA compatible controller (VGA)
[Created at pci.318]
Unique ID: qnJ_.QtW+3nZHS_5
SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0d.0
SysFS BusID: 0000:00:0d.0
Hardware Class: graphics card
Model: “nVidia C61 [GeForce 7025 / nForce 630a]”
Vendor: pci 0x10de “nVidia Corporation”
Device: pci 0x03d6 “C61 [GeForce 7025 / nForce 630a]”
SubVendor: pci 0x1043 “ASUSTeK Computer Inc.”
SubDevice: pci 0x83a4
Revision: 0xa2
Driver: “nouveau”
Driver Modules: “drm”
Memory Range: 0xde000000-0xdeffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xc0000000-0xcfffffff (ro,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xdd000000-0xddffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xdffc0000-0xdffdffff (ro,non-prefetchable,disabled)
IRQ: 21 (3 events)
I/O Ports: 0x3c0-0x3df (rw)
Module Alias: “pci:v000010DEd000003D6sv00001043sd000083A4bc03sc00i00”
Driver Info #0:
Driver Status: nvidiafb is active
Driver Activation Cmd: “modprobe nvidiafb”
Driver Info #1:
Driver Status: nouveau is active
Driver Activation Cmd: “modprobe nouveau”
Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown

Primary display adapter: #21

That should show you what the hardware is. With nomodeset on load, I get a max resolution of 800x640; with xorg.conf.install set as xorg.conf, I get a max resolution of 1024x768, with no other choices. With neither of those I get a max resolution of 1024x768 but with the choice of some lower resolutions. And here’s the output of xrandr:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 768, maximum 4096 x 4096
VGA-1 connected 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
1024x768 60.0*
800x600 60.3 56.2
848x480 60.0
640x480 59.9

It appears that I’m running with nouveau now. I think I’d be best off to stick with it since it appears to be the wave of the future – if I can get it to produce the 1280x1024 resolution that I need. But that may not be possible.

So the questions are:

(1) Is there something I haven’t tried yet to extract that higher resolution from nouveau? (The output of xrandr seems to indicate that mere fiddling with xorg.conf won’t do it.)
(2) If I have to ditch nouveau, at least for now, what’s the best alternative? And what’s the best way to excise nouveau – blacklist, remove the package, or both?

Actually, I think you should try the proprietary nvidia driver for best performance and display resolution.


If you’d prefer to srick with the open source nouveau driver, then it may be necessary to tweak the config files. (I would have to research this as I don’t have experience with this driver).

I’ve installed the proprietary nvidia drivers as you suggested, and I now have the correct resolution. Some day, perhaps, I’ll try nouveau again–when it’s easier.

Thanks much for all your help.

Our pleasure! :slight_smile: