No display on a dell laptop

I am installing 11.2 on a Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop. I don’t get a display when openSUSE loads. All I see is a dark screen with a white mouse pointer. when I load in failsafe I get a desktop display. I can run apps from a command line but if I minimize and app it disappears forever.
I suspect a conflict between my display driver and kde or something. anyone have any ideas?


Run hwinfo and post relevant info on graphics & screen.

Failsafe uses IIRC the Vesa mode of card, it is possible you need to disable effects in the compositing section of .kde4/share/config/kwinrc (or something like that). The edit is just changing ‘enable’ to ‘disable’; though you ought not have got that turned on.

Try booting up in text mode (add 3 to boot command line) and then run sax2 on the console. See if that configures your graphics better.

Read the release notes, there’s a mention bout changes to Xorg there.

My “pretty-much-always-works” method for configuring X is as follows:

  1. Boot the system into runlevel 3 (console) and log in as root.
  2. Type “X -configure”. This gives you a file ~root/
  3. Look at that file and see what the driver is. On my desktop, it’s “nv” and on my laptop it’s “radeon”.
  4. Now do “sax2 -r -m 0=<driver>”, where <driver> is what you found from step 3. Set up everything in sax2 the way it should be.
  5. When sax2 exits, test it with “init 5”. You should see some kind of screen. If you have auto-login enabled, it should come up in the desktop of the auto-login user. If auto-login is disabled, it should come up in the display manager and let you log in.
  6. When you have all that magic working, install proprietary drivers if you wish.