SaX2 Monitory resolution settings unclear

Could someone clarify this for me, it’s been puzzling me ever since I started using openSUSE:

If one goes into the SaX2 monitory settings, there are apparently 2 ways to change the monitor resolution:
(1) Display > Monitory > Change
(2) Display > Properties > Resolution

(see the screenshot here:](

What’s the difference between the two?
Apparently, one choose different settings under each one – for what purpose?

Isn’t option 1 for the Monitor Eg; I have a Monitor LCD, this Big and needs this refresh rate

Option 2. Seems to be for the display quality setting. The similarity is in the screen dimensions which would need to match.

Hmm, but most monitors can operate at different resolutions. How would that be reflected in SaX2? (–> option (1): “my monitory supports 1400x1050 in general”, but option (2):“i want to run it at 640x240 right now”?)

One could way would probably to try and experiment, but I just reinstalled my system, so for the time being all experiments are off so that I can enjoy the fruits of my labor …

What version of openSUSE and what DE version are you using for that?

openSUSE 11.1 and KDE 4.3.1. SaX2 is version 8.1-542.11.1 .

Having set the monitor’s default resolution with sax2, I use KRandRTray. It’s in the kickoff menu’s Applications tab: System>Desktop Applet>Screen Resize and Rotate. It will place its icon in the systemtray and if you single-click that, you should get a selection menu of screen resolutions and refresh rates. They are set separately, both will need setting, and will depend on your video driver’s capabilities and your configuration in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. For example, the vesa driver will restrict resolutions, and refresh rates are fixed at zero (unavailable).

If you are not familiar with xorg.conf, you may need to consult the “man” page for xorg.conf (in Konqueror’s location bar, enter: man:xorg.conf). If your xorg.conf doesn’t contain actual modeline definitions, that should be ok. Xorg normally detects valid modesettings from your monitor, and KDE will make them available via KRandRTray.

Always make a backup copy of your xorg.conf file before editing it.

It may take further configuration to get the best combination for your monitor. Be aware that the default config.sys, generated by openSUSE, has been known to contain modelines that are useless for one’s hardware. They can be commented-out (or removed), but any further problems should be for a new thread in the Help section of the forum.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:


took me a while to digest the content of your post, but thanks a lot, it was very informative and told me a lot i didn’t know yet!


To add to caf4926, the first option which is for the monitor, you can input the specs manually e.g screen dimension, refresh rate, etc which you can base from the monitors manual and specification.

That’s right, but be aware that this will generate a new xorg.conf with the new “monitor” specs. However, also be aware that the new xorg.conf will overwrite any previous edits, and may reintroduce the same “modelines that are useless for one’s hardware”, that were produced before. :wink:

Basically, it means that if you have previously edited xorg.conf, don’t run sax2, but make the changes to xorg.conf manually.

I use the whole feature of option 1 on one lcd samsung monitor not supported by suse. I also use the monitor cd to load the imf since suse 9.1 without any problem with xorg. Maybe I’m just lucky.:wink:

Whatever. If you didn’t manually edit xorg.conf then you have nothing to lose by re-running Yast/sax2, assuming it kept previous changes. Problems can arise if you mix both methods.

I don’t edit the xorg manually as much as possible. I always depend on sax2.
Thanks for the word of caution.

I am sure I am not the only one who is even more confused. I use nVidia driver and am advised elsewhere to us nvidia-settings…
Is there anywhere a route-map?
I wish to use 1440x900, instead of the monitor’s "native"or “optimum” 1680x1050
sax/yast won’t let me, nor will nvidia-settings, BUT in xorg.conf, it is available, in xorg.conf.nvidia-post, there is no mention.
My monitor has an aspect ratio of 16:10, surely the resolution should be in the same ratio?
yast/sax will default back to 1.33:1 or 1.25:1 ratios EXCEPT for 1680x1050, which a quick bash on the calculator reveals 1.6/1 16:10

One thing which might (or might not) be relevant is that the nVidia driver, according to their website, sees ANYTHING connected via 15 pin vga as a CRT (and therefore, I guess, NOT widescreen).

Also I am using a vBOX, and VBoX complains that I am using 24 bit colour, and demands I use 32 bit in the (Guest) OS
But in my openSuse Host OS, 24 bit is the highest available!
In xorg.conf it is set as


Should I manually edit xorg.conf to allow/prefer/default to 32 bit colour? (I am sure the hardware is capable…)

and another thing! xorg.conf has two entries for my GPU, (nvidia 6100 and nvidia 6150) I am pretty sure that there is no big difference, but should I delete one? How do I know for certain which I have? (IGP BTW), Is there a HW probe tool which ignores xorg.conf etc and probes the HW itself?

Just compared my sig with what I have and am now kernel;
nVidia drv 180.51
Compiz seem to be working fine, forgotten how to do a version check.

To answer you. My post is only related to the topic started by the op.
With nvidia and it’s driver it will be a different thing to deal with.

Oh! That was a wasted 1/2 hour typing then. Thanks.

People who do not break things first will never learn to create anything

I have spent the last three days breaking things…

may I suggest a new sig?

People who do not ask questions never get answers

I just thought this was the appropriate place to ask…

Not only are you hijacking another member’s thread (bad forum etiquette), but you are soliciting technical support in a forum that specifically excludes that.

Had you posted the above in the Help forums, I’m sure you would have received some. Instead you posted a rant there which should have been posted in Soapbox. Can you not read the forum headings?

You can ask a Moderator politely to have it moved to the right forum. :wink:

I replied to conram & consused via PM…

hmm, hmm, hmm, this thread is getting a bit out of hand …

thanks for the early posts, though. i’m not sure that i’ve fully understood the purpose and uses of the different settings, but perhaps i should just brush up on how / by what layer monitors are managed in general. :expressionless:

It happens from time to time, and sometimes it’s difficult to choose the right forum section for a query.

It can take time to appreciate how different layers interact, but at least you have been introduced to where the configuration files are if ever you need to make direct adjustments.

Basically, the hardware devices (monitor, video chipset/card, mouse and keyboard) you use to interact with the system is managed by the X11 System (Xorg). For that it needs basic configuration data. A lot of that data e.g. for monitors that conform to a set of standard resolutions and refresh rates, is already stored in system files. Xorg will use that default data as well as the data it acquires by directly probing the hardware, but first it will be governed by the specifications placed in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

You can directly edit xorg.conf (many users don’t need to), or you can use Yast which is arguably the best interface and collection of system wide configuration tools in any distro. Its configuration data ends up in configuration files, mostly in /etc. To configure xorg.conf, it calls on another program - SaX2.

Xorg needs to work with a video driver, also configured in xorg.conf, that supports the video modes (resolutions, refresh rates, display size etc.) of your monitor.

In future releases of openSUSE and other distros, you will see xorg.conf being used less as the main source of hardware configuration data for Xorg.


thanks a lot for this summary, that helped me tremendeously!