Screen Size/Resolution in 11.3

What is the easiest way to stop and start X 11 System. At present I am restarting and this takes ages.

CTRL-ALT-Backspace (twice) will restart the X-server.

Hi Deano,
Many thanks for that. So now I have reverted to 11.2 and achieved the resolution I require 1024 x 768 x 16 bit (64K) colour. I was able to achieve this using simple gui system administration controls for the X 11 system.
I do not understand what has replaced this control facility in 11.3. Surely it should be possible still to chose screen resolution using a gui. What is the thinking behind removing this from 11.3?

It probably has more to do with the video driver you are using.

I was able to achieve this using simple gui system administration controls for the X 11 system.
I do not understand what has replaced this control facility in 11.3. Surely it should be possible still to chose screen resolution using a gui. What is the thinking behind removing this from 11.3?

You’re probably referring to Sax2, which has been deprecated. Lots of discussion on already that if you care to search the forums. However, the reality is for most users, it is not required, and like gogalthorp has mentioned, the driver influences the performance and display modes available with particular display hardware.

FWIW, there is an openFATE request for some kind of replacement tool for Sax2 to be made available:

[openFATE 308357] Replacement for Sax2 in 11.3](

Hi Deano,
The people creating this software and kde have been infected by the M$ bug which makes them think they know what is best for their users and make anybody who wishes to depart from their idea of norm work very hard to obtain what they want.
There are several reasons why one may wish to alter the screen resolution and in my case, where there is insufficient memory, trade off colour depth for resolution.

There is nothing wrong with the driver I have already in 11.2 and I do not believe it has changed in 11.3, only the configuration tool has been taken away. I shall have to read up how in this forum but it should be possible for me to keep the configuration file from 11.2 and use it in 11.3. I shall go back and check. Couldn’t post last night as openSUSE database was down so I couldn’t login.

Finally, if I try a new graphics card in a spare slot, how do I do the probing and software installation without doing a fresh installation of whole OS?

Regards and thanks again for the help.

I can provide some information here. There have been signficant changes in X window in going from 11.1 to 11.2 and also from 11.2 to 11.3. Currently, in 11.3, one ideally should be able to boot to the desired resolution with no configuration file (where that file used to be called /etc/X11/xorg.conf ). However if that does not work, then one can edit the files under /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/… such as 50-device.conf, 50-monitor.conf … etc and one’s Linux will try to boot X properly using those configuration files. However if those do not work, one can try using an old (or new) xorg.conf file. So in fact you could try your old xorg.conf file from 11.2 on 11.3 and it might work. But it might not work because there have been changes in going from 11.2 to 11.3.

Now what happens in practise, is if there is an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file in 11.3, that file will be used for configuration. If there is no such file, then the 50-xxxx files in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ directory will be used to configure (if you look inside those files now on an 11.3 system you will read the contents are all commented out). And if there is no xorg.conf nor edits to the 50-xxxxx files then X will configure automatically.

There are many new graphic cards on the market and with the massive changes taking place in graphics going from 11.1 to 11.2 to 11.3, SuSE-GmbH announced they could not maintain sax2 (the graphical wizard) any more. They no longer had the personnel who could do the job, and the anomalies were mounting that they could not fix. The tool was mostly useless and non-functional. So they launched an appeal for volunteers from the openSUSE community to take over sax2 and perform the maintenance/updates of sax2 job. Well, the response was inadequate. The community did not want to take over the job of maintaining that graphical wizard.

So it was dropped. SuSE-GmbH could not maintain it. If they had the resources to do so, I think they would have, but it was a job well beyond them (which is why they appealed in vain for help).

Now there is a openFATE request to have a replacement graphical wizard, but given SuSE-GmbH could not maintain the original sax2 tool, I seriously doubt that has changed. ie I doubt that there will be a replacement tool. IMHO the only way to get such a tool is for all Linux distributions to band together to produce such a tool, but that would possibly be unlikely as well due to the anarchal nature of Linux.

Hi oldcpu,
Many thanks again for taking the time to give the background which I find very interesting. I too am less than sanguine about a replacement for sax2 being created. You suggest “one ideally should be able to boot to the desired resolution with no configuration file”. I am not sure what this means to you, possibly entering parameters at boot time and that would be fine. My problem is that it does not now seem possible to trade off colour depth against resolution. I assume the default is 24 bit colour and cannot be changed. All I seek is a means to adjust this.

For me on 11.2 on the machine in question sax2 works like a dream and is much better than on 11.1. I had a quick look at the openFATE thread and noted there a suggestion that for those who need sax2 it is still available. Would it be worth starting a new thread which goes straight to how to do this, or is that already available on the forum? (Not had time to search & read on this.)

Above you have already spent a considerable amount of time with helpful suggestions for me with regard to drivers (again my thanks to you,) but I think I have the right driver. Sadly my ignorance does not allow me to anticipate if it will work in 11.3 but I assume it will. I therefore noted again your reference to using the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and to ensure it is preserved somewhere for re-use when upgrading from 11.2 to 11.3. I can do that but of course could only edit the /etc/X11 files after the installation has been completed. I assume that will be OK with a restart. What about the driver. I have no idea where it is or how it is installed. My question above concerning trying a new graphics adaptor which I have available may also be relevant.

As I said, if and when you have time… Meanwhile sticking to 11.2 on the old server.

Best wishes and thanks,

If you have time I would appreciate a few pointers on what I shold preserve before I try an update

thanks for shearing such a nice info

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Indeed as you have discovered, and as many users before also discovered, the automatic configuration does not work as well as desired by many, and in some cases does not work at all. Fortunately it does work for the majority of us, but the minority with whom it does not work are not small in number and something is needed there.

With some help, I put together a FAQ/How-To on our forum of Practical Graphics Theory for openSUSE Linux users: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users There are tidbits scattered through out the many links that FAQ refers to. For example, to find out what graphics driver is in use, one can look inside the log file /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Graphics drivers come as kernel modules and are typically inside rpms such as xorg-x11-driver-video or xorg-x11-driver-video-radeonhd or xorg-x11-driver-video-nouveau or xorg-x11-driver-video-intel-legacy … but then just because the rpm is installed, does not mean the driver is loaded. One needs to look at the log file I noted. On KDE-4 in openSUSE-11.3 one can also look at MyComputer to see what log file is in use.

That practical theory guide needs up dating, with more useful links/guides associated, but at the moment it has stretched my knowledge, and I would need to learn more before I could make significant improvements to it.

Reference sax2 availability for 11.3, as noted SuSE-GmbH no longer package it. Various users have tried packaging it on the OBS but typically their package disappears after a while, possibly because they found it too buggy and they did not want to address the queries that came from users asking them to fix bugs. But if you search here you may find it: Search Results noting that neither sax2-tools nor sax2-gui are the sax2 wizard in of themselves.

Reference moving from one openSUSE version to another, typically I keep a copy of all my configuration files on an external hard drive. Once I have the new install working well, I’ll delete the backup config files from the old version. So since in Linux config files tend to be kept in /etc I will backup my /etc directory and all its subdirectories. I also keep a copy of old /boot/grub/menu.lst and /boot/grub/ files. And of course bookmarks, emails, address book … If I have a VirtualBox image file, I’ll keep a backup of that also (so I do not have to re-install the OS in the Virtual Box image).