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Novell Linux Desktop Overview: Configuration and Customization

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Joe Harmon

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Posted: 15 Nov 2004

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Throughout the manual, the configurations will be different depending on whether you are using GNOME or KDE. To simplify the process, we will separate these configurations by using the following icons:

 This icon will represent the GNOME configurations
 This icon will represent the KDE configurations

Monitor and Video Settings

One of the first things that we can't live without is proper screen resolution. After we walk through the initial configuration, this section will be split up into Laptop, Desktop, and VMware Considerations. However, for each configuration, the access to the utility is the same.

  • Accessing the Video and Monitor Settings.

    • This will launch the YAST utility. Then select HARDWARE | GRAPHICS CARD AND MONITOR. When you receive the next screen, you can click on the CHANGE button which will take you to the SaX2 configuration.

    • Terminal Commands:
      • yast2 -- Launches YAST
      • sax2 -- Launches the SaX2 configuration utility

    • Once in the SaX2 configuration utility, select MONITOR, click on CHANGE CONFIGURATION, then choose PROPERTIES.
    • After choosing the proper manufacture and type of monitor, click on OK and then FINISH.

      ** IMPORTANT ** If your specific monitor type is not in the list, then you can try the generic drivers. They are at the top of the list and are called LCD and VESA. If you do have to go down this route, then please make sure that you know your frequency levels on your monitor for proper configuration. These may have to be adjusted under the EXPERT tab.
    • Now we need to change our resolution. To do this click on COLOR AND RESOLUTION | CHANGE CONFIGURATION | PROPERTIES. On the COLORS tab, change the resolution to 24 bit if it is not already set to that setting.
    • On the RESOLUTION tab, select the highest resolution desired. ** NOTE ** If you are using a generic SVGA monitor, it may let you change this to a higher value than is supported my the monitor. If this is the case, it will typically default back to the highest that it can be set. Click OK and FINISH.
    • Now we need to test out our monitor. To do this click on the FINALIZE button. You will then be prompted to test or to save your configuration. DO NOT click on SAVE unless you are absolutely sure that your configuration will work. You should always test your configuration first. That way if you run into any errors, you will be able to cancel out of it.
    • You will now receive a blue screen that will allow you to adjust the size and position of the screen. If you receive an error while trying to move to the test screen then click CANCEL, otherwise you can adjust your screen position and size until they look appropriate. Click SAVE to finish.

      ** NOTE ** If you are going to be running VMware on this machine, and your screen requires adjustment in position, then you may want to adjust it from the monitor rather than in this screen, so that all of your virtual machines will be adjusted as well. Otherwise you will have to adjust each individual virtual machine as well.
    • Once you have saved your configuration, your changes will not take affect until you restart your GUI. Click OK.
    • Once our screen resolution has been properly setup, we can change the resolution on the fly through gnome and KDE. In gnome make adjustments to the resolution by selecting SCREEN RESOLUTION from the SYSTEM | PERSONAL SETTING menu, or you can go to PROGRAMS | SYSTEM TOOLS and select the RESOLUTION SWITCHER. This will place a resolution switcher icon in the notification area on your panel. In KDE you can start the same applet by typing krandrtray in a terminal window. This will load a resolution switcher on your panel. You can close the terminal window after it loads and it will stay loaded.
    • Laptop Considerations

    • Before we move on, if you plan on using a docking station with your laptop, you may need to install it through the docking station in order to have the laptop video settings function properly both inside and outside of the docking station.

    • You should first try and find a driver for you laptop under your specific vendor listing. If you cannot find the proper driver, or if you are using one of the new Wide Screen laptops, then the generic LCD drivers work very well.
    • Desktop Considerations

    • You may want to perform the monitor change after the installation is complete if you monitor or driver is not available in the list.
    • VMware Considerations

    • Remember that with a VMware workstation you will not change the driver to match the card on the workstation. You will use a VMware driver because you are simulating the video. However you will select the proper monitor.

    • VMware video driver does not have 3D acceleration.

Mouse and TouchPad

  • Input Devices
  • ** IMPORTANT ** If you are using a laptop, they often come with a touchpad, ps2 mouse, as well as small point mouse located in the middle of your keyboard. Therefore you may show more than one mouse configured. This is not a problem, and they should not be removed. If you remove them, then your mouse will stop to function on those other devices.

    • There are two places to configure a mouse on NLD. One is through Yast2 and the other is through SAX2. The reason for the two devices is that Yast2 is needed at a different time during the install than SAX2. We will use SAX2 because the driver we are looking for is not in Yast2. For this example we will add a touchpad mouse for the Dell Latitude C600 laptop.

    • By default the C600 laptop will not allow taping the touchpad to serve as a mouse click. This can be fixed by going into Input Device Section of SAX2 and adding a Synaptics mouse touchpad.

    • To do this go into INPUT DEVICES | MOUSE | CHANGE CONFIGURATION | ADD NEW MOUSE. Under the GENERAL tab choose SYNAPTICS and TOUCHPAD. Test the mouse and then save the configuration. Remember that the configuration will not take affect until the GUI has been restarted.

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