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SUSE 9.3: More, Better, Faster, Now! - page 5

Cutting Edge and Oh, So Stable

  • May 16, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

Though I am extremely happy with SUSE 9.3, this rose is not without a thorn or two. One bizarre problem that I noted with SUSE 9.3 is that modifying the display resolution on both my Desktop system and in VMware caused SUSE to switch to the generic X Window system display/login manager, xdm, from its usual default of the KDE display manager, kdm. At first, I thought I was the victim of some remote time travel exploit, but this happened on both of my clean installs so I guess it's a bug. This was easy enough to fix by entering the Control Center's YaST2 Modules pane, selecting System, and selecting /etc/sysconfig Editor. After authenticating (unless you're already root), you can then expand the Desktop and Display manager selectors. You must then set DISPLAYMANAGER back to kdm (or to gdm if you prefer that display manager and have installed GNOME). You may want to modify this area in general, since SUSE 9.3 continues SUSE 9.2's insistence on prohibiting remote X clients from displaying on your system unless you set both DISPLAYMANAGER_REMOTE_ACCESS and DISPLAYMANAGER_SERVER_TCP_PORT_6000_OPEN to "yes."

After making these tweaks and restarting X on your system, you'll get the "right" display manager and you'll also be able to display xterms (or any other X client) from a remote system. Even after installing all of the available updates (as discussed in the previous section of this review), the problem still persisted and was repeatable. Caveat User.

I also noticed that, at least in VMware, my clean SUSE 9.3 installation was surprisingly hesitant to shut down, even when told to do so. While I found this touching (it's like it doesn't want to leave), it is irritating to have to tell it to turn off the computer twice. Perhaps this is another VMware thing--I didn't see this problem on my updates or in a clean install on physical hardware.

As shipped, SUSE's KDE 3.4 activated some irritating bells and whistles that I was compelled to disable. By default, mousing over anything in the panel displays a relatively large graphical tool tip that tells you what you're mousing over. Oddly enough, I already knew where my cursor was, and thus found this to be visually irritating and a probable waste of a few cycles. Turning this off was easy enough to do and actually quite intuitive. In the Control Center, I selected Desktop > Panels, and disabled the "Enable icon mouse-over effects" and all was well by my standards.

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