Configuring Your Hardware

When you have read the release notes, click Next and you will be asked to configure your hardware (see Figure 1-31). The YaST installer and the YaST system configuration manager run the same modules to configure hardware.

FIGURE 1-31

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Configuring the Graphics

In almost all cases, YaST will set up the X Window system automatically in such a way that it is usable with a sensible resolution. This is a far cry from the situation in the early days of Linux when setting up your own combination of graphics card and monitor to work correctly was sometimes a significant challenge.

However, if you need to change the configuration, you can select both graphics cards and monitors under "Graphics Cards'' and then select the screen resolution you want.

To change your monitor configuration from what YaST detected, click "Monitor" below "Graphics Cards.'' You are presented with a list of available monitors from which you can choose (see Figure 1-32).

FIGURE 1-32

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If your specific monitor is listed in the vendor list, select it. If not, choose either LCD (for laptop or flatscreen monitors) or VESA (for CRT monitors). It is usually a safe bet that a resolution of 1024 x 768 will be supported by your monitor.

Every Linux book and piece of documentation on X Windows configuration has a disclaimer about configuring your graphics system. This book is no different because there are real dangers if you set up your monitor incorrectly. Because the graphics card drives the monitor, it is imperative that you either configure the graphics system with standard lower settings, or take a look in the documentation that came with both your monitor and your graphics card and figure out the correct settings for them. Sax2 comes with well-defined Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) settings for general setup and also specific configurations from the major manufacturers of graphics systems. The remainder of this section discusses a low-specification graphics setup that should be safe for most people. However, you really should know how hard you can push your system so as not to damage your monitor by overdriving what your graphics card gives to it. Most of today's monitors have built-in settings to protect against hardware damage, but you should be especially careful when configuring the X Window system on an older monitor.

Configuring Your Sound Card

YaST will detect the sound card and will set it up automatically. During a standard installation, you are not required to intervene in this process; it just happens. In almost all cases, that is all you need to know. The rest of this section concerns what you can do after installation if it turns out that sound was not configured correctly during the installation.

After the installation is complete, confirm that sound is working by attempting to play a music CD or music file (for example, an MP3 file using the amarok or banshee sound player programs). If you don't hear sound at this stage, first check the physical connection to the speakers. Then (if you are using KDE) check that the KDE volume control is at a sensible setting and not disabled or turned down to zero. In the unlikely event that sound still fails to work, you can rerun the YaST sound module in expert mode. The sound module is found in YaST's Hardware section. You will find three possible setup modes:

■ Quick automatic setup: This is the default and is the one that is used during installation.

■ Normal setup: This enables you to test the sound card. There is a volume control and a test button. When you have set the volume, a test sound is played when you press test.

■ More detailed installation of sound cards: If you choose this option, you are taken to a screen where you can set any configurable options for the particular sound card that has been detected. Depending on the particular card, these may include settings to enable a joystick and MPU (midi processing unit) port settings.

If even experimentation with the detailed installation options fails, you can try the low-level alsaconf program. As root, type alsaconf to start the program. It is a text-based program that, in fact, provides the back end for YaST's sound configuration module. Running it standalone, however, gives you the opportunity to use its command-line options, including alsaconf - l, which writes a log file to /tmp/alsaconf.log that may give a clue as to the problem.

vThe ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) home page can be found at

www.alsa-project.org. This is the best place to start if you have any difficulties with configuration of sound on Linux.

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