Using sax2

To configure or reconfigure X on SUSE, you can use SUSE's sax2 tool. It is best (but not essential) to switch first to runlevel 3, so type the following as root:

i nit 3

Then, again as root, issue the following command: sax2

The sax2 tool then starts its own graphical environment that offers you choices for configuring the graphics, and from here on, everything should be simple. Certain problems can occur, however. In particular, it is possible that limitations of the graphics card or monitor may prevent sax2 itself from displaying. If this happens, you should look into the various options that sax2 offers. Type the following:

This shows you a list of options for the sax2 command. The most useful options if sax2 is not displaying properly are -l and -V. The command sax2 -l (or sax2 --lowres) runs sax2 in a low resolution mode (800 x 600). This is useful if your monitor is not being correctly detected, which leads to a wrong resolution or frequency being sent to it as sax2 tries to start. Use this option if you see only a blank screen when sax2 starts. The -V option enables you to run sax2 in VESA mode (which should work on almost any hardware) and choose the resolution and frequency at which sax2 runs. So, for example, sax2 -V0:[email protected]

runs sax2 at a resolution of 1,024 x 768 and a frequency of 85Hz. So if sax2 is not displaying when you run it without options, you can run it at a resolution and frequency that you know your hardware can handle.

| f - - p Note that what we are talking about here is the resolution at which the sax2 tool rr itself displays, not the eventual resolutions that we are going to configure.

You can also run sax2 with the option -m, which allows it to choose an appropriate module to run with using a command such as this:

sax2 -m 0=s3virge

The available modules can be found by listing the directory /usr/lib/xorg/modules/ drivers/.

You may particularly want to do this if you have installed one of the proprietary drivers from ATI or NVIDIA. For example, in the case of ATI, the module required is likely to be fglrx:

sax2 -m 0=fglrx

When sax2 starts, you will see something that resembles the screen shown in Figure 8-1.


sax2 main screen sax2 main screen


In general, sax2 is able to detect your monitor and check its capabilities against its database. If not, you can use the monitor section to set the monitor type (in the worst case you may need to set the monitor's capabilities manually based on the frequency and resolution that its documentation tells you that it is capable of). Figure 8-2 shows the screen that sax2 displays to let you specify the graphics resolution that your monitor is capable of.

Similarly, the graphics card is also typically detected automatically. However, you have the option to set it manually, either specifically by name (this should be unnecessary because typically sax2 is capable of detecting it automatically) or generically (which may be necessary if the card is really unsupported).

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