2.13. SaX2

Configure the graphical environment of your system with Hardware+Graphics Card and Monitor. This opens the SUSE Advanced X11 Configuration interface (SaX2), where you can configure devices such as your mouse, keyboard, or display devices. This interface can also accessed from the main menu by clicking System+Configuration+SaX2.

2.13.1. Card and Monitor Properties

Adjust the settings for your graphics card and display device in Card and Monitor Properties. If you have more than one graphics card installed, each device is shown in a separate dialog reachable by a tab. At the top of the dialog, see the current settings for the selected graphics card and the monitor that is attached to it. If more than one screen can be connected to the card (dual head), the monitor on the primary output is shown. Normally, the card and display device are detected automatically by the system during installation. However, you can tune many parameters manually or even change the display device completely.

Figure 2.8. Card and Monitor Properties

Card and Monitor Properties
[Tip]Autodetecting New Display Hardware

If you change your display hardware after installation, use sax2 -r on the command line to cause SaX2 to detect your hardware. You must be root to run SaX2 from the command line.

2.13.1.1. Graphics Card

It is not possible to change the graphics card because only known models are supported and these are detected automatically. However, you can change many options that affect the behavior of the card. Normally, this should not be necessary because the system already has set them up appropriately during installation. If you are an expert and want to tweak some of the options, click Options next to the graphics card and select the option to change. To assign a value needed to a certain option, enter this value in the dialog that appears after selecting that option. Click OK to close the options dialog.

2.13.1.2. Monitor

To change the current settings for the monitor, click Change next to the monitor. A new dialog opens in which to adjust various monitor-specific settings. This dialog has several tabs for various aspects of monitor operation. Select the first tab to manually select the vendor and model of the display device in two lists. If your monitor is not listed, you can choose one of the VESA or LCD modes that suit your needs or, if you have a vendor driver disk or CD, click Utility Disk and follow the instructions on the screen to use it. Check Activate DPMS to use display power management signaling. Display Size, with the geometrical properties of the monitor, and Sync Frequencies, with the ranges for the horizontal and vertical sync frequencies of your monitor, are normally set up correctly by the system, but you can modify these values manually. After making all adjustments, click OK to close this dialog.

[Warning]Changing Monitor Frequencies

Although there are safety mechanisms, you should still be very careful when changing the allowed monitor frequencies manually. Incorrect values might destroy your monitor. You should always refer to the monitor's manual before changing frequencies.

2.13.1.3. Resolution and Color Depth

The resolution and color depth can be chosen directly from two lists in the middle of the dialog. The resolution you select here marks the highest resolution to use. All common resolutions down to 640x480 are also added to the configuration automatically. Depending on the graphical desktop used, you can switch to any of these later without the need for reconfiguration.

2.13.1.4. Dual Head

If you have a graphics card with two outputs installed in your computer, you can connect two screens to your system. Two screens that are attached to the same graphics card are referred to as dual head. SaX2 automatically detects multiple display devices in the system and prepares the configuration accordingly. To use the dual head mode of a graphics card, check Activate Dual Head Mode at the bottom of the dialog and click Configure to set the dual head options and the arrangement of the screens in the dual head dialog.

The tabs in the row at the top of the dialog each correspond to a graphics card in your system. Select the card to configure and set its multihead options in the dialog below. In the upper part of the multihead dialog, click Change to configure the additional screen. The possible options are the same as for the first screen. Choose the resolution to use for this screen from the list. Select one of three possible multihead modes.

Traditional Multihead

Each monitor represents an individual unit. The mouse pointer can switch between the screens.

Cloned Multihead

In this mode, all monitors display the same contents. The mouse is only visible on the main screen.

Xinerama Multihead

All screens combine to form a single large screen. Program windows can be positioned freely on all screens or scaled to a size that fills more than one monitor.

[Note]Note

Linux currently does not offer 3D support for Xinerama multihead environments. In this case, SaX2 deactivates the 3D support.

The arrangement of the dual head environment describes the sequence of the individual screens. By default, SaX2 configures a standard layout that follows the sequence of the detected screens, arranging all screens in a row from left to right. In the Arrangement part of the dialog, determine the way the monitors are arranged by selecting one of the sequence buttons. Click OK to close the dialog.

[Tip]Using a Beamer with Laptop Computers

To connect a beamer to a laptop computer, activate dual head mode. In this case, SaX2 configures the external output with a resolution of 1024x768 and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. These values suit most beamers very well.

2.13.1.5. Multihead

If you have more than one graphics card installed in your computer, you can connect more than one screen to your system. Two or more screens that are attached to different graphics cards are referred to as multihead. SaX2 automatically detects multiple graphics cards in the system and prepares the configuration accordingly. By default, SaX2 configures a standard layout that follows the sequence of the detected graphics cards, arranging all screens in a row from left to right. The additional Arrangement tab allows for changing this layout manually. Drag the icons representing the individual screens in the grid and click OK to close the dialog.

2.13.1.6. 3D Acceleration

If your graphics card supports 3D acceleration, you can switch it on and off with Activate 3D Acceleration.

2.13.1.7. Testing the Configuration

Click OK in the main window after completing the configuration of your monitor and your graphics card, then test your settings. This ensures that your configuration is suitable for your devices. If the image is not steady, terminate the test immediately by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Backspace and reduce the refresh rate or the resolution and color depth.

[Note]Note

Regardless of whether you run a test, all modifications are only activated when you restart the X server.

2.13.2. Mouse Properties

Adjust the settings for your mouse in Mouse Properties. If you have more than one mouse with different drivers installed, each driver is shown in a separate tab. Multiple devices operated by the same driver are shown as one mouse. Activate or deactivate the currently selected mouse with the check box at the top of the dialog. Below the check box, see the current settings for that mouse. Normally, the mouse is detected automatically, but you can change it manually if the automatic detection fails. Refer to the documentation for your mouse for a description of the model. Click Change to select the vendor and model from two lists then click OK to confirm your selection. In the options part of the dialog, set various options for operating your mouse.

Activate 3-Button Emulation

If your mouse has only two buttons, a third button is emulated when you click both buttons simultaneously.

Activate Mouse Wheel

Check this box to use a scroll wheel.

Emulate Wheel with Mouse Button

If your mouse does not have a scroll wheel but you want to use similar functionality, you can assign an additional button for this. Select the button to use. While pressing this button, any movement of the mouse is translated into scroll wheel commands. This feature is especially useful with trackballs.

When you are satisfied with your settings, click OK to confirm your changes.

[Note]Note

Any changes you make here take effect only after you restart the X server.

2.13.3. Keyboard Properties

Use this dialog to adjust the settings for operating your keyboard in the graphical environment. In the upper part of the dialog, select the type, language layout, and variant. Use the test field at the bottom of the dialog to check if special characters are displayed correctly. Select additional layouts and variants to use from the list in the middle. Depending on the type of your desktop, these may be switched in the running system without the need for reconfiguration. After you click OK, the changes are applied immediately.

2.13.4. Tablet Properties

Use this dialog to configure a graphics tablet attached to your system. Click the Graphics Tablet tab to select vendor and model from the lists. Currently, SUSE Linux supports only a limited number of graphics tablets. To activate the tablet, check Activate This Tablet at the top of the dialog.

In the Port and Mode dialog, configure the connection to the tablet. SaX2 enables the configuration of graphics tablets connected to the USB port or the serial port. If your tablet is connected to the serial port, verify the port. /dev/ttyS0 refers to the first serial port. /dev/ttyS1 refers to the second. Additional ports use similar notation. Choose appropriate Options from the list and select the Primary Tablet Mode suitable for your needs.

If your graphics tablet supports electronic pens, configure them in Electronic Pens. Add eraser and pen and set their properties after clicking Properties.

When you are satisfied with the settings, click OK to confirm your changes.

2.13.5. Touchscreen Properties

Use this dialog to configure touchscreens attached to your system. If you have more than one touchscreen installed, each device is shown in a separate dialog reachable by a tab. To activate the currently selected touchscreen, check Assign a Touchscreen to Display at the top of the dialog. Select vendor and model from the lists below and set an appropriate Connection Port at the bottom. You can configure touchscreens connected to the USB port or the serial port. If your touchscreen is connected to the serial port, verify the port. /dev/ttyS0 refers to the first serial port. /dev/ttyS1 refers to the second. Additional ports use similar notation. When you are satisfied with your settings, click OK to confirm your changes.

2.13.6. Remote Access Properties

VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is a client-server solution that gives access a remote X server with a slim and easy-to-use client. This client is available for a variety of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple's MacOS, and Linux. Find additional information about VNC at http://www.realvnc.com/.

Use this dialog to configure your X server as a host for VNC sessions. If you want VNC clients to connect to your X server, check Allow Access to Display Using VNC Protocol. Set a password to restrict access to your VNC-enabled X server. Check Allow Multiple VNC Connections if more than one VNC client should connect to the X server at the same time. Allow HTTP access by checking Activate HTTP Access and setting the port to be use in HTTP Port.

When you are satisfied with your settings, click OK to save your changes.