openSUSE on Lenovo

Initial Issue

Recently I came into the possession of a Lenovo T series laptop. Everything seemed as expected: great screen (1920x1200!), lots of RAM and a smoking fast i7 processor. I installed openSUSE and got busy importing my “dotfiles” and installing my reguarly used tools & applications. The surprise came when a coworker insisted he had issues connecting to an external monitor via the mini displayport. As soon as I plugged it in I lost my display. As it turns out this is the same behavior my coworker experienced.

Fast Forward to the Fix

Simply because this has worked in the past: I switched to Gnome3. The video issue went away. It seems my completely unscientific approach has led to a short solution. It must be how KDE5 is treating the outside monitor. Due to this being used for work, I don’t want to spend time fixing KDE5, I want to spend time working, and Gnome in all of its awkward glory is solving that problem. I can connect to external devices for both work and presentations, and my problem appears to be related to KDE5, not specifically a hardware failure.

Small Gnome Annoyances & Their Solutions

Installing Gnome

When I initially installed openSUSE 42.1 I had selected the KDE desktop during installation. This wasn’t my first rodeo, so I made sure I installed the complete GNOME desktop. I installed GNOME through the following command in openSUSE 42.1, relying on the pattern mechanism zypper provides. This is similar to Fedora/CentOS/RHEL’s yum group approach.

    zypper install -t pattern gnome

This went ahead and installed everything I needed for the Gnome desktop. Once I had everying installed I went and attempted to acclimate myself to GNOME. I sorted my “favorites” on the launcher bar, and then I noticed I couldn’t do something pretty simple: lock my screen. After some experimentation I noticed I was expected to find the lock by meta + L, or a lock icon on my right corner menu, near the restart/shutdown menu.

I knew I hadn’t changed the default login/display manager. Currently it was still running the SDDM (Simple Desktop Display Manager). I went ahead and configured that through the /etc/systemconfig subsystem. You can use YAST (I am not a fan of YAST), or manually edit the entry. If you’re new to Linux you can use YAST but don’t rely on it. It’s just an additional layer openSUSE provides. I changed it to gdm, the GNOME default.

Once I saved my changes, logged out, and logged back in I saw the expected lock icon in my menu. I was also able to lock my screen with the meta + L


  • If KDE5 is screwed up, just switch back to GNOME
  • Horray quiet dependencies for basic functions.


SRE, former Release Engineer, Pythonista, Gopher, Rube Goldberg Machine Untangler, Amateur Photographer. My thick skulled opinions are my own.