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
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.