Force KDM fonts DPI – openSUSE

If the fonts on your login screen are too big, usually due to attaching external monitor, edit /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager, and append -dpi # to DISPLAYMANAGER_KDM_LOCALARGS.

For example:

DISPLAYMANAGER_KDM_LOCALARGS="-dpi 75"

You should restart KDM (rcxdm restart) after doing so.

TwinView, openSUSE and the NVidia driver

A week ago, I brought 37″ LG Led TV for my living room. It’s cheap and has a lot of features. After buying 10 meters of DVI to HDMI cable, the TV was connected to my development machine, which also happens to be in my living room. Great to watch HD movies late at night, or playing games when you fell like not doing anything.

My development PC is running openSUSE 11.4 and has nVidia GeForce 8600 GT card. Old but perfectly good for my needs. I’m using nVidia proprietary driver, and a great tool called nVidia X Server Settings that comes with it.

Here is how to enable dual monitor setup and make your changes permanent:

Start “nVidia X Server Settings” and select “X Server Display Configuration“. There you should see your monitors (in my case my primary monitor and TV). One of them will be disabled. Select the disabled monitor and click “Configure…“. From the “Configure Display Device” dialog choose “TwinView” option. Click “Ok” Change the display resolution and Hz if you like. Select “Make this the primary display for the X screen.” if you like your selection to be the primary monitor. Click “Apply”. Play with the options until you are happy with the results, but don’t close the nVidia tool.

To make your changes permanent, start a terminal, become root user and “cd” to “/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/“. Open “50-screen.conf“. From the nVidia tool select “Save to X Configuration File” and then “Show Preview“. Scroll to the section named “Screen” and copy-paste the tree “Option” lines in “50-screen.conf” after the “Monitor” directive. Save the file, close the nVidia tool and log out. Your X server should restart, and your settings apply ed automatically.

When you say you support GNU/Linux, support it in all of it’s shapes and forms

In order to optimize cost and ease the maintenance we gradually started replacing our employees desktop PC’s with thin clients. Provider of choice was NComputing.

So far so good, the devices are great, combined with our VMWare visualization infrastructure. We are able to support up to 30 clients on Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 with ought any noticeable lag, some of them even playing videos. Something according to my research NComputing do better than the rest of the competition.

But not everything is bells and wishes. Excluding the fact that they still doesn’t support Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 SP1, they claim that this devices work with GNU/Linux in general. The only distribution they support is Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. I mean only Ubuntu, not even Kubuntu 10.04 LTS ,kernel 2.6.32 and GDM only. Also their GNU/Linux version of the software is not future rich as the Windows counterpart. Some examples include that when by some reason you are disconnected from your session you can’t reconnect back to it and new one is started, forcing the administrator to log you out from the server.

At first why we need GNU/Linux support? We are members of Free Technology Academy, and we are about to start courses soon, teaching people who are interested on various aspects of the Free Software.

After some hacking I was able to instal their software on OpenSUSE 11.4 x64, by the means of converting the provided .deb packages to rpm’s using alien, downgrading the kernel to 2.6.32, installing GDM, satisfying dependencies and some other dirty hacks. The result was that the client was able to see the server but hangs on attempt to connect.

I will post the exact procedure some time later. Maybe someone can complete the hack?

After day and half trying I contacted their technical support and provided them with as much details as possible, also asking them some questions about their future plans on supporting GNU/Linux, offering them some help also. Their support is terrible, it’s now day 3 and there is no reply from them.

If they can’t help me, I plan to use LTSP, with some old PS’s as terminals, maybe convincing my boss of buying LTSP thin clients.

This is another example of how dependent you are when you don’t have the source code or the device hardware spec, and a proof that open source hardware and software is the better alternative and future.

So, when you say you support GNU/Linux, support it in all of it shapes and forms, and remember that Ubuntu is not the only GNU/Linux distribution out there, or at least when you support only Ubuntu, say “we are supporting Ubuntu” not Linux in general.