OpenSUSE Linux Rants

OpenSUSE Linux Tips, tricks, how-tos, opinions, and news

My Resume  -  My LinkedIn Profile

May 16, 2006

Xgl on SUSE Linux 10.1

by @ 10:41 am. Filed under Work-Related, Xgl

Alrighty, here’s the deal: I was contacted by the folks at Novell. They said that the Xgl for SUSE 10.1 article was breaking peoples’ systems. So, they asked me to remove it. Ever since then, I’ve gotten all kinds of feedback asking where it went, when it will be back, and stuff like that. Due to popular demand, I put it back up, asking people to tell me which systems it breaks. I want to notify everyone who uses it. That way, they know whether they should use it or not. So please, if it works, let me know what systems it works on. If it doesn’t, let me know which systems it does not work on. That way, everyone can have a clear idea of what is going on and no one will be confused. At least about that. 🙂

Please also include the output of the ‘uname -a’ command. I’ll need to know what actual platform and version thereof that you are using.

May 11, 2006

Xgl Howto Reappears – other SUSE Linux Rants news

by @ 9:07 pm. Filed under SUSE Blog News, Work-Related, Xgl

Looks like my Xgl Howto resurfaced with the release of SUSE Linux 10.1. That’s pretty cool. digg story

I got Seprian’s logo put in. I really like it. Seprian, bro, if you get this, send me an email.

I actually created a store with stuff sporting the cool new logo. I’ll probably grab a shirt or 10 and hand them out to whoever asks for one or something (the only catch is that you have to ask me in person).

I also saw another blog article that looked pretty interesting. See what you think.

April 20, 2006

Installing RPMs on SUSE Linux

by @ 6:47 am. Filed under SUSE Tips & Tricks, Xgl

I still feel like I’ve been sucked into a jet engine. Notwithstanding, I was still able to make it to the openSUSE status meeting yesterday morning in the #opensuse IRC channel on freenode at 10:00 AM Mountain. Anyone else able to make it? Interesting stuff, tell you what. I was going to post the log of the meeting here, but then I didn’t.

I saw a short article today about an open-source advertising platform. The idea is intriguing. If something were actually done along these lines, I’d be game to try it out on my site. Then, I could lose the ads.

There was another very basic intro to using multiple desktops in KDE. There is some sound counsel in the article. It did seem geared towards new Linux users, though.

The Xgl tutorial is done, and I will be posting it up very soon. Stay tuned for its URL.

Since I still feel like my large intestine is wrapped around my hypothalamus, I’m going to offer a very small tip, having to do with installing RPMs on the commandline.

Normally, you could issue a command such as:

rpm -i [packagename]

A better way to do this may be as follows:

rpm -Uvh [packagename]

The “U” means upgrade. In cases where you have an older version of an RPM installed, and you’re trying to install a newer version, the -i will not do this. You’d first have to erase the RPM with the -e switch. However, if you have dependencies that rely on that RPM, you won’t be able to erase the old version of the RPM unless you want to get even more hairy. It’s easier to just tell it to upgrade. In cases where you do not have an older version of the RPM installed, the command will still install the intended RPM.

The “v” is for verbose. This just provides more information about the installation process of the RPM.

The “h” option is for “show hashes.”

If you look around on forums and what-not, it seems that those who know suggest you use -Uvh rather than -i to install new RPMs.

With that, I’m going to go drink my 3rd bottle of Nyquil and see if that helps at all.

April 19, 2006

SUSE Linux gurus are plenty nice

by @ 7:03 am. Filed under SUSE Tips & Tricks, Work-Related, Xgl

I wonder how many times I could be hit in the chest with a baseball bat and not die. However many times that is, I feel like exactly that has happened. All of your voodoo, hexes, and curses are working. Either that, or I’m getting pneumonia and the flu, and I’ll probably be dead ere I finish my ranting for the day.

You’ll notice I put some banners down the side of my page, here. I have to pay for this thing, somehow. Until someone gives me a better idea, that’s what we get to do. There are one or two things coming down the pipeline, so we’ll see what trainwreck becomes of it all.

I came across an interesting story about how Linux gurus are totally stuck on themselves and give noobs a hard time. Man, if I were a SUSE guru, I would never do such a thing. Judging by the silence I hear, many of you disagree. That’s cool, you just have to get to know me better. There’s nobody nicer than me. Read some of the articles I’ve done for Novell. I try and write them so as to be as absolutely easy as possible to follow and understand. The Xgl one I’m trying to rework is quite challenging for that very reason. Xgl isn’t quite so noob-friendly, but I’m trying to spell everything out in the tutorial as much as possible for the inexperienced SUSE users who want some coolness on their desktop. Check in later this week for the final draft. Yes, I know I said that last week. The difference is that it will actually be available this week and not last week.

TIP OF THE DAY: I have it from a good source that SUSE 10.1 Installation Sources will be compatible with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10. However, they will not be supported. So, if you blow up your installation by using said Install Sources, it’s your own mess to clean up. I believe the same thing is true for NLD 9 and SLES 9; they can use SUSE 9.1 Install Sources. Worked for me, anyway.

Again tonight, I have a handful of M$ exposé stories, which I don’t have the energy to talk too much about, so I’ll just give you the headlines and links:

Well, that’s all for today, folks. Maybe I’ll jump back on if I can suck some of the crud out of my ear canals, nose, throat, and sinuses. Maybe I’ll post pictures.

April 14, 2006

SUSE Linux 10.1 Officially runs Xgl!

by @ 1:24 pm. Filed under SUSE Tips & Tricks, Xgl

OK! I found the problem. I had no window borders, etc. Every single other aspect of Xgl was working, except that none of the plugins were installed. All I had to do was run gconf-editor at a terminal window. Then, I had to go to apps > compiz > general > allscreens > options > active_plugins and add each of the plugins I needed, starting with the decoration plugin which was not installed by default. Evidently, when you log into X the first time, compiz initializes and doesn’t load any plugins. However, if you follow the tutorial, you’ll see that I explicitly tell compiz to load all the plugins. So, the first time you log in, you expect that they won’t work, but the second time they should take effect, right? Well, not in my case. I had to go put in all the plugins manually inside gconf-editor. The list of plugins are as follows:

gconf, gconf-dump, miniwin, decoration, transset, wobbly, fade, minimize, cube, rotate, zoom, scale, move, resize, place, switcher, trailfocus, water

So, for anyone who doesn’t seem to have their plugins working, but you can see that Xgl is loading when you log into a session, this might be the fix for you.

I’ve also updated my “Quick Xgl Tutorial” herein to reflect these issues, so you can still use it and get Xgl working just fine.

In other news, I did get a submission for the logo contest. Thanks Tony! Here’s what he sent in:

For people asking about ATI, I do have an older laptop w/an integrated ATI board. So, I’ll take that home and beat on it this weekend. If I find out anything interesting, you’ll be the first to know. It looks like ATI has released new drivers. Hopefully, this will help with the Xgl quest.

SUSE Linux 10.1 RC1 may have problems with Xgl. Stay tuned.

by @ 6:52 am. Filed under General SUSE, Xgl

SUSE Linux 10.1 RC1 was finally mine this morning after taking an hour and a half to download the entire 6 CD set. Man, I remember when downloading a megabyte took all night over a 1200 baud modem. Now, I can sometimes get download speeds of 2.5 Megabytes per second. Not today, however. The CDs downloaded at about 60 K/s, probably because everyone else on the planet was coming to their senses and wanted a copy of SUSE Linux. Man, you just can’t blame them.

Immediately, I wanted to install it on my lab machine to get Xgl set up on it. After installing SUSE (including the AddOn CD), the Xgl setup went smoothly. However, when I logged into Gnome for the final time expecting joy, the borders of all the windows were missing. Alas, no joy. A reader wrote in and seemed to be having the same problem with 10.1 RC1. I’m going to assume it has something to do with the AddOn CD, and try it all again without using it. The AddOn CD seems like a spectacular collection of packages. I’d sure hate to not be able to use it because something on it interferes with my Xgl.

I do know that everything worked spectacularly with Beta9, with which I did not use any AddOn CD.

I’ll just keep beating on it to see what I can figure out. Maybe one of the three people who read this blog (hi, mom) has some clue?

Contribute to our Windows Errors Gallery. Email entries and info to errors -at- suseblog -dot- com. Just send a link, image, and all other info, and I’ll make sure it gets into the gallery.

April 12, 2006

Quick Xgl Tutorial for SUSE Linux 10.1

by @ 6:53 am. Filed under SUSE Tips & Tricks, Xgl

The easiest setup for Xgl is on the Gnome desktop (though most things also work on KDE) with an nVidia card. So, that’s what I did. When you are done with these steps, Gnome will be spectacular, and KDE will sport most of the features, though not all:

I don’t have a lot of time, but here is the quick and dirty version, not for the faint of heart. I will be writing a more user-friendly version of this tutorial for publication in CoolSolutions later this week, so stay tuned. For now, here’s how you can do what I did to make this work.

Open YAST. Install ‘make’, ‘gcc’, and ‘kernel-source’ packages.

Download your nVidia kernel module from

At the time of writing, the latest one was on and was called

Log out of your current X session and switch to a terminal with the following key combination:

CTRL + ALT + F1 (note: opening a terminal window will not work, you must log out and go to a terminal)

Shut down your X server with this command:

init 3

Change directory to where you downloaded the nVidia drivers. Install said drivers with this command:

sh -q

You’ll get a little message about using sax to adjust your xorg.conf file. Do this with this command:

sax2 -r -m 0=nvidia (‘zero’=nvidia)

Log back into X with this command:

init 5

Open YAST, and install xgl and compiz.

As root, open your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Find the “Device” section for your nVidia card. Change the “NoFlip” option to True. If it is not there, add it. Here’s mine:

Section "Device"
  BoardName    "GeForce4 MX 4000"
  BusID        "PCI:1@0:0:0"
  Driver       "nvidia"
  Identifier   "Device[0]"
  VendorName   "NVidia"
  Option       "NoFlip" "True"

Next, find the “Extensions” section. If it’s not there, add it. Make it look like mine:

Section "Extensions"
  Option       "Composite" "off"

As root, open your /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager file. Make the following changes:

DISPLAYMANAGER_XGL_OPTS="-accel glx:pbuffer -accel xv:fbo"

Save and exit. Run ‘SuSEconfig’ to update the system.

You need to verify that two symbolic links exist. One probably already will. Run this command:

ll /usr/X11R6/bin/X

And you should see something like this:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16 2006-04-11 21:58 /usr/X11R6/bin/X -> /var/X11R6/bin/X

If so, great, if not, make the link manually.

Delete a different symbolic link:

rm /var/X11R6/bin/X

Make the second link:

ln -s /usr/X11R6/bin/Xgl /var/X11R6/bin/X

Close that terminal window.

Open a new terminal window. Run this command (not as root):


Go to the Startup Programs tab.

Add the following startup program commands, then logout and log back in. Add both of these entire lines as separate commands:

compiz –replace gconf decoration wobbly fade minimize cube rotate zoom scale move resize place switcher



Log out of X.

Log back into Gnome (or KDE as your case may be).

You should have all your wicked Xgl stuff now.

If, after you log out of X and log back in a couple of times, your window borders and stuff are missing, take a look at my post for 2006-04-14 to fix this problem.

Again, I know this is kind of a rough draft, but I wanted to get it out there for people to start playing with. I will get a more refined one later in the week, which will be posted to Novell’s CoolSolutions. So there you go, have at it, and tell everyone you know to upgrade to SUSE 10.1 and try it out.

OpenSUSE Linux Rants
Official OpenSUSE Linux Site

internal links:


SUSE Resources

search blog:


May 2021
« Feb    

67 queries. 2.148 seconds