System settings not retained after session

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Thu Feb 4 01:26:22 GMT 2010

Jogchum Reitsma posted on Wed, 03 Feb 2010 23:21:23 +0100 as excerpted:

> Using KDE 4.3.1 on OpenSuse 11.2, I have two displays, both CRT's. on
> the graphics
> card (a GeForce 8600 GT). I can set them to be aside of each other in
> the System settings of
> KDE, but after closing the session and starting a new session for the
> same user, the settings are gone.
> How can I get KDE to retain the settings I have made?

Consider yourself lucky.  The kde size and orientation settings widget is 
entirely broken for some of us, and has never worked at all.  With both my 
old Radeon 9200 card (using the native xorg radeon driver, not the 
proprietary stuff) and my new Radeon hd4650, the kde widget insists on 
clone mode.  I did *NOT* buy two 24" 1920x1200 LCDs to have them run in 
clone mode!  Similarly, my Acer Aspire One netbook, Intel graphics, the 
kde widget insists on clone mode (well, same point of origin for each 
display, built-in and external, tho the external is higher resolution so 
the internal is a viewport on the upper left corner of the external) for 
it as well.

After seeing a screenshot someone posted, with the positioning dropdown, 
that's the bit that is missing here.  The widget shows two connected 
displays but there's no way to position them separately, so the origin of 
both remains 0,0, top left corner.

What I've done here is setup my xorg.conf file with the positioning I 
want.  That means it starts correctly, but doesn't help in switching 
resolutions -- or unscrewing things after the kde applet gets done with 
them if I happen to enter it -- during the session.  For that, I use the 
xrandr command line applet.  Now this applet has all sorts of options, a 
number of which I use to get it setup exactly as I want, and that's a lot 
to type and remember for every time I use it, so I setup a bash script 
that takes a single simple parameter, and converts it into one of my 
configured resolution choices, automatically filling in the rest of the  
options as needed, building the xrandr commandline bit by bit, then 
executing it at the end of the script.  That works well enough, but 
obviously, not everybody is comfortable setting up bash scripts, running 
xrandr command lines on their own, or setting up and editing as necessary 
their own xorg.conf.

This is thus just one of several bugs that have me disagreeing with the 
official position of kde that it was ready for ordinary use, from 4.2 
onward.  It's NOT ready for ordinary use, as while it could be argued that 
ordinary people don't do multiple desktop monitors, it's QUITE ordinary 
for laptop users to plug in an external monitor and want to use both, with 
the flexibility of clone or no-clone.  Thus, in this way as in several 
others, KDE remains broken for ordinary use by ordinary users, and the 
claim that it's ready for it shouldn't be made.  xrandr can get it right.  
It's open source.  Why can't kde check that code and use the same 
techniques, if they have to?  

The good news is that 4.4 is supposed to have fixed this issue.  We'll see 
in another week or so, I guess.

Meanwhile, obviously I don't use the kde graphics setup widgets much as 
they are broken, here, but have you tried krandrtray?  It sits in your 
system tray and lets you switch resolution/rotation on the fly.  (Hey, 
just tried it for the first time in awhile, and unlike the kcontrol 
applet, krandr tray actually seems to work, without insisting on clone 
mode! =:^)  I'm not positive the functionality is still there, but in 
kde3, it used to remember your graphics settings at logout and return you 
to them at login.  If you run it in the tray and have your kde session set 
to restart the same apps at login, it'll run again at login, and would 
thus be able to reset the resolution when it starts.  It might work... or 
might not, if they killed that functionality.  If it works it'd be much 
simpler than learning xrandr and setting up a script to do it using 
xrandr.  (Said script could then be put in your startup dir, so it runs 
when kde starts.)  Here, typing only "kran" in krunner autocompletes to 
krandrtray, and I run it from there.  But it's in the applications menu as 
well (thus the krunner autocomplete), under system.  Of course you may 
have to install it if your distribution didn't do so with its normal kde 

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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