[ubuntu-x] A comment about gnome-display-properties

Miguel Martinez el.quark at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 11:29:53 BST 2008

Dear all,

I'm not sure if I should have filled a bug first but I thought that 
commenting an issue I found yesterday was worthy of this list. After 
playing a game using fglrx, I decided to switch to radeon so I could rotate 
the screen and read a pdf more comfortably. I am guilty of not purging 
fglrx of my system, but this is what I did:
1) Stop X
2) modprobe -r fglrx (successful)
3) Change xorg.conf to suit radeon
4) modprobe radeon (successful)
5) start X and login into gnome (successful)

After that, I thought that, instead of using the console, I might give 
gnome-display-properties (xrandr-gui?) a go, and probably report bugs on 
the way. I then selected a rotated screen (I don't remember if it was left 
or right, sorry) and as soon as I hit apply I was greeted by a fully black 
screen. It didn't revert. It did nothing. Well, it responded to keyboard 
input, but nothing more. Killing X gave me a working gdm, but after logging 
in the screen got black pretty soon (before loading the background).

I had a very hard time figuring out how to fix my system (it was past 
midnight), and rebooting and doing all that didn't help. The only two 
things that could help were switching agian to fglrx (because it doesn't 
support xrandr 1.2) and (fortunately) deleting my personal config. I 
finally fixed it by
1) back up .gnome* and .gconf*
2) delete them
3) log in
4) restore backed up config
5) go to system->preferences->screen-resolution and, after fiddling a bit 
with it, make sure you hit "Apply" with the desired resolution and with 
"Normal" orientation.

Obviously, logging into gnome before doing 5) will result in a black screen 
again. I don't know if having internet and being able to access the machine 
via ssh would have helped.

Would it be possible, to avoid cases like these, to make 
gnome-display-properties ask for confirmation after maybe 15 seconds before 
commiting the definitive change? Another question I have is where in the 
filesystem is the gconf key (or similar) that stores these preferences.

Please note that, as it is a particular setting, a reinstall won't help if 
you have a separate home.

Thanks for bearing with me during such a verbose e-mail. Regards,


PS: I suppose this is a bug candidate, right? I'll fill one against 

Miguel Martínez Canales
    Dto. Física de la Materia Condensada
    Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología
    Apdo. 644
    48080 Bilbao (Spain)
Fax:  +34 94 601 3500
Tlf:  +34 94 601 5326

  "If you have an apple and I have an apple and
  we exchange these apples then you and I will
  still each have one apple. But if you have an
  idea and I have an idea and we exchange these
  ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

  George Bernard Shaw

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