Solving Common Problems

This section addresses some common issues, in problem/solution format.

Problem: My computer has frozen. The mouse still moves, but I can't click anywhere.

Solution: You can fix the situation by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. This will kill the X server and instantly restart it (assuming you're in run level 5).

However, finding the cause of the underlying problem is difficult. If the mouse cursor still moves, this is likely to be a software issue, so you might consider updating your software online if you haven't already. Select K menu ® Control Center, click on the YaST2 Modules icon, click Software, and then click Online Updates.

If the freeze always happens when you use a particular application, the problem may be linked to that piece of software. Try keeping a list of when the crash occurs, and write down what you were doing at the time. Then try to see if you can spot a pattern.

Problem: My computer has frozen completely. I can't even move the mouse!

Solution: See the previous answer to learn how to attempt to regain control of your system. If that doesn't work, the quickest solution is to press the reset button on your computer case.

Getting to the bottom of PC lockups is very hard to do, although they tend to be linked to hardware issues. If you have Windows installed on the same machine, try running that for some time and see if the lockup problem persists. If it does, it's unlikely to be linked to SUSE Linux. For example, freezes can often be caused by faulty or overheating system components. However, it's a good idea to also follow the previous instructions to update your system online.

Problem: I can't get any sound!

Solution: Click the Volume icon in the system tray. If the Mute button is checked, you know what's causing the problem!

Problem: The keyboard mostly works fine, but some of the symbols are on the wrong keys. The @ sign isn't where it should be, for example.

Solution: It's likely that your keyboard has been set for the wrong country layout. Start YaST2 (K menu ® Control Center and click YaST2 Modules), and then click System ® Select Keyboard Layout. Click the Administrator Mode button, enter your root password, and select your country from the list. This suggestion assumes that you're using the correct keyboard for your country. Some PCs supplied in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom come with United States keyboards. You can tell if this is the case because the @ sign will be above the numeral 2 key.

Problem: When I click to run a certain program, nothing happens! (Alternatively, the program becomes prone to bugs or crashes, but it worked correctly previously.)

Solution: It's possible that the program has become corrupted. YaST2 includes a function by which a program can be "refreshed," which means effectively reinstalled but without losing any configuration data. Start YaST2 (K menu ® Control Center and click YaST2 Modules), click Software, and then click Install and Remove Software. Search for the program in question using the text box and click its check box in the list a few times until the Update symbol appears (a small lightning flash). Then click the Accept button. Note that you will need to insert your SUSE Linux installation DVD.

Problem: I've forgotten my password!

Solution: If you've forgotten your user password, you can log in as root and change it. Log in as root when prompted by typing root as the username and entering your root password. Then open a Konsole window (K menu ® System ® Terminal ® Konsole). Then type this:

passwd <username> 

where <username> is your username.

Problem: When SUSE Linux is starting, it gets to the stage where KDE is starting, but then it freezes. The splash screen simply stays on the screen and pauses at a particular stage.

Solution: Sometimes, the KDE desktop environment used by SUSE Linux freezes during startup. This can be for any number of reasons, including a misconfigured X server setup or the power-management system not working correctly. However, if you found that you were able to boot into the desktop in the past but cannot do so any longer, it's possible that one of your KDE configuration files has become corrupted. First, follow the instructions in the "Emptying the /tmp Folder" section earlier in this chapter to clear the /tmp folder.

If this doesn't solve the problem, there's a more drastic course of action you can take. This involves losing all your KDE configuration files, however, which will mean settings for many of your desktop applications will be lost (for example, your Kmail account details will need to be reentered, although your mail won't be lost). It will effectively return you to a pristine state. Open a Konsole window (K menu ® System ® Terminal ® Konsole) and type the following:

su [Enter root password] init 3

This will switch you to run level 3, which will shut down the GUI. Log in under your username and then, making sure you're in your home directory, type this:

mv .kde .kde_old

This will rename the hidden KDE settings folder. Then restart the GUI by typing this:

su  [Enter root password] init 5

When the GUI restarts, the KDE folder will be re-created from scratch, and with any luck, you will be able to boot into the desktop without hindrance.

Beginning SUSE Linux from Novice to Professional
Beginning SUSE Linux: From Novice to Professional
ISBN: 1590594584
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 293
Authors: Keir Thomas

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