These days, more and more people are using a laptop instead of a desktop machine and are relying on a docking station at their main work location.
Unfortunately handling the change in hardware, especially the display device, is an area that Linux still needs some work. This is especially the case if the laptop has a wide screen display, but the monitor does not. (or visa versa)
Fortunately, SUSE linux (SLED and OpenSUSE) has the ability in YaST to manage this for you.
Profile Manager is the solution.
First, go into YaST, and enable profiles
The following instructions assume you have your laptop working perfectly well of the docking station.
Press <alt><F2> and enter /sbin/yast2 enter the root password when prompted. Go into System-> Profile Manager.
On SLED or OpenSUSE 10.1 or 2 systems, you will get prompted that the profile manager doesn’t work well with the Network Manager. We are only going to manage the display, so press continue.
Click on Enable, Set switch mode to save, and if you want to, click on “Allow Profile Management for Non-root Users”. If you do that, click on Configure next to that tick box, and add the users in you want to have permissions to save, create and delete profiles.
Next, click on the configure at the bottom of the screen. The only services we want to configure is xf86, although if you know you want to configure other services for your environment, feel free. When you’re done, click on Finish.
The current settings are now saved in a profile called “default”. We will want to rename that to the profile “undocked”, so lets do that. Open a terminal window, and change to root, then run
scpm rename default undocked
then, copy the undocked profile to a new name, so we can edit that.
scpm copy undocked docked
Now it’s time shutdown, dock your laptop, and boot it back up. At the boot screen, you should see a new hint at the bottom of the screen saying “F3-Undocked”. If you press F3, you will have the option of changing the profile the machine boots in. So, when you boot it, press f3 and select the docked profile.
Now, hopefully you’ll have a display that works to some extent, even if not perfectly. If so, login, and use sax2 to configure your display as you want.
If not, press <ctrl><alt><f1> to get a text mode screen. Log in there, and run sax2 to configure the display. Frequently, all you would need to run is a variant of “sax2 -a -r”
Then, logout and shutdown, and your profiles should be setup.
Note, your profile is only saved when you shutdown. So, if for some reason your system crashes, you will need to redo your changes.
These instructions were tested with SLED10, but should work with open SUSE versions 10 and above, and maybe earlier versions.