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Using Profiles to manage multiple displays.

This document (3268142) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server


Notebook or Desktop system with multiple display options required.

This is generally needed for a notebook system that will be using a docking station with an external monitor, or an external monitor or projector plugged into the external interface which requires a different resolution than the internal display.


Profiles can be a good way to select a specific system configuration on startup of the system. The profile to use can be selected from the GRUB menu using the F3 option or a kernel parameter can be added to the GRUB menu selection to identify the profile to run.

Note: For help configuring the graphics settings for troubled displays please see Technical Information Document number3564938.

Here are the steps for creating and using profiles:

1. Verify that the "sumf" package is installed. Open YaST and select Software-->Software Management. Search for sumf. If it is not installed (not installed by default) check the box and Accept.

2. Enable profiles by running YaST and selecting System-->Profile Manager. Select "Enabled" in the SCPM configuration and click Finish.

3. Get the system configured properly for one of your profiles. For example if you have a notebook which needs one configuration for when it is undocked and another (different monitor resolution) when docked then get the system working properly with the correct resolution for undocked.

4. To save the current configuration in a profile you must be running a graphic desktop such as GNOME or KDE. Open a terminal window and enter "su" to become root (if you are not currently root). Enter the command "sumf" to bring up the"SCPM Universal Management Front-End".

In the pull-down menu select "Profiles-->Add" then enter the name of the profile for the current configuration. In this case you could use undocked. You will be asked "Should the new profile be the active one?" Select Yes. The configuration will be saved and the new selection listed.

Close sumf.

5. Shut your system down and bring it up in the docked state and configure the system with the new settings for the external monitor.

6. When the configuration is complete follow step 4 to save the new profile as docked.

7. When the system is rebooted and the GRUB menu is displayed look for the F3 at the bottom. Press F3 and a selection will be given for the profiles that have been created. Select the appropriate profile and you should get the expected settings for the display.

Alternatively you can modify the menu selections in GRUB and add a kernel parameter "PROFILE=docked" (or undocked). The kernel parameters can be modified for GRUB by opening YaST and selecting"System-->Boot Loader". Highlight the selection you would like to edit then click Edit. On the line titled "Optional Kernel Command Line Parameter" add the new parameter to the end. You may also want to change the Section Name for this entry to reflect the specific profile to be used. This is what will be displayed on the GRUB menu.

To add a second entry on the menu for another profile just highlight the one just modified and select "Add" then click on the selection to "Clone Selected Section" then on the following screen enter a new Section Name and change the PROFILE= parameter.


Additional Information

There are many additional uses and capabilities of the SCPM profiles. For example, when enabling SCPM in YaST you will notice "Resource Groups" at the bottom. This can be used to specify specific configuration files to save and restore when enabling the profile. For the above example the only resource group that is required is xf86. There are many Resource Groups to choose from making SCPM a valuable tool for managing different configurations.

SCPM is not compatible with with NetworkManager but it will not effect the performance of NetworkManager. It simply does not save the NetworkManager configuration. If you would like SCPM to store the network card configuration you will need to use the"Traditional ifup" method rather than NetworkManager. This is not needed for this example so if you receive a warning message it can be ignored.

The changing of profiles can also be enabled for users while the system is up and running. This is also enabled in YaST. Look for "Allow Profile Maqnagement for Non-root Users" in the Profile Management. Use the "Configure" button to indicate what users are allowd to change profiles. An icon will appear in the Notification Area giving the user the ability to change profiles.

More information is also available in the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop documentation.



This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:3268142
  • Creation Date: 25-Mar-2008
  • Modified Date:05-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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