April 2007

In various tests of distros I have come across a problem where the screensaver would not activate in KDE. I have been using Debian Etch off and on and was fairly happy with it, but then the KDE screensaver problem kicked in. It’s not a deal breaker to have no screensaver, but it’s one of those basic things that I think should work in a distro. At any rate, I searched around a bit (again), and found many people with the same problem, but no solution. Just for kicks, I hit the advanced tab in the screensaver config window, and set the screensaver priority to high (default is low) thinking that maybe there is some background activity keeping the screensaver from kicking in. And wouldn’t you know it, it seemed to work.

Screesaver Settings

Screesaver Settings Advanced

With the arrival of CentOS 5 I wanted to give it a try on an old machine to test out everything before moving it on a production beast. After the initial install things looked good, albeit I really don’t like the blue curve theme, and I wanted to use KDE. After some thematic switches the first order of business was to replace the open source nv driver with nVidia’s binary one. As always I downloaded this from nVidia’s site, and then used init 3 as root to drop down out of the graphical interface. Usually I have everything I need but I must have forgotten to install gcc (how did that happen?!) so a quick yum install gcc fixed problem #1 right up. Problem #2 was that I didn’t have the kernel source. Again, yum stepped in and with a quick yum install kernel-devel* got me the kernel source. I was then able to build the driver, but as I didn’t have the Xorg SDK installed the script had no idea where to put the driver. yum install xorg*sdk* got me the sdk. In the end, as it had already failed the driver installation once, nVidia threw up and I was left with no working nvidia driver. So for now it’s the open source nv driver for me. Nuts.