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Linux hints and tips

Set the monitor refresh rate in openSUSE

Hardware detected has always been a problem for linux distros and while it has improved greatly over recent years it still isn't perfect. After installing openSUSE onto a PC with an HP LCD monitor the screen was very fuzzy and it was hard to read any text on the screen. The problem turned out to be a bad refresh rate - bad for the monitor, that is. It just couldn't cope with the settings and choosing a different refresh rate solved the problem.

Go to the menu button and select Applications, System, Administrator Settings (using the KDE desktop). This opens YaST Control Center. Select Hardware on the left and then click Graphics Card and Monitor on the right. Click the Change button next to Monitor and then the Sync Frequencies tab.

Reduce the horizontal and vertical frequencies settings. LCD monitors work at a much lower refresh rate than old CRT screens. You needed about 75Hz to get a flicker-free screen display with CRT, but 60Hz is rock solid on an LCD.

You probably won't need to change anything on the Display Size tab, but it is worth checking though. Make sure that the right screen size and aspect ratio (number of horizontal pixels to vertical pixels) are correct.

Click OK and OK again to close the dialogs. You'll be offered the opportunity to test the settings before making them permanent, so test it and then close the window.

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