Why does switching back and forth between screen resolution mess up the desktop in OpenSUSE KDE10?

gbg April 19, 2010
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Changing screen resolution on laptops with KDE 10 messes up desktop display

Hello MakeUseOf members,

some users in my office are using laptops with OpenSUSE KDE 10 installed. They are encountering a problem when changing their screen resolutions. Normally they have 1024×768 configured. Sometimes they need to lower it to 800×600 (e.g. to connect their laptop to a projector).

When they switch back to 1024×768, their desktop display gets messed up. Their panel/taskbar gets shifted almost to the middle of the screen and the icons on the desktop get spread out all over. It’s as if the whole desktop display zoomed out back to 1024×768 but didn’t take the panel and the desktop icons with it. And thus far, the only way for users to fix this problem is to restart their laptops or log out and log back in. That is too slow and cumbersome.

There are some known bugs with KDE related to screen resolution. Or it could be that the video card on some systems can’t handle such screen resolution changes. Any help would be greatly appreciated, even if it is just a suggestion for quicker workarounds.


  1. gbg
    June 15, 2011 at 10:19 am



    • Tina
      June 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks for the update gbg! Apologies for the the duplicate comment notifications, we were re-syncing our database and hence notifications for old articles went out again.

  2. gbg
    June 15, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Workarounds for this problem

    Once you get the problem with the taskbar/panel in the middle of your messed-up screen, try one of the following:

    1. Logout of your session and login. You can hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and confirm
    your logout on the window that appears. Then log back in as you normally
    do with your userId and password.

    2. This procedure has several steps, but it's fairly simple.

      1) Right-click on the taskbar and select "Configure Panel…". The
    Configure - KDE Panel will open.

      2) Select the Menus section from the lefthand side.

    3) At the top, toggle the "Start menu style:" option from KDE to SUSE or
    vice versa, and then click on the Apply button.

    4) This should change the appearance of the taskbar AND place it back on
    the bottom. To switch it back to how it looked like before, toggle the
    option in step 3) back to its original value.

    3. This is actually the short version of workaround 2 described above and the fastest way so far.

      1) Right-click on your K Menu icon which is on the lefthand side of your

    2) Select "Switch to SUSE Menu Style" or "Switch to KDE Menu Style".
    Which option appears depends on which style you have originally selected
    for your K Menu.

    3) This should change the appearance of the taskbar AND place it back on
    the bottom. To switch it back to how it looked like before, toggle the
    option in step 2) back to its original value.

  3. Johnathan TheTool Lane
    April 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Starting with the simplest solutions first. Many people don't realize
    that you have to restart the xserver in order to have the new resolution.

    Have you done this? You can restart the xserver by pressing

    Hope this helps!

    • gbg
      May 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

      Nope, that didn't help. But thanks anyway! =)

      I am still searching for a fix or quick workaround. Any other ideas are welcome.

      C u soon!

      • Tina
        May 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm


        did you find a fix in the meantime? Please let us know!

    • gbg
      June 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

      "You can restart the xserver by pressing

      This actually does work, in KDE you just have to hit backspace twice at the end of the sequence. The problem is it logs out the user from his session, so it's not very practical to solve this issue.

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