"...because you've got better things to do than housekeeping."


by Simon Edwards < > and Sebastian Kügler, Yuriy Kozlov, Martin B&oulm;hm


28 Mar, 2007 - Version 0.8 is now available. More bug fixes and updates and also the addition of grubconfig by Martin B&oulm;hm. The changelog has the details. - SBE

6 Mar, 2007 - Version 0.7.1 is now available. This version contains many bug fixes. Thanks go to all involved in reporting problems, and contributing information or patches. The changelog has the details. - SBE

12 Oct, 2006 - Version 0.7.0 is now available. Many bugs fixed and the addition of wineconfig by Yuriy Kozlov and a laptop powermanager applet by Sebastian Kügler. Wineconfig is a utility for setting and configuring a Wine installation. While the powermanager monitors laptop battaries. See the changelog for details. - SBE

13 May, 2006 - Version 0.6.7 is now available. Dutch and French translations added, plus a couple of bugs fixed. See the changelog for details. - SBE

28 Apr, 2006 - Version 0.6.6 is now available. More bugs fixed. See the changelog for details. - SBE

18 Apr, 2006 - Version 0.6.5 is now available in our continuing bug crushing series of releases leading up to Kubuntu Dapper Drake. The changelog has the details. - SBE

2 Apr, 2006 - Version 0.6.4 is now available. --> bugfixes galore! See the changelog. - SBE

17 Mar, 2006 - Version 0.6.3 is now available. Even more bugfixes than the last version. See the changelog. - SBE

1 Mar, 2006 - Version 0.6.2 is now available. This includes a heap of bugfixes. See the changelog. - SBE

20 Feb, 2006 - Version 0.6.1 is now available. This includes quite a lot of bugfixes/small improvements. See the changelog. - SBE

14 Feb, 2006 - Version 0.6.0 is now available, just in time for the Kubuntu feature freeze. Dualhead support should be working in displayconfig. There have also been a lot of other smaller fixes and improvements to the other tools as well. The changelog contains more details as usual. As the testing period for Kubuntu progresses we intend to do regular and frequent (think 1-2 weeks) bug fix releases. All energy is being spent on testing and fixing bugs until after the next version of Kubuntu is out in April. - SBE

29 Nov, 2005 - Version 0.5.0 is now available for public testing. Displayconfig has received a lot of attention and may actually work for single head configurations. The changelog contains more details. - SBE

12 Sep, 2005 - Version 0.4.0 is now available for public testing. Make sure you read the README file again. This version requires PyKDE Extensions for installation and run-time support. The changelog contains more details about this release. It is mostly bug fixes and ground work for the coming dualhead support. - SBE

5 Apr, 2005 - Version 0.3.0 is now available for public testing. Make sure you read the README file first. - SBE

10 Dec, 2004 - The README file wasn't entirely clean about what you need to have installed in order to get everything built and installed.

Firstly, libpythonize. You can download and install libpythonize from the download section. If you don't want the tools to appear on the KDE Control Center of you just don't want to bother with libpythonize, then you can build Guidance with this command:

python install build_kcm --no-kcontrol

libpythonize is only needed for the KDE Control Center.

Secondly to build Guidance you also need to have the development files from your X-server installed, XFree86 or Xorg. Most distributions package these files up in a package called XFree86-devel, or Xorg-devel, or libxorg-X11-devel or some similar.


9 Dec, 2004 - Version 0.2.0 is now available for public testing. Make sure you read the README file first. - SBE

4 Dec, 2004 - Screenshots for mountconfig have been updated. - SBE

15 May, 2004 - Added four more screenshots to show what is in progress, namely a mount/filesystem/mtab configuration tool and also a display/XFree86 configuration tool. - SBE

22 January, 2004 - I now have the first Guidance configuration program running inside KDE's Control Center. Here is a screenshot. Thanks go out to David Boddie and Jim Bublitz for helping make it possible to Python programs to run inside KControl. - SBE

20 November, 2003 - First public release and announcement. Version 0.1.0 - SBE


Guidance is a collection of system administration tools for Linux/KDE systems that is designed to be:

Current Status

Guidance currently consists of four programs:

Other tools will be announced when they reach an "interesting" state. (That is to say when they can do something interesting. No one likes vapourware.)


The KDE project's policy of leaving operating system specific software such as administration and configuration tools up to distributors to handle has not worked. The distributions have failed to produce a good working set of tools. Instead we've seen proprietry tools, non-KDE tools and often just plain poorly designed and implemented tools.

This effort tries to fill the hole for a set of good and Free administration tools once and for all.


(to be written)


Development Version

WARNING: These tools by thier nature can possibly harm your system. Even more so since they are only development versions and are not fully debugged and tested. It is recommended that you backup any relevant configuration files and also know how to restore them by hand.

Development versions are released for testing and feedback purposes and are not suitable for 'normal' use. After download the tarball read the README file contain there within.

Guidance requires that PyQt and PyKDE be installed. Packages for most popular distributions are available here.

Tar ball

0.7.1: guidance-0.7.1.tar.bz2 ~629Kb
0.8: guidance-0.8.0.tar.bz2 ~629Kb

MD5 Sums:

aa1532cc6d8f58d5f754f06f4513ad38  guidance-0.7.1.tar.bz2
f22d0e474083f9b4995bbe80ad9d3a5b  guidance-0.8.0.tar.bz2

Change Log

* Wednesday 29 March 2007 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.8
- Deal with AttributeError in displayconfigabstraction (Malone bug #94108)
- Add menu to choose CPU frequency policy manually
- Handle problems not being able to read the filesystem label gracefully
- Make displayconfig-restore not crash on incorrect modelines (Malone bug # 76393)
- Make displayconfig a little smarter when the preferred resolution can't be found
- Make wineconfig not crash on empty fstab lines 
- Fix the fuser frontend in mountconfig to actually work again.
- Handle ZeroDivisionError in displayconfig gracefully (Malone bug #77844)
- Support for LABEL in fstab added to mountconfig, improved support for
- Support for changing CPU frequency policy with HAL added to powermanager.
- Suspend after N minutes idle added to powermanager
- Added an option to not lock screen on resume (Malone bug # 64650)
- Handle crash in userconfig due to problems with locale (Malone bug #65739)
- Support for UUIDs in fstab added to mountconfig.

* Tuesday 6 March 2007 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.7.1
- BUG: Fixed typo in (thanks to Rocco Stanzione)
- BUG: Fix double hibernate call on lid close. (Malone bug #65885)
- BUG: Change CHARGE_LEVEL_THRESHOLD to 10% (was 50%) to better workaround
  acpi issue.  when remaining_time is not reported correctly. Also use
  threshold for battery low notification warning. (Malone bug #64752,
- BUG: Handle error in locale.getpreferredencoding gracefully. (Malone bug
- BUG: DPMS settings had not been saved on Apply, do that.
- BUG: Fix crash where cpu frequency scaling is not readable.
- BUG: Fix unicode and localisation handling in targetgamma, do a better job
  choosing the right resolutions for example for nvidia twinview and other
  unusual resolutions.
- BUG: Powermanager, first read config, then adapt the state of the UI from
  those values.
- BUG: Don't crash displayconfig-restore when screenwidth and height are
  bogus, use a sensible value of 96 instead. (Malone bug #77844)
- BUG: Make displayconfig-restore not crash on unknown modelines.
- BUG: Make tempfile handling more robust by using Python's tempfile.
- BUG: Check for None groupids in userconfig.
- BUG: Clear password edit after exiting the edit dialog in userconfig.
- BUG: Make AC adapter detection more robust to potential failure of
  actions. (Malone bug #77091)
- BUG: permissions on groupfile should've been read, before they can be set.
- BUG: Check for valid groupid when selecting in userconfig.
- BUG: gamma settings were not being restored after logging in.
- BUG: A rounding error was causing problems in displayconfig when filtering
  resolutions by the selected monitor.
- BUG: Displayconfig, userconfig and wineconfig didn't handle RTL desktops
  correctly. (Diego lastrubni)
- BUG: Displayconfig would sometimes consider some widescreen modes as being
  standand aspect ratio.
- BUG: Displayconfig would sometimes fail to set Display virtual size in
- BUG: Stopped displayconfig from stacktracing when it encounters a
  degenerate gfx card + monitor combination that has no valid resolutions.

* Thursday 12 October 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.7
- BUG: Don't bail out of laptop-detect is not there (Malone bug #60309)
- BUG: didn't handle USB disks correctly. (KDE bug #132390)
- BUG: Disable double click opening items in mountconfig if the user is not
- BUG: Don't bail out if the device section is already there (Malone bug #50411)
- BUG: Don't show new_user in the secondary groups (Malone bug #44203)
- BUG: userconfig set wrong uid for new users (Malone bug #56275)
- BUG: would sometimes fail on non-English systems.
  (Malone bug #43313).
- BUG: userconfig would sometimes fail when writing the shadow password file.
  (Malone bug #47090)
- BUG: userconfig would fail if the password warning field in /etc/shadow was
  empty. (Malone bug #47317)
- Changed a couple of labels in order to match the new system-settings spec:
- mountconfig now uses CIFS for Windows Shares instead of obsolete smbfs.
- Displayconfig now hides useless Monitor Orientation and Second Screen group
  box options which can never be activated without changing hardware or the
  X driver.
- Simplified the color and gamma tab in displayconfig.
- BUG: Better detection for dualhead intel chips in displayconfig.
- Updated the data files for displayconfig from
- wineconfig added for configuring Wine. (Yuriy Kozlov)
- powermanager applet added for monitoring laptop power levels (Sebastian

* Saturday 13 May 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.7
- Dutch translation added (Rinse de Vries)
- BUG: Displayconfig would fail if the monitor frequency settings in xorg.conf
  contained extra spaces. (Malong bug #38692)
- BUG: Displayconfig would not add the lowest screen resolution available to
  the modes list in the xorg.conf's Screen section/Display subsection.
- French translation added from Launchpad Rossetta.

* Friday 28 April 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.6
- BUG: Serviceconfig didn't correctly remove links in runlevel directories.
  (Malone bug #39404)
- BUG: In Serviceconfig, toggling the "Start during boot" checkbox using the
  context menu would fail. (Malone bug #34252)
- BUG: was would fail with "global name 'syslog'
  undefined". (Malone bug #40683)
- BUG: Displayconfig had trouble picking a driver gfxcard model entry instead
  of the detected default (e.g. VESA). (Malone bug #41127)
- BUG: Displayconfig would fail when writing out a xorg.conf that contained
  non-ascii characters. (Malone bug #41474)
- Work around for an annoying bug in PyQt/PyKDE that causes the tools to
  crash on exit if a dialog window has been used.
- BUG: The file paths used in displayconfig for checking for the proprietary
  nvidia driver were wrong or out of date.

* Tuesday 18 April 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.5
- BUG: services that have not been installed via apt would cause long loops
  a lot of dpkg queries. Only query dpkg db once.
- BUG: Serviceconfig's Apply button doesn't work. It should actually be Close
  (Malone #38582)
- BUG: Changing an user's password can change another password for a different
  user (Malone bug #39444)
- BUG: Displayconfig would fail at startup on systems with an nVidia 7800 GTX.
  (Malone bug #32915 for Rob Hughes)
- BUG: Serviceconfig would crash if the windows is closed quickly after
  serviceconfig appears.
- BUG: userconfig would fail at startup if an entry in /etc/passwd refered to
  a group that is not defined in /etc/group. (Malone bug #34311)
- BUG: Userconifg. Manually typing in or editing the list of secondary groups
  for a user had no effect. (Malone bug #37212)
- BUG: Displayconfig fails to detect the presence of the proprietary ATI and
  nVidia drivers. (The location of some of the driver files had been recently
- BUG: would calculated the needed DPI at login using
  stale screen information which would sometimes result in the wrong DPI.
- BUG: Numerious small bugs and compatibility problems in mountconfig.
- BUG: When browsing for a SMB share, mountconfig now correctly catches the
  authentication information entered by the user into the smaller popup from
- Displayconfig now assumes that dualhead/clone mode is supported if the
  laptop-detect script detects a laptop.
- Displayconfig now uses the clone mode support in the i810 driver.
- Displayconfig now only offers resolutions that both monitors support when
  using clone mode.
- Displayconfig now supports clone mode on any setup that also supports
- BUG: Mountconfig failed to take into account that the order of the
  user/users, exec/noexc, suid/nosuid etc options in /etc/fstab is significant.
  (thanks Christoph Wiesen)
- French translations added to the desktop files. (Anthony Mercatante)

* Sunday 2 April 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.4
- BUG: All of the tools no longer write out config files under ~/.kde when
  running as root. This should stop the annoying creation of config files
  that can't be overwritten by the normal user.
- Userconfig is now by default not quite as tall. This should help stop
  it from appearing too big in systemsettings.
- Displayconfig updated to also recognise late model nVidia chipsets.
- BUG: Displayconfig didn't support Clone mode for the proprietary nVidia
- BUG: The tools now correctly specify which translation catalogue to use for
- The screen images in the dualhead widget make better use of available widget
- Displayconfig: The 40guidance-displayconfig_restore script which is used by
  the Xsession script during login via KDM/xdm, has now been fixed to not stop
  the login in case of failure.
- BUG: Displayconfig was getting confused by unknown graphics cards and
  crashing. (Malone bug #32915)
- BUG: Displayconfig still can't handling unicode in xorg.conf. (Malone bug
- BUG: Displayconfig is now more forgiving when xorg.conf contains characters
  that are illegal with respect to the system character encoding. (Malone bug
- BUG: Displayconfig would have trouble detecting hardware on the PCI bus on
  big endian architectures. (raphink)
- BUG: Displayconfig did not correctly handle situations where the X RandR
  extension is missing.
- BUG: Displayconfig would fail when loading some xorg.conf files containing
  multiple graphics card specifications. (Malone bug #37275, patch applied)
- BUG: Userconfig didn't respect the entered UID when creating a account.
  (Malone bug #37722).
- Displayconfig: Added 1280x960 modes (60 & 75Hz).
* Friday 17 March 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.3
- BUG: userconfig and unixauthdb didn't respect the ownership of system files
  when update /etc/passwd and friends. (Malone bug #26175).
- BUG: userconfig and unixauthdb would fail if /etc/passwd, /etc/groups or
  /etc/shadow contained blank lines.
- BUG: displayconfig now does a better job of detecting graphics PCI devices
  and handling non-detected graphics cards. Instead of crashing, "generic
  VESA" is used when the type of card can't be found. (Malone bug #32915)
- The DPI that uses at login time can now be
  controlled by adding a line to ~/.kde/share/config/displayconfigrc
  in the [General] section. Add "dpi=xserver" to use the default DPI
  from the X server, or "dpi=100" to use 100 DPI for example.
- BUG: Widescreen modes were missing in displayconfig.
- Displayconfig: Monitors can now be specified as being standard aspect ratio
  or widescreen.
- BUG: Using the xresprobe command in displayconfig would crash some people's
  machines. The much more safer ddcprobe command is now used.
  (Malone bug #33943)
- BUG: A bug is displayconfig stopped monitor model detection. The xresprobe
  command didn't actually return the eisa ID of the connected monitor.
  ddcprobe does though (see above).
- BUG: Displayconfig. Changes to the monitor model or image format are
  shown immediately on the "Size & Orientation" tab, even if the screen is
  currently being used.
- BUG: When userconfig asks about whether the home directory should be created
  when creating a new account, sometimes the wrong directory name was shown in
  the dialog.
- BUG: Powerbook screen mode "1280x854" add to displayconfig. (Malone bug
- BUG: Displayconfig would throw an exception if the current display didn't
  support DPMS. (Malone bug #34316).
- BUG: Most utilities would fail if they came across UTF-8 or unicode
  characters. (Malone bug #34194).
- BUG: Displayconfig wouldn't correctly detect the presence of installed
  proprietary drivers. (OculusAquilae)
- BUG: Displayconfig had trouble handling BusID rows in xorg.conf. This would
  cause the xorg.conf to be incorrectly read. (Tonio)
- Added some extra methods to to aid debugging.
- BUG: Displayconfig would not save the user's display settings when running
  in kcontrol or systemsettings. (Malone bug #35257)

* Wednesday 1 March 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.2
- BUG: Small bug in displayconfig that caused it to bug out around the 
  newCustomMonitor() method.
- BUG: userconfig had space character just before the she-bang which really
  caused some trouble the for the shell.
- BUG: Displayconfig: Selecting the "Plug n Play" monitor directly without
  clicking on "Detect" meant that only a very small set of resolutions would
  be written to xorg.conf.
- BUG: The DPI calculations in where broken. This
  resulted in the wrong DPI being used.
- BUG: Displayconfig: The clone mode option is now correctly disabled for
  Matrox cards (mga driver).
- BUG: Displayconfig would bug out if the monitor model in the xorg.conf was
  anything other than Plug n Play.
- BUG: Displayconfig would bug out if the DPMS Standby setting was 0 and DPMS
- Displayconfig is now shown in kcontrol under settings/hardware instead of
- BUG: Small bug in displayconfig that will causes displayconfig to bug out
  when trying to detect the monitor and no EDID info is available.
- BUG: Small cosmetic bug in displayconfig where the some tabs were missing
  margins when shown in kcontrol/system settings.
- BUG: displayconfig would bug out when detecting ATI dualhead cards.
  (pci_device.text was None).

* Monday 20 February 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.1
- now saves its scan info in 
- "Details..." button added to mountconfig in addition to the context menu for
   opening the disk info dialog.
- BUG: serviceconfig: When starting and stopping daemons, the scripts expect a
  terminal that understands colours. The command runner dialog doesn't, and
  you end up seeing garbage characters. TERM is now set to vt100 when running
- BUG: displayconfig: Reset button didn't reset all of the parts/fields in the
- Detect dualhead Matrox cards.
- now at login time also chooses and sets a 'sane'
  DPI setting used by applications for fonts. More info is in the source file.
- BUG: wasn't restoring the user's display resolution
  at login.
- Plug N Play monitors are handled much better and are automatically probed
  when neccessary.
* Tuesday 14 February 2006 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.6.0
- Right mousebutton action for most listviews.
- mountconfig can now handle multi-fs entries.
- i18n() all over the place.
- Dualhead support added to displayconfig.
- displayconfig's hardware database files updated from Mandriva.
- numerous bug fixes.
- add. This is Ubuntu specific right now, but
  what it does is detect hardware changes at boottime and automatically
  run "dpkg-reconfigure" to generate a xorg.conf file that will get Xorg

* Tuesday 29 November 2005 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.5.0
- displayconfig should now work for single head configurations.
- displayconfig has a shiney new preview.
- displayconfig is now usable on low resolution screens.
- DPMS tab cleaned up in displayconfig.
- displayconfig's hardware database files updated from Mandriva.

* Monday 12 September 2005 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.4.0
- displayconfig has been massively restructured internally.
- numerous bug fixes.
- start of dualhead support in displayconfig.
- When umount fails in mountconfig the option to killing blocking processes
  has been added.
- better Debian support in serviceconfig. It now uses apt and dpkg to get
  service descriptions.
- ext3 added to mountconfig. :)
- userconfig now respects /etc/useradd.conf
- Now uses PyKDE Extensions for building and installation.
- DPMS tab added to displayconfig.

* Tuesday 5 April 2005 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.3.0
- Displayconfig working and also feature complete.
- xf86config C module has been removed and replaced with pure Python.
- Numerous little bugs fixed in the userconfig, mountconfig and serviceconfig.

* Thursday 9 December 2004 Simon Edwards <>
- version 0.2.0
- mountconfig added, beta quality, feature complete.
- displayconfig added, alpha quality, not feature complete.
- userconfig, beta quality, feature complete.
- serviceconfig, beta quality, feature complete.

* Thursday 20 November 2003 Simon Edwards <>

- version 0.1.0
- Initial release.


(You will need a PNG format supporting browser to see these).

New and improved display configuration.

Monitor gamma configuration and easy calibration.

Hardware configuration.

Mounts and devices configuration.

Configuring and mounted filesystem.

Service and startup configuration, now inside KControl.

Service and startup configuration.

Editing user accounts and groups.

Editing user accounts and groups.

Editing a user account.

Editing a user account.