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I am Linux newbie, I managed (it was a bit of an ordeal) to get a VNC server (TightVNC) running on a SLES 11 SP1 EC2 instance. Monitor manager on the VNC xstartup file is gnome (it took me a while to figure that out).

Now I can connect to the machine via VNC client (on a mac connect to server vnc:address:port) and it seems to work fine.

I meant to install all the software I needed on the machine through Yast -- problem is when I click on computer --> Yast nothing at all comes up (not even the loading clock).

Also when I click on the Computer --> Applications --> Datetime utility the loading clock comes up but the utility doesn't open, same thing with the utility to manage users/groups, the clock comes up but then it goes away and nothing opens.

I know this is pretty vague -- but I am just looking for advice in terms of to troubleshoot this.

Is this likely to be related to gnome and I could be fine just by switching to a different monitor manager or is there something terribly wrong here?

I didn't really mess up with it too much, just installed TightVNC, edited the xstartup file and installed gnome (all via zypper install commands).

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I don't have a direct answer, but you asked for help in troubleshooting. First off, try a reboot :).

A good place to start looking is your system logs. In most Linux distros and definitely SLES 11, these are located in /var/log/messages. I'm only familiar with the command line, so not sure where to find it in the graphical version you're using. You can open up a terminal and do this:

tail -f /var/log/messages

Then, with that terminal open, try launching the apps you are trying to troubleshoot. tail -f allows you to watch your log file in real time, so you can see if any messages are added when you fire up your apps. You can always open your log file up in a text editor (such as vi) in the terminal with vim /var/log/messages and look at it that way. Get a command list for vi off the web since vi is a different world.

Also look at logs on the Mac you're connecting from.

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