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[ubuntu] Fixing low screen resolution for legacy hardware

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linux-howto

http://ubuntuforums.org – Last Saturday I undertook to install hardware sensor monitors on my family Ubuntu 9.10 machine which, incidentally, is built from legacy hardware (specs: Chaintech 7NJL6 mobo, AMD Sempron 2100+, GeForce 4 MX440 GPU, 512 Mb DDR RAM). I was running the proprietary Nvidia driver and max resolution was 800x600 at 60 Hz (monitor supports up to 1600x1200 at 75 Hz). After successfully getting hardware monitoring running I rebooted to discover the wonder of 640x480 resolution!! I was able to reinstate the high resolution of 800x600 only by returning to the nv driver. I tried multiple suggestions of how to edit my xorg.conf file and temporarily enable higher resolutions with xrandr.... all to absolutely no avail (and several instances of console only login). So I continued searching and ran across several entries referring to a GUI from end that could force higher resolutions call displayconfig-gtk.... but alas, the march of progress had obsoleted said config program. The workaround: Burn a copy of 8.04 LTS and boot to the live desktop. Right click on the main menu, select "edit menus" and enable the "Screens and Graphics" menu item under . Open Screens and Graphics (Applications>other>screens and graphics). Now click on the model of your monitor and choose the type (in my case I chose Generic Monitor 1600x1200). Choose ok. Choose ok again. At this point it will tell you that the changes won't take effect until you reboot, but as we know that will actually cause you to lose all of your configurations, so don't reboot yet. Copy the xorg.conf file that was just generated for your hardware to a partition on your machine (this file is located in /etc/X11/). Now you may reboot into your harddrive installation of Ubuntu. After rebooting open a terminal and backup your current xorg.conf Code: sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.working Next open a root file browser: Alt+f2 Code: gksudo nautilus Navigate to /etc/X11/ Copy the xorg.conf that you generated into the X11 folder as xorg.conf(if you named it something else you have to make sure that it's xorg.conf now) reboot The configuration file generated for my machine had it startign out in pan mode by enabling 2048x1536 virtually. To change this simply open the xorg.conf file as root (sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf) and change the "virtual" line to your desired resolution, save, and reboot. If your machine won't accept the new file, I can help you get back to your original configuration, but I don't know enough about editing an xorg.conf file to repair it. To the Devs (if any happen across this thread), I realize that the screens and graphics broke the xorg.conf file occasionally, but so do n00bs trying to manually edit said file. I would request that this option be reincluded to version 10.04, or extensive testing be done on legacy hardware. The attitude of "buy newer hardware" just doesn't wash when Ubuntu, by design, has requirements and cost that make it an otherwise very effective option for legacy hardware. (Hardware)