Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Ubuntu 9.10, Resolution Issues

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)
Kernel Linux 2.6.31-14-generic
Gnome: 2.28.1

I just installed Linux mint 7 on this machine and had resolution issues. I thought I’d try Ubuntu 9.10 on the same machine. Sadly, Ubuntu produced the same results. But, the fix was easier. Same Hardware. For more in depth details, check out my previous post on Mint 7.

MB: Epox: EP 8RDA3+ Pro
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2Ghz)
Ram: 1.5 Gig
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti 4200

I installed Ubuntu 9.10. At first boot, my best resolution option was 800×600. I’m using a 19″ CRT so I’m only looking for a resolution of 1024×768. I let Ubuntu install the restricted Nvidia driver. Reboot and I’m stuck with a resolution of 640×480. Nice. Display Preferences and the Nvidia X Server settings only gave me the 640×480 option. To fix this, I opened a terminal and ran:
$ sudo nvidia-xconfig
It complained a bit, but it modified my xorg.conf file.
I then opened my xorg.conf file via the terminal:
$ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Everything seems to be there. I did change the HorizSync & VertRefresh rates because I’m using an old monitor and the default settings would throw my monitor “OUT OF RANGE”. That setting is in the “Monitor” section. It looks like this now:

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    VendorName     "Unknown"
    ModelName      "CRT-0"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 68.0
    VertRefresh     50.0 - 85.0
    Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

The HorizSync was something like 30.0 – 110.0 and the VertRefresh was 50.0 – 150.0 . To much for this old monitor. I then rebooted the machine. It booted into a crazy resolution that was too high. I think it was 1280×1024. I could barely see it. But…. it worked. I opened Nvidia X Server settings via the menus. Made the change to 1024×768 and rebooted. No good. Still 1280×1024. I opened the Nvidia X Server settings via the command line with root privileges:
$ sudo nvidia-settings
Then made my changes to 1024×768. This time they stuck.
Now I’m happy with it. Next I installed the extras:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
Everything installed ok. Now I’m set.

Regarding the Nvidia X Server settings. After you “apply”, don’t forget to hit the “Save to X configuration file” button and merge it with the existing file. Done……almost.
I had to turn off desktop effects. The minimize, maximize and close buttons on the title bar of open applications disappeared with the effects on. Maybe it’s a bug, maybe it’s a feature. I usually turn it off anyway.

Linux Mint 7, Resolution Issues

Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)
Kernel Linux 2.6.28-11-generic
Gnome: 2.26.1

I’ve been running Linux Mint 5 on my laptop since last fall. It’s the release based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. On my laptop, I just want everything to work and I don’t care to reinstall every 6 months. So the Long Term Service release is perfect for the laptop. I wanted to take a peak at Linux Mint 7, so I decided to install it on my 2nd (test) desktop. I was less that pleased with it booting into a 800×600 resolution. I was even more displeased after I had Mint install the restricted driver because it left me with a 640×480 desktop resolution and no options to go higher. Nice.This was my fix. The hardware.

MB: Epox: EP 8RDA3+ Pro
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2Ghz)
Ram: 1.5 Gig
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti 4200

Mint said that there was a restricted video driver available so I let Mint install it. Click activate, let Mint do it’s magic, reboot and ……screwed. I am greeted by a 640×480 screen with no options to improve the situation. I remember a few things about the xorg.conf file so lets have a look. Open a terminal and type this:
$ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
This is what the file looked like.

# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
# Note that some configuration settings that could be done previously
# in this file, now are automatically configured by the server and settings
# here are ignored.
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
#   sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier    "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier    "Default Screen"
    Monitor        "Configured Monitor"
    Device        "Configured Video Device"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option    "AddARGBGLXVisuals"    "True"
    EndSection

Section "Module"
    Load    "glx"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
    Driver    "nvidia"
    Option    "NoLogo"    "True"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option    "DontZap"    "False"
EndSection

I am using a 19″ CRT with this machine, so I’m just looking for a resolution of 1024×768. This is all I did to this file:
In the “Monitor section I added HorizSync & VertRefresh.

Section "Monitor"
	Identifier	"Configured Monitor"
	HorizSync      30-68
	VertRefresh    50-85
EndSection


In the “Screen” section I added a “Display” subsection and added a Depth of 24, & the Mode (resolution) I wanted of 1024×768. I’m sure more modes could be added.

Section "Screen"
	Identifier	"Default Screen"
	Monitor		"Configured Monitor"
	Device		"Configured Video Device"
	DefaultDepth	24
	Option	"AddARGBGLXVisuals"	"True"
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth       24
		Modes      "1024x768"
	EndSubSection
EndSection

Now I have a desktop resolution of 1024×768 with desktop effects on. Nice. Not sure why it was such a pain in the ass to get a decent resolution. Maybe my video card is so old that……..nahh. Linux loves old hardware right?………..Right?…….

I’m gonna install Ubuntu 9.10 on this same machine and see what happens.