Screen Resolution Issues

Matthew Kuiken matt.kuiken at
Thu Jan 18 17:17:06 UTC 2007

Seraph wrote:
> Hello All,
> While I am fairly new to Ubuntu, I'm not entirely new to Linux. (I've 
> used Ubuntu 5.10 once, and various flavors of XandrOS, Fedora Core, 
> etc.) And, quite frankly, am at a loss as to how to get my screen 
> resolution higher than 1024x768. I'm sure you get questions such as this 
> all the time, but I've used distro's where I never had to change text in 
> a file to get my screen resolution higher. Quick answers would be 
> greatly appreciated!!

It would help greatly to know what hardware and version of Ubuntu you 
are running.

I don't know how much to explain, as you say you've used linux, but 
haven't been editing text files, so I am going to err on the side of too 
much.  Please don't be offended if I assume you don't know something 
that seems trivial.

To get the hardware, please open a terminal, and run:

lspci | grep -i vga

The output of lspci is a list of the hardware on your computer, and grep 
  searches through it for vga.  -i option to grep makes it case 

Since you say you've used 5.10 once, I am going to assume for now that 
you are using 6.10 now.  If you are using 6.06, please correct me.

The last pieces of information that would be useful are any warnings or 
errors about video in the log file '/var/log/Xorg.0.log'.  This file can 
be really long, so please only post clips, or upload it to a pastebin 
web server, and place a link in your response.

Now, since I don't know anything about your hardware, I'm going to take 
a big shot in the dark.

If you run dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg as suggested by the other 
response to this thread, and that doesn't work, pay close attention to 
the vertical and horizontal refresh rates in the monitor section.  These 
settings are in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

The lines VertRefresh and HorizSync may not be there in your monitor 
section in the xorg.conf, but for resolutions outside of 1024x768 they 
may be needed.  They are usually only needed if the monitor does not 
report its timings correctly, but I've found that quite a few don't seem 
to do it right, or the video card drivers mess it up.  If those lines 
are not there, I suggest googling for xorg.conf, and find a few examples 
of setting them.  If you have the manual for your monitor, that may tell 
you what to set them to.  It also might be on the serial number sticker 
on the back of the monitor.  If you are using an LCD on a laptop, these 
settings will only be necessary to allow xorg to put the graphics card 
in the correct mode.

Good luck,

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