[xubuntu-users] more video trouble

Andrew Kane googoleyes at gmail.com
Wed Aug 13 00:29:34 UTC 2008

     I swapped a cheapo Dell crt monitor for a ViewSonic 17PS on this
machine, which has xubuntu-desktop and ubuntu-desktop both installed-
Xubuntu was the original install, and the ubuntu-desktop package was
added as an afterthought.
     After the monitor switch it seemed to me that the monitor image
was "jittering" slightly at 1280x1024, and looking at the "Display
properties" dialog it seemed that the monitor was not supported at its
higher available frequencies. The Dell was IIRC capable of 30-70 Hsync
and 50-75 Vrefresh or so. According to the manufacturer the Viewsonic
can do 30-86 Hsync and 50-160 Vrefresh (these are in KHz and Hz
respectively of course.)
    I altered the xorg.conf and it broke the video to the extent that
it would restart into "low graphics mode" and present an error dialog
when restarting the X server. The dialog has an option to detect the
monitor, which fails silently, and a list of monitors to choose from,
which features the Viewsonic and its frequency ranges- but when the
option is chosen it still doesn't allow me to choose more than 640x480
at 75 Hz.
   I fell back to an older xorg.conf (one that had the special options
for my Radeon 9200 in it, with which y'all on the list had helped me
earlier- thanks again!) and the video resolution is still the same
640x480, and can't be changed in the "Display Resolution" thingy.
   Here's the fun part: when I attempted to switch the frequency (not
listed but I think it was the vertical refresh rate) it twisted the
screen sideways and left it that way. I tried to wait out the delay-
usually the thingy reverts to old settings after a while- but after a
few minutes the screen was still screwed up. The best part is that
when I switch session to GNOME the screen is ok but maxes out at
    This Viewsonic monitor is one I've been using for three or four
years, and I never had any trouble with autodetection on previous
versions of Ubuntu or Knoppix or Debian or even DSL. It is 17" across
and capable of higher resolution than I can stand to look at- I have
been running it at a comfortable 1280x1024 for years.
    This newfangled crap with Xorg in Hardy is really turning me off
Ubuntu. I use GNU/Linux because I can get "under the hood" if things
go wrong. Now I'm apparently locked out of configuring X to my liking,
because nearly any changes I make to xorg.conf break X!
    All this configuration data has to live somewhere. Those of us who
have been editing XF86config and xorg.conf files by hand for years are
used to going in and changing things when there's a problem. This is
driving me crazy, and it's defeating the purpose of Ubuntu for me- I
need a machine that works. I use this thing for work. I need all the
capabilities of all the components I've built into it. We can't rely
on autodetection at the expense of all else. NOTHING is "bulletproof".
    *Sigh* Okay, I'm done ranting. Now I guess I'll go read the Hardy
release notes in the forlorn hope that there will be some guidance
there. That is, I'll be reading them a few lines at a time, since
that's all that will fit on the screen now.

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