Display resolution issues SOLVED

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Display resolution issues SOLVED

Postby Desertfish on Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:02 pm

Hi there

Before I start - thanks for listening! Here's my bleat/plea/issue:

My daughter is using an old-ish PC which used to run Windows XP - as her parent, I unilaterally decided she needed to experience Linux in some flavor or other, certain that she would then say something like, "Wow, Dad, thanks for releasing me from the bondage of proprietary software and the insidious evil of that other operating system - you are so cool!"

It started off fairly well - I put Ubuntu 7.04 on the box, and she could still boot XP if she wanted to. Then I got adventurous, and installed Ubuntu 9.04 [it's what I run on my machine, and it looks good I think] Here's where the problem started: in XP, she could set her desktop at 1260x780 [or thereabouts - it's the setting above 800x600 anyway] but Ubuntu 9.04 would only let her set 800x600 or lower. She was Not Impressed.

Undeterred, I tried Xubuntu 9.04, which also looked nice. Same thing - the resolution made her desktop look like a Fisher-Price toy. She started using XP a lot...

A friend recommended LinuxMint Fluxbox - I duly downloaded it and installed it from XP. Well, it looks exceedingly cool, and I'm really pleased with it, except.... XP is no longer an option on the boot screen, and - guess what? - the screen resolution is again limited to 800x600.

It's her birthday this week. I'd love to fix her computer, as an alternative to having to buy her a Netbook and load LinuxMint onto it. So [finally] here are my two questions:

- Would a different desktop [eg KDE] maybe work better than XCFE? If it helps, here's the non-comment part of /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Section "Device"
Identifier "Configured Video Device"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
Device "Configured Video Device"
EndSection


Secondly, would it be possible to get XP back onto the boot menu? I'm sure it's still there, as LinuxMint is only using half the hard drive.

Well, thanks again for listening. I look forward to hearing from you!
Last edited by Desertfish on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Desertfish
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Re: Dual boot and display resolution issues

Postby Husse on Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:04 pm

Welcome to Mint
LinuxMint Fluxbox - I duly downloaded it and installed it from XP

Did you use the mint4win option so you installed it from within XP?
In either case XP does not disappear from the boot screen
To get to grips with the resolution problem we need to know which graphics card you have
Run lspci and post
Also run lspci -nnvv and post the section for the graphics card - only that one please
You might have to use modelines in xorg.conf
Code: Select all
gksu gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Add this to the very end of Section "Monitor"
Code: Select all
 # 1280x768 @ 60.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 47.70 kHz; pclk: 80.14 MHz
  Modeline "1280x768_60.00"  80.14  1280 1344 1480 1680  768 769 772 795  -HSync +Vsync

Add
Code: Select all
Modes 1280x768@60

at the end of Section "Screen"
Of course you use the resolution you want and you can make modelines with the command gtf in the terminal
If you run just gtf you get an explanation of how to use it
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Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
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Re: Dual boot and display resolution issues

Postby Desertfish on Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:08 pm

Thanks for your reply! It's good to know there are experts out there who can help out.
I did use the install option which came up when I put the CD in while running XP. Thinking about it, maybe I don't really need to go back there - but in that case, I guess I need to do something with the partitions so that I'm using all the hard drive and not wasting a partition on windows. Is that going to be tricky?

Here's the graphics bit from lspci -nnvv:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: nVidia Corporation NV6 [Vanta/Vanta LT] [10de:002c] (rev 15)
Subsystem: VISIONTEK Device [1545:0004]
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz+ UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 32 (1250ns min, 250ns max)
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 12
Region 0: Memory at d4000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
Region 1: Memory at d6000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=32M]
[virtual] Expansion ROM at d5000000 [disabled] [size=64K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel modules: nvidiafb, rivafb

I hope I got the right bit! I tried to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, but it didn't appear anywhere I could find it. I tried something similar on my laptop using nano, but instead of asking for help I just made up what looked halfway feasible, which [oddly enough] didn't work. If I edit xorg.conf will it do anything bad to the graphics already running? i.e. should I reboot into a terminal window instead of the GUI before attempting to edit the file?

Meanwhile, my daughter has had her birthday, and was happy enough with the presents she got. Phew!
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Re: Dual boot and display resolution issues

Postby Husse on Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:40 am

the install option which came up when I put the CD in while running XP.

This means you are running under mint4win
You do not use a separate partition in that case and there are distinct differences between that and a normal install, but you should not notice them in normal use
I do apologise for suggesting gedit in fluxbox - that's the gnome text editor
Try nano instead
Code: Select all
sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

(I don't remember which GUI editor it uses, possibly mousepad)
Now you have a very old card which is only supported by the 71.86.xx legacy driver if you want a proprietary driver
You should get a suggestion for that from "Hardware Drivers" - if not you have to download it from Nvidia
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Re: Dual boot and display resolution issues

Postby Desertfish on Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:25 pm

OK. I can edit the xorg.conf with Nano, but nothing changes - then when I reboot it just opens up a terminal-type login which [after I enter username and password] gives me what looks like a non-GUI terminal prompt, as though it's waiting for me to do something intelligent. Hah! It'll be waiting for a while then.
However, I followed the helpful "How to undo your ham-fisted edit" advice contained in xorg.conf, and rebooted, and now I'm back to where I was, unscathed but a bit more experienced.

You're dead right about the video card - it's old! I've downloaded a new allegedly Linux-specific driver from nvidia.com, and now there's a .run file sitting on my desktop - which leads to my next question [and I beg your indulgence here :oops: ]: Now what? The only tools I've used so far for installing new Stuff are mintInstall and synaptic package manager, neither of which seems to want anything to do with this new driver. Hardware drivers just tells me I have no proprietary drivers installed. I knew that already :roll:

It's kinda odd, but the more I stumble through this, the more I believe that Linux is way superior to that other operating system. I've spent some time reading forum posts, and everyone is so helpful! You don't get that from a helpdesk!
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Re: Dual boot and display resolution issues

Postby Husse on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:37 am

Directly from nvidia's driver download page
Type "sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-71.86.11-pkg1.run" to install the driver.

Now you obviously need to be in the same folder and to be root
So navigate to the folder where you saved the file (right click open a terminal*) and then run sudo + the above
Note that the terminal has autocomplete so you probably only have to type sudo NV and then tab (and of course enter)
Reboot
Some say you should stop X when you do this, but nvidia does not mention it and a reboot lets the driver be read and restarts X
* Ooops - perhaps you can't open a terminal with a right click in fluxbox - I can't remember
If so you have use cd in the terminal - probably cd Desktop :)
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Re: Display resolution issues SOLVED

Postby Desertfish on Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:11 pm

Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate that you took the time to explain things to me patiently.
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Re: Display resolution issues SOLVED

Postby Husse on Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:25 am

That's why I'm here :)
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Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
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