17.5.10

Screen Resolution Problems On Ubuntu 9.10 (and maybe other similar releases)

So if your screen resolution is really low on Ubuntu and you can't switch to a new one after you add it using the xrandr command e.g. http://www.linuxreaders.com/2009/11/04/change-ubuntu-9-10-resolution/ http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1112186 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Config/Resolution
You may need to create your own /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. Sometimes during an install it fails to create this, but for some reason you can still use Xorg or X to make it afterwards.

First you must stop the X server (thingamagig that displays stuff on your screen), so before you do this make sure you have a way to access these instructions, open a terminal and type (omit $):
$sudo service gdm stop
Now you should see a bunch of text and crap. If you aren't given a prompt to log in, press enter, and then you should be able to log in. To create the xorg.conf file type:
$sudo X -configure
or
$sudo Xorg -configure
It should now tell you where your new file is, and to test it by typing:
$sudo X -config filename

Note if you want the changes to be permanent you have to make your file have this path: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" If the X server doesn't start again you can type:
$sudo service gdm start
If your screen resolution is still the same then you might want to try using the update manager--or if the update manager doesn't suggest anything use Synaptic Package Manager--to download a driver for your graphics card (now since you have xorg.conf file, it may know exactly which driver you need). To figure out what your graphics card is you can either open up your computer, or you can type lspci or maybe something like "lspci" and look. Mine is:
@dell-desktop:~$ lspci -v | grep Graphics
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)

-v will sometimes give you more details
If your Synaptic Package Manger is too freaking huge to use then you can try searching for drivers with the command line with "apt-cache search":
@dell-desktop:~$ apt-cache search xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd
xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd - X.Org X server -- AMD/ATI r5xx, r6xx display driver
xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd-dbg - X.Org X server -- AMD/ATI r5xx, r6xx display driver

You can still use grep to further narrow things down:
@dell-desktop:~$ apt-cache search xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd | grep dbg
xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd-dbg - X.Org X server -- AMD/ATI r5xx, r6xx display driver
For me, I had to first create the xorg.conf file then my update manager knew what graphics card I had and suggested a driver, but maybe in some situations you first need to know what your graphics card is to create the xorg.conf, I don't know.
If not even that works... Well graphics are overrated. You already know some command line stuff, just use that, it's faster anyways. To see how to do this: http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/ditch_gui_apps_for_command_line

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