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This isnt really an answer for your question, but a suggestion. If your new to linux and haven't spent much time configuring your system, you may want to switch to Ubuntu (or kubuntu). Its debian based, but is a bit easier to manage from a new user perspective. For me, on ubuntu, the system directly after install, the system recognized my system and simply prompted me that it wanted to install the proprietary video drivers. no searching around. That said if you want to it can be a good experience to configure your system by hand.
1. Find out your exact chipset and google 'linux driver <chipset>'; you may want to look at the result of `lspci`
2. worry about that AFTER you find the driver.
3. There are a number of ways. If you a windows manager installed (typically Gnome or KDE) there is an application that allows you to do this. Poke around in your 'system' and/or 'settings' menus. If you want to dig into the actual files you want to poke around in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. BE CAREFUL you can get yourself out into the woods if you dont save a back up. There are plenty of good guides a google search away for configuring xorg.conf for all your video needs. Since you have an old chipset/driver odds are you are not the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person to do this. You may find someone who has clear steps tailored to your set up.
If you are installing a modern distro on older hardware, chances are good that the drivers will already be there. If there is any issue--and you are given the option--simply specify "vesa". This will get you started.
Sooner or later you'll wind up running xorgconfig and/or manually editing a few things in /etc/X11/xorg.conf
If the Linux installer does not find the right driver automatically, start with the package manager. If you have to get a driver from somewhere else, I think you can simple copy it into:
Regardless of how you install the driver, you have to update xorg.conf to point to it.
1. For my learning purposes, I am not running a windows manager. Just command line stuff for now. I would like to get some experience installing packages etc.
2. I have no idea if I have the right video driver installed already. I've seen references to Xorg, X11 etc in my searches and here, but I don't have it installed from what I can tell. lspci tells me 'VGA Compatible controller: Intel Corp. 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 01)'. Which sounds like the right thing, so maybe it is ok.
3. Currently, I would just like to change my display so that I can take advantage of my bigger monitor. That's my current goal. Maybe the driver is ok (sounds like it may be) but I don't know how I would go about changing the resolution.
For console you can set vga=number for different resolutions on the kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst. Google for vga vesa modes. For 16bit colours and 1280x1024 I use 794:
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-22.214.171.124-080824 root=/dev/hdb1 vga=794
I added vga=794 to the kernel line, but it didn't like it. On boot it says I passed an invalid number, and gave me some choices. I picked the 80x50 option (80 chars wide x 50 lines, I presume) and it showed in that mode for a while, then reverted to the default which looks to be about 80x25.
Of course I would like to see more than 80 chars wide on my wide screen monitor, but all of the options were 80x something.
Sorry if I'm being lame here, I am obviously new to Linux.