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Old 01-30-2005, 11:36 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Display trouble: Font too small

I am trying to help my brother with a display problem he is having in Linux. Here is the short story:

He is running Mandrake 10.1. Previously he had a Dell 19 inch monitor. Linux worked great with it. Not too long ago his 19 inch monitor died so we dug up an old 17 inch Gateway monitor. However, now all the fonts on his monitor are too small. Just about unreadable.

I am guessing that this is some problem with DPI setting. My brother told Mandrake that his monitor was a 17 inch Gateway but that doesn't seem to have helped. What is making his fonts so small and what can we do to fix it?

Thanks for any help.

Old 01-30-2005, 12:28 PM   #2
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console fonts ?
change the VGA= option on the kernlel line in grub / lilo.

X11 fonts ?
lower the screen resolution in /etc/X11/xorg.conf / xfree86.conf

KDE fonts ?
thange the font size in the control panel
Old 02-13-2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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If you haven't fixed your problem yet I may have a solution for you. I had the same problem with my Mandrake 10.1 All the fonts were about 1 pixel high. However when I went into terminal the font was readable. If you can get into terminal type 'xf86cfg' under root. This will bring up the X setup. Click on Expert mode, then click on monitor...find the fields that say 'height (mm)' and 'width (mm)'

See if they match the actual dimensions of your screen in mm. If it doesn't, if the numbers are not there or they are too large modify them. I had the problem on a Gateway 27" monitor. I ended up entering the dimensions of my 15" LCD display 305 height 230 width. Then close expert mode with the close button on the lower left, then click the quit button on the lower right of the xf86cfg window. It will then ask you to save the .conf file. leave it as is and save twice. Then restart X using Ctrl+Alt+backspace and see if your font is better. I found that the smaller the dimensions I put in the larger the fonts became.

There may be another issue or another way to do things, but this is the simplest way I have found to solve the problem and exerything works fine. Hope this helps.
Old 02-13-2005, 09:12 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: USA
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Thanks very much for the reply.

I sort of fixed the problem. I am running mandrake 9.1 on my system. My 17" monitor was working fine on my system so this weekend my brother came up. I swapped his 17" onto my computer and gave him my 17" . . . my monitor worked fine with his system so that was the "fix" . . . I suspect he didn't have something set right in his xconfig because I had to change my xconfig to get his monitor working on my system . . . but I didn't have the time to fiddle around with his system to find out.

Heck, he's my brother so it was simpliest to trade monitors.

However, what you've said makes me wonder if something similiar might solve a continuing problem of mine. On my system my mouse can go off the right side of my screen. It is as if I can go off into some wild blue yonder. I can scroll on beyond what I can see and I must scroll a good deal to bring my mouse back onto the visible screen.

Very odd. I've lived with it as it doesn't really keep me from getting things done . . . but I wonder if some demension in my xconfig is set up wrong. What ought to be the correct horiziontal size for a 17" monitor?
Old 02-15-2005, 09:32 PM   #5
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Not really sure on the correct size. I just took a measuring take that had mm's on it and measured height and width. It seems like the dimensions in the cfg don't matter to the actual screen size. Because the Desktop still fills the screen properly, but the change in measurments adjusted the fonts sizes.

As odd as it sounds I have my system on a 27" monitor, but with a xf86cfg setup with the dimensions of a 15"


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