-   Linux - Hardware (
-   -   Command Line Resolution Issues (

K_REY_C 08-03-2010 11:37 AM

Command Line Resolution Issues
My command line (and my bootsplash) in Ubuntu 10.04 64 bit is illegible. I'm on a Dell XPS m1530 (1440x900) and the command line (in non-GUI mode) is compressed, doubled (side by side on my widescreen monitor), and practically unusable. I'd really like to get this fixed if possible, but I don't know what's wrong.

I do use two proprietary drivers (one a broadcom for wireless... and the other an nvidia). Perhaps the nvidia is the issue?

The problems I experienced before this (as well as my attempted fixes and pictures) can be found here:

I figured it might be worth it to broaden the question the the entirety of the GNU/Linux community. Thanks for any assistance you can provide!


business_kid 08-03-2010 03:55 PM

I followed your link and bounced around some verbose ubuntu forums without seeing a picture.
It's a screen resolution problem, and/or perhaps a lack of a synch signal. The usual way this happens is diagonal lines. The fact that they're not diagonal suggests a lack of horizontal synchronization. I's suggest check video plugs and change the cable - borrow one from a mate if needed. Next change out the monitor. Then power off and reseat the video card.

K_REY_C 08-03-2010 04:16 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Sorry about the picture thing. I think you've maybe got to be signed in to see them. I'll post them below:

Here is the bootsplash:
Attachment 4227

Here is the command line:
Attachment 4228

The problem doesn't happen at all in the GUI ... only the bootsplash and the command line (non-GUI). This openoffice strangeness is the only thing I have seen in the GUI:
Attachment 4229

Sorry if I didn't mention before... I'm on a laptop and this only happens in the instances mentioned above.


business_kid 08-04-2010 03:53 AM

Okay, that's a bit unusual. It's actually locked in at twice the frequency. The usual thing there is to have a black line down the middle.

The answer is to specify vga=nnn on the boot line, where nnn is a video mode. There's a few here

It's trying to come up on 640x480 normally, although framebuffer may alter this. try 800x600

Shadow_7 08-04-2010 08:48 AM

Some distros kernels might only accept vga=0x####, so what used to just be vga=317 is now something like vga=0x0317. It's the same hex number, you just have to fully qualify it now. Or at least that's one change to my debian lenny system running a system kernel that I noticed. Which differs from debian etch, woody, and other versions I've run in the past. And there's other parameters to mod depending on your configuration if you use the newer grub2 bootloader.

in /boot/grub/grub.cfg:
set gfxmode=640x480

And other related means to an end.

K_REY_C 08-04-2010 01:58 PM

Should I be worried when the file starts like this:


# It is automatically generated by /usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
Also... do I just change this to my actual resolution (1440x900) or leave it as it is (or something else):


insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set dee77000-2dfd-4281-ae0f-707456c22f9e
if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
set gfxmode=640x480
insmod gfxterm
insmod vbe
if terminal_output gfxterm ; then true ; else
# For backward compatibility with versions of terminal.mod that don't
# understand terminal_output
terminal gfxterm
I'm pretty sure I'm using GRUB2. This sounds kinda crazy. I might just leave it be if it's going to be a lot of tinkering --- i've messed things up quite a few times before and I could probably live with it... but it would be great to get it fixed.

Also- The "ooPresenter" is a "compiz" thing ... since when it is not enabled it displays properly.

Thanks so much, everyone, for helping.

Shadow_7 08-04-2010 02:21 PM

Have a rescue disk handy to revert your changes if they don't work. The warning basically means that when you update / upgrade, your changes will be over written. Double check what resolutions are supported in either the grub2 framebuffer or the driver your kernel is using when you boot. Be prepared to redo your changes, or research your distro for the administratively proper way that they have setup for such changes to remain in effect / semi-permanent. Or just stand at the ready to redo your changes every time you update / upgrade. And/Or reconfigure your bootloader. At a minimum 1024x768 should be a safe bet, and noticeably better than 640x480.

K_REY_C 08-04-2010 04:08 PM

Changed the line to read 1024x768 - everything still boots fine but the resolution issues remain exactly the same. Perhaps I'm just out of luck on this one? Thanks!

Shadow_7 08-04-2010 08:22 PM

Perhaps if you install svgatextmode, it might change something. The ubuntu forums has some good info on changing your resolutions. Even though it's probably a different distro, the configuration elements remain the same. The grub.cfg only affects grub. Once you're booting your linux kernel it's a different game. Although it looks like grub2 changes how the parameters are passed to the kernel.

K_REY_C 08-06-2010 12:55 AM

Here's what I tried:

Basically following instructions here:

***PART ONE***
Changed /etc/default/grub
Line 18: from 640x480 to 1440x900
Ran sudo update-grub

***PART TWO***
Line 36: from 640x480 to 1440x900
Line 37: added set gfxpayload=keep
Ran sudo update-grub
#This undid the work I had jsut done above in the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file

Line 104: added gfxpayload=keep #much like after the same line in the above
Line 103: from 640x480 to 1440x900

#Since I might be screwing my system anyway...
Line 10: from /usr/share/images/desktop-base/moreblue-orbit-grub.png *to* /home/kyconway/Pictures/1440_Keep Calm and Cary on.jpg

Re-do "PART TWO"
This time your changes to /boot/grub/grub.cfg should keep. (and mine did)

And then I restarted and nothing had changed. Bootsplash and the Command Line were exactly the same. Lost cause?

Thanks so much for all of your help!

K_REY_C 08-06-2010 12:55 AM

Double Post --- sorry.

Shadow_7 08-06-2010 06:37 AM

Every time that you run update-grub it overwrites whatever changes you made to /boot/grub/grub.cfg. Hence the # DO NOT EDIT .... comment. Make the changes, DON'T run update-grub, and reboot. See if that works. See if /boot/grub/grub.cfg is as you LEFT it after edits after a reboot. Just bear in mind that if it does work, you might need to REDO those edits at any point that grub is updated or update-grub is run. This normally happens when you do upgrades, especially if you get a new system kernel and other things. There is probably a more official distro specific way to make your changes permanent. You'll have to read the documentation for your distro to find out what that is, if it's even documented yet.

Bear in mind that grub2 is still very experimental and may not work on your system, or at all. So keep a liveCD handy and other things. So you can revert your changes or just install grub 1 if you need to. Not that you will, but you might. You USED TO just pass vga=0xFFFF and some sort of video_mode=XxY type parameters directly to the kernel. Some of the newer framebuffer stuff allows for more customized looks. But you're now dealing with a video driver that is card specific and there might not be one that works for your card or your desired resolution.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:03 PM.