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ozymandias 11-05-2005 10:47 AM

How can I change the screen resolution for KDE?
Hi! I'm running Debian 2.6.12 on a Dell C400, with xserver and KDE 3.4.2

I have read that the max screen resolution is supposed to be 1280 x 960, but despite having selected only this option when running 'dpgk-reconfigure xserver-xorg' I still end up with a 640 x 480 resolution - and when I look at KDE's control centre this is the only option available for the screen. It seems KDE is overriding the xserver setting!

I'd be very grateful for any help, 'cos web pages look very strange with only the top left corner visible on screen - very tedious browsing!


cicciux 11-05-2005 12:11 PM

did you make sure your video adapter is working properly? Perhaps the problem is there.

I've never had problems with video adapters in linux (even though I use nVidia and ATI, which are particularly problematic), but under windows if the drivers are not correctly installed then you don't have many options.

mr_demilord 11-05-2005 12:49 PM

sudo sax2 :)

Eerath 11-05-2005 01:30 PM

A Dell... I think I may know your problem. What is your graphics card?

ozymandias 11-05-2005 04:03 PM

I *think* it's an intel i850, using an i810 driver in the xorg.conf file.
Having said that, I can't find anything specific in dmesg about which card it is exactly.
If you think you might have a workaround, I'm willing to try it anyway!


ozymandias 11-05-2005 04:15 PM could be an i830 instead....

Eerath 11-06-2005 03:45 AM

I think you may have a Intel 828x5G graphics controller. You'll need to find out from Dell first whether or not you do, but If you do, the patch is here

Ooh, and I found this

ozymandias 11-06-2005 09:25 AM


First of all, thanks for the help! I tried the patch recommended at the chzsoft site - although they recommend it for the C400, when I run it I just get the message i845 not found...

Looking at the Bios data I definitely have an i830 video chip. The 'liberating the C400' site has a *lot* of information for XFree86, but I'm using X11, so I don't know how much is transferable.

Unless there is a simple solution, I think I'm stuck with 640x480!


cicciux 11-06-2005 12:10 PM is based on XFree86, so perhaps most of it will be transferable.

Xena 11-07-2005 05:50 AM

First, you could try changing your graphics card and monitor - not physically, but choosing a new one in the hardware list - until you get a "better fit" with more video modes.

Secondly, you could try editting your XF86Config file, as has been discussed in other threads here. Be sure to keep a backup file of your original XF86Config file, just in case you screw up :)

ozymandias 11-07-2005 12:08 PM


Perhaps I mistitled the thread - maybe it should be "How can I change the screen resolution on a Dell C400?"

Unfortunately it's not as simple as just changing the control panel settings...

The problem is (not my description !)..

"[the Dell C400 BIOS] doesn't allocate enough video memory so that XFree86 is only able to run at low resolutions and/or color depths (e.g. 640x480x16bit). XFree86 can allocate more memory but it can not tell the BIOS it did so, so the BIOS refuses to set higher resolutions.
Here's where the patches come into play: They tell the BIOS the amount of memory XFree86 will allocate so you can use higher resolutions. Note that they do not actually allocate the memory, XFree86 must do that otherwise your system may become unstable because it is using unallocated memory."

Only problem is that the patches in question seem to refer to the 855 chipset, not the 830M like wot i've got.

Thanks anyway!

cicciux 11-09-2005 10:44 AM

Ok, I've been on this forum for a shot period of time, and about 80% of the problems I've read about are related to the Dell C400... is it really that... crappy?

ozymandias 11-10-2005 04:48 PM

Er.. no!

It's a great little laptop - light, cheap but with enough speed to do most 'work' stuff. Just needs a little tweaking (doesn't everything with linux!).

In fact I've sorted the resolution problem! I reinstalled my system, this time picking only the bits of software I wanted. Xwindows started up in high resolution out-of-the-box. I think the original problem was something to do with the way Debian installs x desktop manager, and gnome desktop manager, and then I installed k desktop manager on top. I think they were all conflicting somehow. Anyway, don' t know why, but if you leave it to xwindows manager it works!

Xena 11-11-2005 08:15 AM

Post your XF86Config file. That might help :)

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