Posts Tagged ‘low resolution’

Ubuntu 13.04

April 26, 2013 4 comments

So far I’ve upgraded two machines. I like the new Ubuntu (though it looks and feels like 12.10 :)) but the upgrade was not as smooth as before.

First, on my workplace machine the upgrade process stopped at 30% and the machine simply froze down. I could move the mouse but nothing else worked. Even the clock in the top right corner stopped. I gave it a try, restarted the machine and to my greatest surprise it came back alive and I even had a graphical interface. Wow! With my script (it’s the second one) I could continue the upgrade process and it finished in order. After a reboot I had a fully functional Ubuntu 13.04.

Second, my home desktop was upgraded without any freeze :) I brought home the update packages and thus the upgrade process finished in an hour. However, after reboot the X started in low resolution. When I launched “nvidia-settings“, it said that my Nvidia card was not enabled and I should re-generate the xorg.conf file. It told me how to do that so I copied/pasted that line to a terminal. After that I reinstalled the nvidia packages:

sudo apt-get --purge remove nvidia-*
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings

After restarting the X (“sudo service lightdm restart“) the resolution was fine.

However, the torture was not over yet. The graphical interface (Unity) got messed up: the launcher didn’t appear; the Super key (Windows button) didn’t bring up the Dash; the top panel was covered by a Gnome2-ish panel, etc. Fortunately, I found a script that could reset my Unity: It worked perfectly and my Unity became usable again. With “ubuntu-tweak” I could fine-tune my new Ubuntu and now it looks like my 12.10 :)


  • I read about the unity-reset script here
  • you can install ubuntu-tweak easily with my jabbatron installer script

Update (20130428)
This morning my Ubuntu got f* up completely. I was at the point that I reinstall the whole s* from scratch. Strangely, after some restarts it started to work OK. So, here is what happened.

First, after restart I got a blank screen. No X, nothing. I couldn’t even switch to console with Ctrl+Alt+F1. After a reset I got the graphical interface. But after a restart no X again. It was alternating… I edited the file “/etc/default/grub” and changed this line:


Now at least I could follow the bootup sequence and noticed that the boot stopped after mounting the swap partition. Following this post I could fix the swap partition. I am not 100% sure that it was the problem since I also installed a newer version of the nvidia driver.

Fixing the swap partition:

# run "sudo gparted" and figure out the partition of the swap
# for me it was /dev/sda2
sudo swapoff /dev/sda2
sudo mkswap /dev/sda2
sudo swapon /dev/sda2
sudo update-initramfs -u

Update the nvidia driver:

# previous version: 304.88
sudo apt-get --purge remove nvidia-*
sudo apt-get install nvidia-313 nvidia-settings-313

Now the blank screen problem was solved. However, I couldn’t stop the machine. It displayed “* Will now restart” but nothing happened. Again, I had to poke the “/etc/default/grub” file:


More info here. Now it seems OK. Damn, if I had known that I’d have so many problems, I wouldn’t have upgraded to 13.04…

My “/etc/default/grub” file looks like this:

# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
# For full documentation of the options in this file, see:
#   info -f grub -n 'Simple configuration'

#GRUB_DEFAULT="Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)"
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

# Uncomment to enable BadRAM filtering, modify to suit your needs
# This works with Linux (no patch required) and with any kernel that obtains
# the memory map information from GRUB (GNU Mach, kernel of FreeBSD ...)

# Uncomment to disable graphical terminal (grub-pc only)

# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'

# Uncomment if you don't want GRUB to pass "root=UUID=xxx" parameter to Linux

# Uncomment to disable generation of recovery mode menu entries

# Uncomment to get a beep at grub start
#GRUB_INIT_TUNE="480 440 1"

When you edit this config file, run the following command:

sudo update-grub2

Update (20130503)
My upgraded Ubuntu 13.04 continued to behave strangely. I got fed up with that and today I reinstalled it from scratch. Now it works correctly. Something must have happened to it during the upgrade…

Stuck with the resolution 640×480

July 19, 2011 2 comments

We have an old machine that I tried a few days ago. It has Ubuntu 8.04 on it with an integrated Intel graphic card. I remember I was using it with a resolution 1024×768 but now it started in 640×480. Under System -> Settings -> Screen Resolution there was only one option: 640×480. How to switch to 1024×768?

I checked the config file /etc/X11/xorg.conf but it only had one entry with 640×480. So I decided to regenerate this file from scratch.

# First, close all applications under Gnome.
# Go to "deep console" with CTRL+ALT+F1.
# Then stop the X:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
$ sudo Xorg -configure
# it will create /root/
# backup your current xorg.conf file:
$ sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak
# install the new config file:
$ sudo mv /root/ /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Here is the file I got. As can be seen, resolutions are set “0 0” everywhere, so I had to customize it a bit.

I wanted to use my monitor in color depths 16 or 24, so I modified these lines:

   SubSection "Display"
      Viewport   1024 768
      Depth     16
   SubSection "Display"
      Viewport   1024 768
      Depth     24

Here is the new xorg.conf config file.

Now restart X and the resolution should be 1024×768:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

How to create xorg.conf in Ubuntu 9.10