Tuxicity's source

December 2, 2006

Configure your resolution in Ubuntu (and Debian).

Filed under: Open Source, Tuxicity, Ubuntu — tuxicity @ 2:07 pm

A too low resolution in Ubuntu after a default install can be fixed on the CLI:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

Just run the defaults with hitting the <enter> button , sometimes you have to highlight the ok with the <tab> button before hitting the <enter> button. When you see this screen:

Select your desired resolution with the <arrow-up/arrow-down> button, then hit <space-bar> to confirm.
Now continue with the defaults until done.
After restarting your X-Server (ctrl-alt-backspace) your desired resolution should be selected.
If its still not implied, look in your panel :

System > Preferences > Screen Resolution

The desired resolution can be selected there.

Also read this if you need more information.


  1. […] NVIDIA drivers work great on Ubuntu, as long as you know how to install them. If you have have set up your resolutions correctly its easy as pie. First check if you need the NVIDIA-Legacy driver or not. If you are sure about the driver and have the universe and multiverse repositories set up its time to install the NVIDIA driver. First make a back up of your xorg.conf : sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak […]

    Pingback by NVIDIA on Ubuntu : « Tuxicity’s source — December 21, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

  2. […] https://tuxicity.wordpress.com/2006/12/02/configure-your-resolution-in-ubuntu-and-debian/ has the instructions for launching the good old x configuration tool. This sucker hasn’t changed substantially in ten years and insists on leading you through a whole bunch of screens for mouse and keyboard (which were detected just fine). It brings tears to my eyes that this tool actually wants me to enable the emulate three buttons option. Anyway, hitting enter works as advertised and I now run in the right resolution and refreshrate. […]

    Pingback by blog.jillesvangurp.com » Blog Archive » another ubuntu installation test — January 28, 2007 @ 1:26 am

  3. New to Linux. I have Matrox G450 graphics card and Dell M991 monitor. Having troubles with only low resolutions to select from. Seen many solutions but yours was the comparatively simple one which also worked. Next step dual monitors? Many thanks.

    Comment by Ron — March 23, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

  4. I’m a newbie to Linux and this was a tremendous help. It worked like a charm.


    Comment by John — September 23, 2007 @ 2:49 am

  5. Sucks. using kubuntu. did dpkg twice. still can’t set the resolution and refresh rate to one that I have been using that is recomended by the manufacturer. I am being told that this configuration can’t be safely tested. I have yet to find a linux distro that had the smarts to figure out this setup and set the thing right on its own. Now I’ve found one that actually refuses.

    Comment by cwmoser — November 9, 2007 @ 9:59 am

  6. this does’nt help. all it asks me is about my keyboard. that’s it. I’ve tried ubuntu on 3 machines, and every time I install, the default resolution is 800×600. after installing Nvidia drivers, all I can get is 640×480 and even lower. there must be others having the same problem, since I’ve encountered it on every computer I’ve put it on.

    Comment by caleb — May 18, 2008 @ 1:58 am

  7. I’m having the same problem at Caleb. Fired up the machine at 640X480. When I go through the xserver it just asks me questions about my keyboard.

    Comment by Jax — May 18, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  8. Hello,

    I spent an entire day looking for modeline entries for my Sony Bravia KDL-40S3000 to work with my NVidia 6100 card with no luck. I finally hooked Ubuntu up to a real monitor, used nvidia-settings and saved out lots of different configs. I found this xorg.conf file to work. It works in modes:


    You do need to “wide” the screen to get full screen.

    # nvidia-settings: X configuration file generated by nvidia-settings
    # nvidia-settings: version 1.0 (buildd@yellow) Tue Mar 4 20:28:57 UTC 2008

    # xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
    # This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
    # values from the debconf database.
    # Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
    # (Type “man xorg.conf” at the shell prompt.)
    # This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
    # if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
    # package.
    # If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
    # again, run the following command:
    # sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

    Section “ServerLayout”
    Identifier “Default Layout”
    Screen 0 “Screen0” 0 0

    Section “Module”
    Load “glx”

    Section “ServerFlags”
    Option “Xinerama” “0”

    Section “InputDevice”
    Identifier “Generic Keyboard”
    Driver “kbd”
    Option “XkbRules” “xorg”
    Option “XkbModel” “pc105”
    Option “XkbLayout” “us”

    Section “InputDevice”
    Identifier “Configured Mouse”
    Driver “mouse”
    Option “CorePointer”

    Section “Monitor”
    Identifier “Configured Monitor”

    Section “Monitor”
    Identifier “Monitor0”
    VendorName “Unknown”
    ModelName “WDE L2410NM”
    HorizSync 30.0 – 80.0
    VertRefresh 56.0 – 75.0

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Configured Video Device”
    Driver “nvidia”
    Option “NoLogo” “True”

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Videocard0”
    Driver “nvidia”
    VendorName “NVIDIA Corporation”
    BoardName “GeForce 6150SE nForce 430”

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Default Screen”
    Device “Configured Video Device”
    Monitor “Configured Monitor”
    DefaultDepth 24

    Section “Screen”

    Identifier “Screen0”
    Device “Videocard0”
    Monitor “Monitor0”
    DefaultDepth 24
    Option “TwinView” “0”
    Option “TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder” “CRT-0”
    Option “metamodes” “1920×1080 +0+0; 1024×768 +0+0”
    # Removed Option “metamodes” “1280×720 +0+0”
    # Removed Option “metamodes” “1024×768 +0+0”

    Comment by Brad Andersen — May 25, 2008 @ 12:45 am

  9. very helphul thanks!!!

    Comment by alex-greece — June 30, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

  10. I am having the same problem as Caleb. The reconfigure just asks for a bunch of keyboard stuff and nothing else.

    Comment by Looterguf — July 12, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

  11. I am having the same problem as Caleb too. But only if i use Ubuntu 8, if i use Ubuntu 7 everything works great with the standard settings. I was wondering if i can just copy the xorg.conf from version 7 to version 8 ?

    Comment by Jochem — August 21, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  12. thank’s

    Comment by doez — September 10, 2008 @ 7:14 am

  13. same problem here. My Geforce4 mx 4000 works well with the proprietary driver. The xorg.conf was successfully changed. But the highest resolution I can choose is 800x600px.


    Comment by john — September 13, 2008 @ 8:21 am

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    Comment by AUTO WEST — September 27, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

  15. I am having a problem with the resolution the highest I can get is 640×480 I have tried everything I can think of tried to play with the xconfig file the correct drivers are installed they do work but I just can adjust my resolution higher than 640×480

    Comment by randywhite30 — September 29, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

  16. I accedently switched my resolution to a low one and now the window is so small I can’t even press ok to make the changes work. I have also tried to press tab a couple of times and then enter but it seems the tab button doesn’t highlight the ok button 😦
    When i typed this in terminal all I got to do was to change some stuff for my keyboard:S

    Comment by ChalleFo — January 14, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

  17. I have the same problem with resolution but when i write
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
    i only configure things for keyboard and mouse, resolution configuration is no longer there. Can anyone help me?

    Comment by pcaholic — January 15, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

  18. I tried it more than twice but it only show settting for keyboard layout.

    Comment by haziri — January 16, 2009 @ 10:34 am

  19. same her with debian lenny. all of a sudden dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg doesn’t give me the option to change screen resolution and video drivers etc. This results in a splash screen with the wrong resolution and then by kde setting a correct resolution when kde starts. How should this be done ?

    Comment by marcus — February 15, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  20. Same here. dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg only configures keyboard and mouse. There is no option to set resolution configuration.

    Moreover, there are no resolutions listed in xorg.conf.

    Is there perhaps a problem with Lenny’s xserver.xorg script?

    I have an ATI card, and the Radeon drivers were installed, but it doesn’t seem possible configure it, even using the Command Center.

    Screen resolution is stuck at 1400×1050.

    Comment by Vext — February 16, 2009 @ 9:36 pm

  21. […] About Mar 05 Quick fix for unbutu hosed graphics from using external monitor, etc. By adminAdd commentsUbuntu https://tuxicity.wordpress.com/2006/12/02/configure-your-resolution-in-ubuntu-and-debian/ […]

    Pingback by Augie’s Weblog » Blog Archive » Quick fix for unbutu hosed graphics from using external monitor, etc. — March 5, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

  22. I have better things to do with my time than to debug a TOY operating system. Back to Microsoft Windows, which at least WORKS right out of the box.

    Comment by frustrated — October 18, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

  23. Bye bye Linux

    Comment by Cor Corstra — November 16, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

  24. windows works for some things, you can do more with linux … but sometimes you have to be able to work out what to do, some people just aren’t technical/logical!

    I’m running firegl v3200 on thinkpad T43p 2668-G7G using non-free drivers and I had the same problem as many above.

    the solution is nice and user friendly 🙂

    sh$ apt-get update
    sh$ apt-get install xdebconfigurator
    sh$ xdebconfigurator

    screen goes black for a second and then it’s all set up. reboot and you’re done.

    Comment by monkeynut — November 17, 2009 @ 2:12 am

  25. forgot to mention, the linux i’m running is debian lenny, should still work for ubuntu users though …

    Comment by monkeynut — November 17, 2009 @ 2:13 am

  26. #24 – this does not work. while it does detect the correct resolutions my monitor can display, a reboot doesn’t effect anything. I still get the shitty 800×600 resolution and no higher.

    Comment by QNX — April 21, 2010 @ 1:56 am

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    Comment by Joymnpaigogag — April 23, 2010 @ 5:28 am

  28. Actually this did not work – but then hey… it ubuntu 10.04 on an old hp server

    Comment by PeterPC — May 19, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

  29. submitted to social bookmark, thanks for your useful informations ^_^

    wait before you buy touchscreen monitor

    Comment by arya solo — November 5, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  30. Running this command doesn’t do anything for me, nothing opens and I just have the terminal on my screen. The irritating thing is my monitor works perfectly at 1360×768 when connected to my laptop running 10.0, but doesn’t allow anything but 800×600 when connected to my computer. Suggestions?

    Comment by Graeme — February 23, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  31. This article seems pretty out of date, found it with a search engine. Typing the command in Ubuntu 10.10 just returned me to a command prompt.

    Comment by Sean J — March 9, 2011 @ 1:11 am

  32. […] Here is a good tutorial show you how to Configure resolution in Ubuntu: A too low resolution in Ubuntu after a default install can be fixed on the CLI: […]

    Pingback by Configure resolution in Ubuntu | TurboLinux Blog — June 23, 2011 @ 8:34 am

  33. I enjoy your wordpress design, where did you get a hold of it?

    Comment by click — May 28, 2012 @ 4:12 am

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