Thursday, March 24, 2011

Put the .conf back in Xorg

Recently, after installing Ubuntu 10.04 LTS in a Virtual Box VM, I was left after booting with a very tiny 800x600 OS in the middle of a huge black screen. There were not other options in Monitor configuration besides 640x480. Even better. In the past, I have had similar problems with older Linux installs on actual hardware and was able to resolve the issue with modeline edits in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

But there was no such file in my OS! It seems the newer versions of Xorg no longer use the configuration file. After a bit of frustrated hunting and searching across google, I was hit with an idea. What if I make my own xorg.conf and just specify monitor resolution? Well that is exactly what I did, and after a reboot, the new resolution options were available under System -> Preferences -> Monitors.

Here is what the contents of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf looked like:

# /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
Device "Configured Video Device"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1028x1024" "1024x768"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1028x1024" "1024x768"
EndSubSection
EndSection

There may have been a better way to fix this, but for me it worked well and hasn't yet caused any noticeable problems. I'll continue keeping my fingers crossed.

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