Ubuntu – Change Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS Bionic Console Screen Resolution


  • Running Ubuntu 18.04 sever on a physical machine or VirtualBox?
  • Do you need/want to use the full native resolution of your screen? Higher than 640×480 / 800×600?

Then you may be stuck as I've been, because the solution that used to work on 14.04 and 16.04 doesn't work on 18.04.

Problems to solve (goals)

  1. hwinfo --framebuffer gives an empty output -> find another solution
  2. adding the usual lines to /etc/default/grub, only helps at the first stage of the boot. After GRUB2 has done its work, the resolution switches back to a lower value -> resolve this too
  3. exclude xorg based tools like xrandr (this is a server without GUI by default)
  4. increase VT1-7 (Ctrl+Alt+F1, F2F7 ) resolution in case of Desktop systems with a GUI
  5. set the resolution to 1280×1024

Best Answer

1. Get supported video mode (use vbeinfo instead of hwinfo)

  • reboot
  • hold down SHIFT after the BIOS/UEFI finished
  • press `c´ for the GRUB command line
  • type set pager=1, then hit ENTER
  • type vbeinfo, then hit ENTER
  • take a note about the supported video mode you need Mode 0x031b: 1280x1024 (+3840), 24 bits
  • reboot

2. Modify / add the following lines to /etc/default/grub to match the ones below

>     GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="video=0x0345 gfxpayload=true"
>     GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="video=0x0345 gfxpayload=true"
>     ...
>     # 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'
>     GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024x24
>     GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD=1280x1024x24
>     GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1280x1024x24

3. Update GRUB

sudo update-grub

4. Reboot

sudo reboot

Note1: I've tested the above solution with Ubuntu 18.04 Server and Desktop on VirtualBox.

Note2: Didn't include linux terminal (emulator), putty, cygwin, conemu and other fancy tools, because this is about the bare console.

None of the sources I used had a complete solution, but putting the parts together, solved the problem for me.

Change Ubuntu Server 14.04 Screen Resolution