Ubuntu – Screen resolution not right on a new install


I have installed Ubuntu 11.10 on a small netbook. The netbook is a Packard Bell EasyNote XS with a 7-inch screen – It use to run Windows XP very badly but it runs Ubuntu quite well.

I completed the 11.10 install several days ago and the only issue I have is that the screen resolution is not quite correct. Ubuntu offers me two resolutions 800×480 and 720×480. Unfortunately the 480 part of this means that many of the setup screens are missing their bottom 1 centimeter. This issue seemed irrelevant until I realized that the action buttons such as OK, Back, Forward appear in this part of the screen, actually doing the Ubuntu install turned out to be a little bit of a Hit and Miss affair and I had to guess my way through it by counting tabs to the invisible action buttons.

The Packard Bell EasyNote XS netbook originally came with the VIA Unichrome 614100361 screen driver installed as part of the original WindowsXP. The screen would show resolutions of 1024×768. However now that I have loaded Ubuntu version 10.11 the driver is lost.
Is there any way I can have a 1024×768 resolution under Ubuntu too? I am willing to try/experiment but my Linux experience is only a few days old and so I would need instruction.

Best Answer

Unfortunately the support for VIA Unichrome in linux is not that great - I've read that there are some development activity (search on Phoronix) - but whether this leads to something better, we'll have to wait.

You could try the following to create a new resolution - however it may not work for your graphics card & open-source driver.

xrandr -q gives you list of modes and displays which should list the two resolutions you see in the Monitor resolution screen

Look for what output device you are connected to e.g. LVDS1, VGA1 etc

First type:

cvt 1024 768

This should output something like this

1024x768 59.80 Hz (CVT) hsync: 47.72 kHz; pclk: 84.75 MHz
Modeline "1024x768_60.00"   84.75  1360 1432 1568 1776  768 771 781 798 -hsync +vsync

copy everything AFTER Modeline and paste to xrandr --newmode. :

xrandr --newmode "1024x768_60.00"   84.75  1360 1432 1568 1776  768 771 781 798 -hsync +vsync

Now type the following - n.b. substitute VGA1 for your output device

xrandr --addmode VGA1 1024x768_60.00
xrandr --output VGA1 --mode 1024x768_60.00

now that should adjust your resolution, look in the monitors applet in system prefs, should be there, set it and apply...