display settings

i am a new user and cant find a way to change the resolution of the screen
how do i change the resolution
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It depends a bit on which Linux you are using, but most have xf86config, It does more than just set resolution, but you can set the resolution with it. If your distribution provides Xconfigurator, it's a more user friendly option. Using Xconfigurator, select only one of the the resolution/colormap depth modes and your screen will always be in that mode. Other options, if you know the in's and out's of the X serrver, include direct editing of the XF86config file.

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First let's take a look at you XF86Config file.  This is the file which XF86Setup (or a similiar program like Xconfigurator) edits.  These programs are often used during installation.  Usually, the program gives you an opportunity to set-up more than one resolution. If the program has done this you should find some modelines in /etc/X11/XF86Config.  Look through until you find lines which start with Modeline, these lines are found in the Section "Monitor".  If you have more than 1 .. great!  Now go down to Section "Screen", you should see the driver X uses on a line called Driver.  There should be Subsection "Display" under that which you should have a line called Modes.  If this line only has one mode (which is a resolution like 640x480) and you had two Modelines, say one which was 640x480, and another which was 800x600, just enter that other resolution on the line called mode.  Now, if you don't have more than one Modeline, then you will have to produce more using a program like I talked about earlier (Xconfigurator). Then just make sure all the modelines are represented  in the Subsection "Display" line called mode.

You will now be able to cycle through the resolutions by using Ctrl-Alt-+ and Ctrl-Alt-- from the keyboard.  I use the - and the + from the numpad on my system, that may be different for your keyboard.

You can also tweak your resolution after the fact by using
/usr/X11R6/bin/xvidtune - This a nice utility I have used often, to clean up the display and fine tune a XF86Config file, by transfering the Modelines which this program produces and writing them to the XF86Config file by hand.  And now that you know where those Modelines go, it should be an easy thing to do.
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