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Change the colors from millions to thousands

Posted on 2004-04-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I am very new to Linux.  I've just installed Linux 9 and when I changed the colors from thousands to millions, I can no longer see the screen properly.  How do I change it back from the command prompt?
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Question by:slaroche
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10870514
You can change the resolution of your Linux desktop using the following command:
sudo /pkg/pkg/tool/kiesres.sh.

You will get a menu that will allow you to change your resolution.
Your new resolution will be automaticly used the next time you login.
http://www.win.tue.nl/bcf/linux/resolutie.php?PHPSESSID=b2528187a72a00ba245f1236dd3f7b3b
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Author Comment

by:slaroche
ID: 10870819
at the Grub> command prompt, I've typed in the command and I get the error "error 27: unrecognized command"
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10872607
This is not a grub parameter, you first need to boot your system. You can avoid booting into the graphical environment by adding either a "single" to the grub command line, or a "3".

But, you can also boot into the graphical UI and then use <Ctrl><Alt>F1  to switch to a virtual text console.
Log in as root user and then run /pkg/pkg/tool/kiesres.sh
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10872624
However, I don't think that this will work, I don't think that this program is part of a RedHat installation.
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10872683
Edit the file /etc/X11/XF86Config and search for the string "DefaultDepth" Change this to 16, also make sure that you have a "Display" SubSection for a Depth of 16 (you may need to change this as well).
Do this instead of running the kiesres.sh command.
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10872719
Another alternative is to run the command redhat-config-xfree86
Just select "thousands of colors" and save your changes.
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Author Comment

by:slaroche
ID: 10873596
<ctrl><alt><F1> brought me to a screen, but typing stuff in didn't change anything.  It didn't behave like a command prompt, but rather a black notepad.  How do I edit files?  From the Grub> command line, I can't type edit without getting an unrecognized command error.  Do I need to boot to a dos command prompt?
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10873640
You need to log in after you switch to the virtual terminal. Type "root" (without the quotes) as the user name and the root password that you specified.

What distribution are you using. I just noticed that you were only talking "linux 9", and I somehow assumed that it's RedHat, is this the case?

If that's the case, when you see the boot selection type "a". This will bring up the grub append dialog. Type " 3" (a space followed by the number 3 and hit return. This will bring up a login prompt, type the "root" user name and the root password.
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by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10873648
And, once you are logged in as root, use the "redhat-config-xfree86" command. This will get you around editing config files.
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Author Comment

by:slaroche
ID: 10873775
the redhat config command takes me to a gui that I can't make out.  It's better, but I have no idea what I'm clicking on.  I typed help at the same command prompt to try and figure out how to edit a file, but didn't see the edit command.  Would you mind explaining how to edit the file you've specified.  If it's too much of a pain, I can just reload the OS and keep it at thousands of colors.  I am using the Redhat distribution.  
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Expert Comment

by:gtkfreak
ID: 10880739
Login: root
Password: xxxxxxxx (whatever your root password)
You will see a #. At the # type:
# startx -- -depth 16

This will give you thousands of colors. Then you can make this setting permanent by clicking on the RedHat startup menu, system settings->display and make your settings permanent.
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10880851
I thought about this as well, but this will fail if you don't have settings for 16bit mode in your XF86Config file.
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10880869
Are you familiar with any Linux editor? I don't know what's installed on a RedHat system by default. I'm only using vi and that's always there :-) Try to edit with joe and pico:
joe /etc/X11/XF86Config
or
pico /etc/X11/XF86Config

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Author Comment

by:slaroche
ID: 10884898
the 16bit color was not available.  joe and pico are not recognized commands.  reload?  thanks for all your help, by the way.
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10886988
Have you ever used vi? It's not the best editor for a novice, but I can walk you through it.
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Author Comment

by:slaroche
ID: 10895174
I'm not going to be back on the server until Tuesday...It would be great if you could walk me through vi becuase I've never used it.  I'll repost Tuesday.
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10895240
Here a tutorial for vi: http://www.eng.hawaii.edu/Tutor/vi.html
You can download the complete document as PDF file and e.g. print it and keep it next to your terminal when you start to edit the XF86Config file. This tutorial is much better than anything I could come up with. Take a look and let me know if you need more information about a certain area.
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Accepted Solution

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gtkfreak earned 1000 total points
ID: 10906803
Editing the XF86Config file using vi.

Take a backup of the present XF86Config file.
# cp /etc/X11/XF86Config /etc/X11/XF86Config.backup

Open the XF86Config file using vi.
# vi /etc/X11/XF86Config
Press <:> (colon key)
Enter /DefaultDepth at the : (colon) prompt.
You should see the cursor at the DefaultDepth. The / searches for DefaultDepth.

Press <R> (capital R) to do a replace. Move with arrow keys and change the number to 16 after DefaultDepth.

Press <escape>
Move with arrow keys to the line that says Depth.

Press <R> (capital R) to do a replace again. Change the number value to 16.
Press <escape>
Press <:> (colon)
Press wq at the <:> prompt.

This saves the XF86Config file and you are done.
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Expert Comment

by:gtkfreak
ID: 10906806
If the above gives error, then you can restore your backed up XF86Config file by:
# cp /etc/X11/XF86Config.backup /etc/X11/XF86Config
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10906845
Before you do this, check the /etc/X11 directory to see if you already have a backup of XF86Config in this directory. It's possible that the config tool created a backup copy when you changed to "millions of colors". If that's the case, move your current version out of the way and copy the backup back:

cd /etc/X11
mv XF86Config XF86Config.millions_of_colors
cp XF86Config.backup XF86Config

(Replace XF86Config.backup with the name that's actually used for the backup copy on your system).
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Author Comment

by:slaroche
ID: 10945073
That worked!  Thanks for all your help.  Love this place!
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