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What part of NeoLinux OS or user interface contains the monitor resolution data on a Neoware C-50 thin client?

I have a Neoware C-50 that is providing a VGA signal that is outside the range of any monitor i connect to it. Once booted, the box cannot be controlled because there is no video.  Based on advice found on this site, I've gotten to the bash prompt on the C-50; which apparently runs at a separate monitor resolution that is valid.
Is the regular end-user resolution kept in a registry equivalent that I can edit from the bash prompt?

I have 3 follow-on questions:
1) Will a factory reset of the BIOS default the resolution back to something useable?
2) If not, Is there a way to access the monitor settings for the Neoware shell program from the bash prompt?
3) If none of those, any other suggestions short of a Linux OS transplant that might allow me to regain use of the box again?
Watch Question


OK... Solved!
I stumbled accross a monitor that could understand the rogue monitor settings, and regained control of my C-50.
Still, the information being asked for here could be useful in the future - we've got a lot of these still around, and I've seen similar inquiries around the 'net that still await a solution.
Software Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2019
The graphics toolkit on linux is X, it used to be XFree86, which now forked to X.Org, the configuration depends on a file in /etc/X11/.....

XFree86.conf or Xorg.conf [ defaults, can be changed with command line options ].
X.Org is better in automatic detection of hardware and is pretty good in auto configuration, XF86 is lacking in that department.
[ changes for autodetection were the primary cause of the fork of the toolkits. ]

Start from there and lookup information about mode lines etc. You also need to find out that info about your monitor & video adapter btw.]
Xfree 86 site:

(Besides xterm which seems to be still maintained, it's silent there since 2008).


Noci, the monitors I had tried before finding one that worked were both "square" and wide types by a variety of manufactuerers, but none just happened to support 85Hz refresh. By chance, one of the monitors I eventually tested had an ATEN active vga splitter/extender connected to it, and the remote monitor in that arrangement was found to be displaying the image (the local one would not).
Assuming that particular circumstance had not been available or discovered, would the X toolkit have made it possible to note and then change the unuseable 85Hz refresh rate back to 60Hz? (Yes, I would have immediately noticed the fact that the 85Hz setting was unusual for around here.)
If so, then I'll award points (and thank you in advance for the help,  next time someone around here applies untested video settings to one of my boxes!).
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2019

The refresh frequency is part of the earlier mentioned "mode"-line.

The original XFree86 era config files for notorious for "hard to get 'right'"...
Esp. if you bought hardware from a variety of sources...

I don't know how Neolinux sets up it's config files and if there is a frontend to "edit" the config files or if you have to do that using a supplied text editor.
(I have seen the systems around 2003/2004 when they were a "new" kindof hype)
Duncan RoeSoftware Developer
You should have been able to get a usable command-line screen by Ctrl-Alt-F6 (switch to Virtual Terminal (VT) 6). It's a general convention among distributions that VT1-6 are command-line consoles when X is not running and when X is running (using VT7 for the first instance) then VT6 is still a command-line console (presents a LOGIN prompt). From VT6 you can edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
85Hz is a CRT frequency (and only for the better monitors at that) which most flat-panel screens can't handle.
From VT6 you might also be able to use the xrandr command to tell the X server to change to a resolution that the monitor can understand - post if you'd like more of an explanation how to do that.


Neolinux does have a GUI over the underlying OS, and there's a menu item that allows adjustment of the monitor res and refresh via a dialog with drop-down choices. Of course, those were unavailable becuase they are loaded only after the monitor settings are applied during bootup. (That menu was how the end user in this case made the errant setting. It can be locked down, but it's easier to just fire the user that tinkers with technology. ;-)

I will try both of your suggestions, too.   Stupid question: would these commands work from the bash# prompt that I know for a fact I can successfully get to under the described circumstances?

Without spending a lot of time setting up another older Neoware thin client to test (the new ones I've got around now are all HP t5565's with entirely different GUIs), I cannot confirm that either of these solutions would have fixed the problem. Both seem plausable though, and all will be good tools to know about in the future.

First answer should get a bonus, though - you guys OK with 200 to noci and 150 to duncan?
Duncan RoeSoftware Developer

You can communicate  with the X server from the root bash prompt in a console, but you have to get the XAUTHORITY e.g.
20:29:53$ ps ax|grep -w X|grep -v grep
 2118 tty7     Ss+    0:16 X -auth /home/dunc/.Xauthority -terminate

Open in new window

In this case, you would enter export XAUTHORITY=/home/dunc/.Xauthority and export DISPLAY=:0. I tried that, and even then xrandr wouldn't work for me. I could start apps on the display, but that doesn't help you.


Assuming I could get to VT6 before the fully booted monitor settings took effect,  that method certainly seems as easy as it would need to be.
Thanks both of you for the help. I'll award points now.


Neither of these solutions had to be used, and without the errant box to work with, it is unknown whether any roadblocks to either solution would have prevented success. Given the qualifications of the providers, though, I'm assuming both would have been viable. Both will be added to my toolbox for the future.