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reset X screen resolution

Posted on 2014-12-25
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Last Modified: 2015-01-03
I have a Sony VIAO VGN-P530H mini-netbook with recently installed Slackware 14.1. In the KDE desktop I changed the display resolution to make thing appear bigger. Unfortunately doing so put all the action button below the screen and the desktop doesn't scroll. Now I have no menu bar and can't change anything.

How can I ...

1) Change my resolution back from the command line?

2) scroll/pan my KDE desktop (I'm a very KDE newbie)
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Question by:jmarkfoley
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40517856
You can set the resolution within a konsole using xrandr. But generally in KDE the display's settings you change via the KDE's "Configure Desktop" don't stay after a reboot. So a simple reboot should probably return you to the default settings.

To use xrandr just enter xrandr and you'll see what mode is being used, and a list of further modes supported. It also shows you whichoutput port is being used.

xrandr --help shows you what commands are available, and xrandr command --help, what options a command has.
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 40517936
If you can get to the command line, run
hwinfo --framebuffer

which should tell you the modes your display supports.

Quicker might be to add ", gfxpayload=auto" to the end of the 'kernel' line in grub at boot time, which should set it to use the LCD's native resolution. Tip: hold down a Shift key while booting (as soon as the BIOS screen is done) to show the grub 2 menu if it doesn't appear for you.

For 2), being able to pan past the edge of the visible screen is dependent on both the driver and the GPU used.  It might simply not be possible with your Sony's graphics adapter.
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Author Comment

by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40520547
rindi: > ... generally in KDE the display's settings you change via the KDE's "Configure Desktop" don't stay after a reboot.

Nope - the settings persist after reboot

Darr247: Don't have hwinfo. Using lilo not grub

I assume X must be running before I can use xrandr, right? Of course, I cannot get to a command line from the X desktop because everything is off the screen and I can't get to any desktop option. I can get to the computer via ssh and run commands from that session. Running xrandr from there just gives me "Can't open display", probably because this is not a X session.

How do I specifiy the console display, or can I do that at all from an ssh session? I've tried -d 0, -d 1, ... but just get "Can't open display 0", etc.

Seems like this shouldn't be an irreversible error. Is there some Xorg config file I can update/restore?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40520551
Yes, for xrandr X needs to run. How come you are still using lilo on a modern OS?

Maybe check for a file /etc/X/xorg.conf and if it exists, delete it.
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Author Comment

by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40521304
rindi: > Maybe check for a file /etc/X/xorg.conf and if it exists, delete it.

There is no xorg.conf. and /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d is empty. Where are these screen settings kept?!

> How come you are still using lilo on a modern OS?

lilo.conf makes it easy for me to have multiple Linux boot configurations one of which I use to connect the console screen buffer to a DisplayLink VGA. As EExpert gheist said in http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Linux/Q_28574919.html, this is "Easy with lilo, a bit harder with grub, rocket science with grub 2". Note that I am NOT using the DisplayLink VGA boot option for this problem.

> Yes, for xrandr X needs to run.

OK, X is running on the console. Can I not reference the console X display from another session on this computer?
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40521450
Try another user account. If there is no xorg.conf file the settings are probably stored per user. A new account should give you the defaults.
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Accepted Solution

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jmarkfoley earned 0 total points
ID: 40522944
Yes! It worked with another user account: normal screen. Therefore, the settings *are* stored per user. Solution: I went in the fooped user account (root) and deleted all X related files and directories:

rm  -r .config/ .dbus/ .gnupg/ .gstreamer-0.10/ .cache/ .gvfs/ .hplip/ .kde/ .thumbnails/ .local/ .xsession .Xauthority .xinitrc

I then did `startx` and the screen is back to normal. Thanks for the clue!
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Author Closing Comment

by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40528912
rindi's suggestion provided the clue. My comments shows the detail of the solution
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