Archive for January 6th, 2012

How to change GNOME Resolution with a command using terminal or console on Debian GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Friday, January 6th, 2012

I'm testing some old school arcade games, available from Debian's package repositories and quitting one of the games ended me up with a GNOME Screen Resolution of 640×480 pixels.

I wanted to revert back to the Classics resolution, so what I would normally do to do that is use >GNOME menus:

System -> Preferences -> Monitors

In that huge screen resolution on my 14 inch lenovo notebook screen, however the System menu cannot fit in 640×480 resolution. You can see the non-screen fitting System on the screenshot below:

Screenshot Debian GNU / Linux Squeeze GNOME Desktop 640x480

Having this situation, I needed a way to change back to my normal daily used 1024x768px screen resolution to continue my daily work by some other way.
One possible solution I thought of was Logging Off Gnome and logging again. Loggig off and log on again would usually restart the initiated GNOME session and therefore will reset the screen resolution to my default 1024×768 / 32 bit color.

Having the unobservable System gnome panel menu on my screen however made using the usual Log off procedure via System -> Log Out myusername impossible…

Another possible way to actually restart my screen and hence revert back to my original resolution is achiavable using the classical restart X server key switch CTRL + ALT + backspace (bckspc) . Though this was a possible approach to the situation, I had a bunch of programs already running on my desktop and I did not wanted to interrupt my desktop session, what I was looking for is simply change the screen resolution size .

With all said I had to look up for alternative way (preferably easy) way, to revert back my screen resolution to my desired 1024×768.

As a console guy, I was interested if there is some kind of possibility to change my GNOME resolution directly using xterm or gnome-terminal , after a bit of check up online, I've found few threads started by people who were looking just like me for a way to change GNOME / KDE screen resolution size on various distributions Linux desktops as well on Free/Net/Open/BSDs. The answer to the question on few places was the command xrandr which I had used some few years ago to initiate remote X server connections via SSH

xrandr is actually a great tool part of the x11-xserver-utils

Actually xrandr is capable of doing a few things besides setting the screen resolution size, just to name a few it supports change the screen orientation, reflection of the output of the screen, adjust brightness, set color gamma etc. etc.

It is good to mention that xrandr changes the resolution not on a GNOME level but on Xorg server level.

Using xrandr to change the screen resolution appeared to be very easy.

1. First I issued xrandr to check all the supported xrandr resolutions by my X server hipo@noah:~/Desktop$ xrandr Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 768, maximum 8192 x 8192VGA1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)LVDS1 connected 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 304mm x 228mm 1024x768 60.0*+ 50.0 800x600 60.3 56.2 640x480 60.0 59.9 TV1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)hipo@noah:~/Desktop$

From the output you can see I have 3 basic resolutions configured in my Xorg, I can switch between.

2. To switch to my previous default screen resolution

hipo@noah:~/Desktop$ xrandr -s 1024x768

After using xrandr command to revert back to my default screen size, I realized there is two other (partially command line partially gui) way to change to 1024×768 pixels.3. Through launching gnome Control Center and searching for Monitors menu.

If one prefers this way he can;

i) press ALT+F2 to invoke Gnome's Run Application dialog

ii) issue gnome-control-center command:

GNOME run application Dialog GNOME Control Center cmd debian GNU / Linux

GNOME Control Center search Monitors menu debian GNU / Linux

4. By invoking gnome's Control Panel -> Monitors settings window by a command

hipo@noah:~/Desktop$ gnome-display-properties

GNOME display properties command to launch monitors screen resolution settings
 

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