Feisty Fawn screen resolution issues

Important: Before you begin, back up your xorg.conf file – a misconfiguration may leave you without a GUI.

Apparently Ubuntu 7.04 does not know either my graphics card (Intel 810) and/or monitor (Dell FP1701). The monitor – one of Dell’s first flat panels – only supports 1280×1024 @ 60Hz, or for some reason 1024×768 @ 75Hz. Ubuntu plays it safe and sets the default resolution to the latter – and choosing 1280×1024 in the GUI is not an option.

To remedy I tried adding 1280×1024 to my /etc/X11/xorg.conf like so:

SubSection "Display"

Depth 24
Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "720x400" "640x480"


But booting X makes my monitor sorry – as it probably tries to display “1280×1024 @ 75Hz” which is not supported. I eventually fixed this with this modeline tool. Set resolution to 1280×1024 and the vertical frequency to 60Hz which returned:

Modeline "1280x1024" 109.62 1280 1336 1472 1720 1024 1024 1026 1062

Which i pasted into my xorg.conf like this:

Section "Monitor"

Identifier "DELL 1701FP"
Option "DPMS"
Modeline "1280x1024" 109.62 1280 1336 1472 1720 1024 1024 1026 1062


“Boom goes the dynamite” – and I had the optimum resolution at 60Hz.

UPDATE: A few necessary additions

1) You must use the specifications of your own monitor and display adapter to ensure that everything works

2) Back up your xorg.conf file before you begin

4 Comments on “Feisty Fawn screen resolution issues

  1. Help!
    I can’t edit xorg.conf as I keep running into permission problems which I seem unable to resolve. How do I log on as Root when I don’t know the password??

  2. In a regular Ubuntu setup you should be able to sudo to edit the file:

    $ sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

    Just supply your own password when requested

  3. I tried using the steps you provided but when I rebooted Ubuntu. I got a x11 crash. Now I have no GUI what so ever. The read out said that the command “Modeline” was unknown. Is there something I’m missing in your instructions? Because as of right now I am missing my GUI for Ubuntu entirely. Any help from anyone would be great.

  4. @Reuben: A few steps to remedy:

    1) Install the nano editor if it is not already installed:

    #sudo apt-get install nano

    2) edit the xorg.conf file and verify or remove/comment out the modeline again

    3) reboot or restart X

    It is vital that your modeline follows the specifications of your monitor and your display adapter.

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