Changing screen resolution in Ubuntu can be achieved in a variety of ways. This article explains a couple of them.
Change screen resolution using GUI tool
On the GNOME toolbar click on
System > Preferences > Screen Resolution (See figure below).
This will open up a GUI tool. Switch to the required screen resolution from the drop down box and once you are satisfied with the settings, Click “
Change screen resolution by editing XOrg configuration file
If you do not see the required resolution values in the GUI tool, you can add additional screen resolutions by editing the xorg.conf file.
The full path of the file is
/etc/X11/xorg.conf. Suppose I want to add the resolution “1024×768” which is supported by my monitor. I do the following :
/etc/X11/xorg.conf in a text editor. I usually use
vi. You have to use
sudo to open it to make changes so the actual command will be something like follows :
$ sudo vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Xorg.conf file in Ubuntu is quite sparse and contain only a few lines. I made the following changes to get 1024×768 resolution on my machine. The changes / additions are highlighted in bold font.
Section "Device" Identifier "Configured Video Device" Driver "vboxvideo" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Configured Monitor" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Default Screen" Device "VirtualBox graphics card" Monitor "Configured Monitor" DefaultDepth 24 SubSection "Display" Depth 24 Modes "1024x768" EndSubSection EndSection
If you have noticed, I have used the device driver
vboxvideo. This is because I run Ubuntu in VirtualBox. If you are running it natively then, in all probability, Ubuntu would have detected and configured the correct driver and resolution for your machine. If not, you can change the line Driver “
vboxvideo” to the driver suited for your hardware. Possible candidates are
nv and so on.
Use dpkg-reconfigure script to change the xorg.conf file
If you are skeptical of your skills in editing a text file (xorg.conf) by hand, then you can also use the dpkg-reconfigure script to do the same. Open up a terminal and run the following command :
$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
This will start a wizard albeit on the console, which will walk you through configuring Xorg server. Among other things, it will ask you to choose the video driver and the resolution of your monitor from a list. Once all the questions are answered, the wizard will make a backup copy of your current
xorg.conf file and write in the new values. You will have to restart Xorg server for the changes to take effect. If you are in graphical mode, you can press the key combination “
Ctrl + Alt + Backspace” to do so.