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I'm using a linux server without X
I want to understand how to change the number of lines/columns I see, like I change resolution in X.. besides.. I should be able to change the resolution somehow, shouldn't I? I mean, I'm still using a monitor even if it's not with an X server..

The graphics card doesn't see any difference between X and simple linux video buffer, right? So there must be a way to set resolution, refresh rate etc..

if you could point me to some guide out there it'd be fine

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Assuming you want to change the resolution of the display (which indirectly changes how many characters fit in each row/column), you can change the mode.

The mode of the graphics card can be set via the vga boot parameter (assuming you don't use framebuffer), but the value to set it to depends on your graphics card.

To see what values are available add vga=ask which will give you a list to choose and test from. If you use grub just append that to the kernel line of /boot/grub/menu.lst for your kernel. Once you have decided what mode you want, replace ask with that code.

For some documentation see e.g. Documentation/svga.txt in the kernel source tree.

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thanks.. didn't find the menu.lst file, though.. I'm on ubuntu server 9.10 – luca Feb 6 '10 at 14:17
@luca I don't know ubuntu's setup. But you might be able to play with this by adding the vga parameter like described e.g. here… (assuming ubuntu uses grub and their grub version is compatible with that howto). – Benjamin Bannier Feb 6 '10 at 14:31

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