With the "vesa" driver selected, how do I choose a video mode higher than 800x600 (like 1024x768 or 1280x1024) on Ubuntu 9.04? Some source say that monitors.xml is used instead.
Subquestion 1: Do I have to use a kernel boot parameter at all? (see section below)
Subquestion 2: Is xorg.conf still in use on Ubuntu 9.04?
What I already know / tried
This is my xorg.conf:
Section "Device" Identifier "Configured Video Device" Driver "vesa" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Configured Monitor" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Default Screen" Monitor "Configured Monitor" Device "Configured Video Device" SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 16 Modes "1024x768" EndSubSection EndSection
As you can see, I set the driver to "vesa" and added the mode 1024x768.
I always get to chose between 640x480 and 800x600 in Gnome. Calling
xrandr tells me the same:
Screen 0: minimum 640 x 480, current 800 x 600, maximum 800 x 600 default connected 800x600+0+0 0mm x 0mm 800x600 61.0* 640x480 60.0
Also, I read that the VESA mode must be set at a very early stage in the boot process, because it must be switched in real mode. Therefor, I boot with an optional kernel parameter like
vga=316. No matter which number I chose (from this or that table) it mostly complains that it does not know the number, and displays another table for me to chose from. Whatever I chose then, I get a boot screen at this specific resolution, which is slightly moved to the upper left.
But when Gnome comes up with the login screen, It's back at 800x600 and there are no other options than 640x480 an 800x600 for me to choose. So I'm not sure if this boot parameter has any real effect at all.
Also, I read somewhere that Ubuntu 9.04 does not use xorg.conf any more, but on the other hand, I found many tutorials for 9.04 mentioning xorg.conf and some users that reported that it worked for them. The Nvidia tool also made changes to xorg.conf which let my computer crash on a reboot, so there must be something about it.
Some more background
I've got a Dell Precision M70 Laptop with a broken graphics card, that is, some section of the video Ram is broken. The physical resolution of the LCD is 1920x1200 and it has a Nvidia Quadro FX Go 1400.
From my experience on Windows I know that using the NVidia driver I either get garbled output or the computer completely crashes, no matter which mode is chosen. But without a driver, I can happily use the display modes 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024. The higher modes fail even without a driver.
I installed Ubuntu some days ago, and using the correct driver, it always crashed, sometimes after it shows some reasonable content, sometimes even without. I can't even use 640x480 with that driver. Using the VESA driver, it's running stable, but I can't switch to any higher resolution than 800x600.
Therefor I conclude that using VESA on a higher resultion should be fine on Ubuntu, if only I could configure it.