Everywhere I look they say to use xrandr to change the resolution but when I try to use the command it is not found. I tried apt-get install xrandr (and randr) but the package could still not be found.

What is xrandr? Why can't I find it? How do I change my screen resolution?

1 Answer 1


About xrandr

From man xrandr:

Xrandr is used to set the size, orientation and/or reflection of the outputs for a screen. It can also set the screen size.

In my Debian GNU/Linux 7 I have found xrandr in the package named x11-xserver-utils.

Note xrandr is a tool to work with X server. It will be useless if you boot your OS with text console only and you want to keep it this way.

To install:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install x11-xserver-utils

How to know which package to install?

Check this question and its answers. In one of the answers I have created a basic guide to apt-file with xrandr as an example.

How to use xrandr to change resolution?

First simply invoke:


You will probably see (among other things) some common video resolutions available to you, e.g.:

1360x768       59.8     60.0
1152x864       60.0
1024x768       60.0

You can switch to one of them like this:

xrandr -s 1024x768

Adding custom resolution is also possible. Read this.

  • Hmm I'm not using a GUI so perhaps that explains the issue.. So if i can't use xrandr, what can I do to fix my resolution? I'm using my tv as a monitor and only the middle of the command window is showing up
    – CSCoder
    Oct 4, 2016 at 20:54
  • @CSCoder See this. Don't forget to update-grub. Oct 5, 2016 at 8:12
  • Sorry I didn't have time to give it a try till now but the /etc/grub/ directory doesn't exist.. I'm trying to do this on C.H.I.P. so it might be a stripped down version of debian
    – CSCoder
    Oct 7, 2016 at 17:11
  • @CSCoder I think you should mention this in your question in the first place. I don't know how Debian on C.H.I.P boots. There should be a way to pass video=… to the kernel. Or maybe there is fbset available – you could use my old fix then. Oct 7, 2016 at 17:35

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