A fresh install of Ubuntu was made on a quite old PC ( say - 10 years old ). A 1920x 1080 monitor is connected via RGB... BUT showing a single possible screen res - 1280X1024 ( which is not my/ screens preferable one).

Since it is an old PC- I don't have any solid knowledge regarding it hardware ( MSI mother board, internal graphics card, E2140 1.60GHz, code 2 duo ... and that's about it ), so looking for any display drivers, was not a great success.

My main question is- What is the best way to start this search ? 1) using xrandr - showed only this 1 mode of resolution. 2) Is is a display driver issue ? 3) May be it is a Hardware issue ( since it is quite an old one...)

Anything else?

Edit 1: Perhaps Motherboard is https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/P4M900M2L/Specification

How can I get its drivers ? on manufacturer's site- it support windows only

Edit 2: Motherboard model is P4M890

Edit 3- Commandline output

$ lspci -nnk | grep -A3 VGA
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: VIA Technologies, Inc. P4M890 [S3 UniChrome Pro] [1106:3343] (rev 01)
        Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. [MSI] P4M890 [S3 UniChrome Pro] [1462:7255]
        Kernel modules: viafb
04:01.0 Audio device [0403]: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237A/VT8251 HDA Controller [1106:3288] (rev 10)

guy@desktop:~$ xrandr -d :0
xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default
Screen 0: minimum 1280 x 1024, current 1280 x 1024, maximum 1280 x 1024
default connected primary 1280x1024+0+0 0mm x 0mm
   1280x1024     77.00*
  • Probably more a video (card) driver issue rather than actual monitor issue. If the video card's from a company (even internal has some company, nvidia/ati/others?) there should be a package in the repositories for video drivers. Search for ubuntu <video manufacturer> for instructions, askubuntu has a decent "meta question/answer" somewhere – Xen2050 Sep 10 '17 at 10:23
  • where do you suggest to look for brand's name ? i didn't find any brand name onboard – Guy . D Sep 10 '17 at 10:42


lshw -c video

should give you some video info, the product: and vendor: lines being pertinent.

Then search for "ubuntu video " or "ubuntu video " to find out what others have done to solve the same problem.

A generic ubuntu video driver shows some "meta" questions and promising sounding links like these, following the directions for your manufacturer should work:

Your video appears to be VIA P4M890 and a web search for ubuntu via p4m890 S3 UniChrome Pro found a few promising leads, but it looks like some aren't supported anymore:

| improve this answer | |
  • guy@desktop:~$ sudo lshw -c video [sudo] password for guy: *-display UNCLAIMED description: VGA compatible controller product: P4M890 [S3 UniChrome Pro] vendor: VIA Technologies, Inc. physical id: 0 bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0 version: 01 width: 32 bits clock: 66MHz capabilities: pm agp agp-3.0 vga_controller bus_master cap_list configuration: latency=64 mingnt=2 resources: memory:a0000000-bfffffff memory:fd000000-fdffffff memory:c0000-dffff – Guy . D Sep 10 '17 at 11:21
  • thank you very MUCH. So I was very close to the exact model of MSI's motherboard – Guy . D Sep 10 '17 at 11:22
  • using 2nd bullet in your answer - Should I use ubuntu's 17 drivers ? – Guy . D Sep 10 '17 at 11:44
  • 1
    That one must be pretty old, a web search for it and edited in a little more info. I didn't see Ubuntu 17 specifics in the How-To Geek page, but if it's using the default repositories they should be up-to-date for your ubuntu (16), and even adding a PPA often automatically picks the right ubuntu – Xen2050 Sep 10 '17 at 12:05
  • Added Edit 3 in my question – Guy . D Sep 10 '17 at 12:13

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