I have a netbook with a maximum screen resolution of 1024x600. I'm running a dualboot Ubuntu10.10 & Backtrack4r2, and I'm having some trouble with windows whose "height" was larger than 600px. Buttons end up below the screen, and I can't click 'Ok' or 'Cancel' or 'Apply'.

When my OS was still Windows7, I didn't have any problems because I can resize all of the windows that I use. Most of windows in linux (esp. in KDE settings), the windows has a fixed height.

Is there any workarounds to my problem?

  • Just a note that in Gnome, many configuration dialogs were redesigned a while ago so that they would fit on a netbook screen. – JamesGecko Feb 18 '11 at 14:18
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    my current workaround: hold alt, grab the center of the window and drag it up offscreen until the buttons below the screen show up :( – LantisGaius Feb 18 '11 at 14:18
  • @LantisGaius, that is a decent work around, better than a lot of frustration. Nice short term solution. – Vass Mar 14 '12 at 14:42

Virtual Screen

Use a virtual screen larger than the physical screen size.

Often this can be done by:

  1. Adding something like "Virtual 1024x800" to /etc/X11/xorg.conf then
  2. Restarting X11 (using Ctrl+Alt+Backspace on those distributions/configurations that support this).

What if I have Ubuntu?

On Ubuntu Ctrl+Alt+Backspace does not restart X11. If using Ubuntu, your options are one of:

  • sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart
  • System -> Preferences -> Keyboard -> Layout -> Key to kill X -> [/] Ctrl+Alt+BS
  • Reboot if you can't figure out a better way to restart X11.

Moving windows that are larger than screen

As JamesGecko's Answer suggests ...

The KDE window manager, Kwin "lets you easily move windows by pressing the ALT button. You can then just click on a window's content. While you hold the left mouse button pressed, windows will move". - KDE.org

You can therfore grab a window somewhere in it's lowest visible region and drag it up to reveal any [OK], [Cancel] or other buttons at the bottom that were formerly offscreen and inaccessible.

  • Nice one! Didn't even know it existed! +1 – BloodPhilia Feb 18 '11 at 13:38
  • @alexander: The "solution" part will work, but the restarting X part will not. I don't know Ubunta so I don't know if "switch users" to the same user will be enough, but it would be on many distributions. – dmckee Feb 18 '11 at 16:40
  • I integrated alexander256's edits into the main matter of my answer. original addition was "This solution will not work as Ctrl-Alt-Backspace does not work in Ubuntu by default." – RedGrittyBrick Feb 18 '11 at 17:15
  • @RedGrittyBrick, I tried this on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, where I had to create an xorg.conf file and just had a file with this line on it, and it did not work. What could have gone wrong? – Vass Mar 14 '12 at 15:25
  • @Vass: Since you'll need to provide details of your config file, your screen resolutions, what exactly is meant by "did not work" etc - it would probably be best to ask this as a separate question. – RedGrittyBrick Mar 14 '12 at 16:42

Unlike with Windows 7, you don't have to settle with the default way of managing windows. There are several different windowmanagers to choose from. Some of these are "tiling" window managers, which should solve problems conserning window placement.

When it comes to window size, you can change the DPI and font sizes in X to make windows smaller. For some applications, you can turn off toolbars and run them in fullscreen mode.


In Gnome when I hold down the alt key, allows me to click and drag anywhere in the window to move it. KDE has something similar, although I'm not sure if the key is alt. You can use this as a workaround to use windows that are larger than the screen.


I've written a script that does this. It is posted at http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/newrez+-+Increase+Screen+Rez+For+Netbook?content=134686

This script prompts you for your desired resolution (for example, 1280x800). It then adds this as a possible resolution for your (unused) VGA port. THEN, it sets up the VGA port to that resolution, and sets your LCD screen as a scaled framebuffer mirror of the VGA.

Really slick, virtually no performance loss. The script can be run as a nautilus-script, a regular shell script, from the command line (eg "newrez 1280x800"), or can be shortcutted in a variety of ways.

Tested in a variety of environments and should work in all.

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