Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Manual Display Configuration in Ubuntu

Your display will be detected automatically, and Ubuntu will configure both your graphics card and monitor. Normally you should not need to perform any configuration manually. However, with some hardware, your display or graphics card may not be correctly detected. Also, you may want to configure an additional screen(s) for multi display output. All configuration tools and drivers will generate an X Window System configuration file called /etc/X11/xorg.conf. This is the file the X Window System uses to start up. Whenever you change your settings, your current configuration is saved to /etc/X11/xorg.backup.conf. Should you need to restore your old settings manually, you can just replace your current xorg.conf file with the backup file. You are advised to make your own backup of an xorg. conf file that works. Should your display configuration become unrecoverable, you can always resort to the reliable backup. The following code creates a backup file called xorgmybackup.conf:

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg-mybackup.conf

If you are using a vendor’s graphics driver (restricted hardware) such as the Nvidia or
ATI graphics driver, the respective vendor configuration tools will be installed for you. You can access these by choosing Applications System Tools. The Nvidia configuration tool will be named something like Nvidia X Server Settings. You should use the vendor’s configuration tool for configuring a vendor’s drivers. The Nvidia configuration tool is in the nvidia-settings package (see the following line of code). It is not installed with the Nvidia driver. You must use Synaptic Package Manager to install it yourself. You’ll then see the Nvidia X Server Settings entry when you choose System Administration Nvidia X Server Settings. This interface provides Nvidia vendor access to many of the features of Nvidia graphics cards, such as color correction, video brightness and contrast, thermal monitoring, screen resolution, and color depth.


ATI/AMD provides a Linux version of its Catalyst configuration tool for use on Linux. Much of the ATI video drivers have now become open source, making the ATI video driver much more Linux-compatible. The ATI/AME Catalyst configuration tool for Linux is in the fglrx-control package, which you will have to install with the Synaptic Package Manager, like so:


Alternatively, if you are not using a vendor driver, and you have to perform specific configurations such as selecting the correct monitor type, you can manually configure your graphics driver using the Screen and Graphics tool (displayconfig-gtk). Choose System Administration Screen And Graphics. The monitor and resolution should be selected automatically.

If your monitor is not correctly set, you may have to make sure your monitor is selected. Click the small monitor icon next to the Model text box to open a Choose Screen window with manufacturer and model listings. First select the manufacturer. All supported monitors for that manufacturer will then be listed in the model listings. Then select the correct model. You will see the horizontal and vertical frequencies for that selected monitor displayed. Check with your monitor documentation to make sure they are correct. You can try to use the Detect button to automatically detect the monitor settings, but this may not always be accurate.

You also have the option of creating different location profiles. This is useful if you are using different monitors at certain locations or for different purposes. So, for example, your laptop could have one location for its own screen and another for an attached larger screen. Others could use one location for a standard PC monitor and another for a home theater display such as an LCD TV. You can also select which driver to use. The appropriate driver will already be selected, but if you are having problems with a vendor’s driver, you may want to switch to the X.org driver. Click the Driver button to open a Choose Graphics Card Driver window, where you can then select the drivers from a list or by graphics card model.

Source of Information : McGraw Hill Ubuntu The Complete Reference

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