Absolute Beginner Guide: 915resolution

For those who own Intel graphical chipset it might happen that the maximum resolution can’t be set. Why this problem still isn’t solved I don’t know. It might have something to do with Ubuntu Linux or Intel drivers.Earlier in my blog I wrote how to install drivers for a Intel Graphical card. I took my own graphical card as an example. You can read the guide here.But even I have to apply an application to patch or set the resolution to the maximum. In my case that is 1400 x 1050. The application to achieve that is called 915resolution. So let’s get started then.

  • Know your max. resolution

This is really important. In case 915resolution displays resolutions your monitor / LCD can’t bear. Otherwise you will risk xserver-xorg failures and in the worst case damage your monitor / LCD. In my case the max. resolution is 1400 x 1050.

  • Download and install 915resolution

This is also very simple to do. 915resolution is an application which is located in your package manager. But first you must add the ‘universe’ and ‘multiverse’ repositories since it’s located there.System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager -> Settings -> Repositories.After you have added them you’ll be asked to reload your Package Manager information. If not, click the reload button on the left. After that’s done it’s just selecting 915resolution and hitting the apply button which will install the application on your hard drive.

  • Setting up 915resolution

The application is a CLI (Command Line Interface) one. But don’t worry it’s really easy to use. Let’s discuss how 915resolution works.915resolution has the ability to recognize Intel Graphical Chips and determine their max. resolutions and bit depth. But except recognizing 915resolution is able to patch the system so that the real maximum resolution can be used. The user has to run the application with a parameter. Then when choosing a mode from the output, the user has to edit a config file. This file will be addressed to every time the user logs in. After editing the file 915resolution has to be used one more time to set / activate the mode. So it’s quite simple.

  • Determine the Intel graphical chipset

In order to apply the correct resolution and bit depth 915resolution first has to know with what kind of Intel Chipset it has to deal. Perform the following terminal work to find out:

$sudo 915resolution -l

The output displays mode for you to choose from. I will stick to my own chipset in order to make the example as easy as possible.

Intel 800/900 Series VBIOS Hack : version 0.5.2Chipset: 855GMBIOS: TYPE 2Mode Table Offset: $C0000 + $36fMode Table Entries: 21Mode 30 : 640×480, 8 bits/pixelMode 32 : 800×600, 8 bits/pixelMode 34 : 1024×768, 8 bits/pixelMode 38 : 1280×1024, 8 bits/pixelMode 3a : 1600×1200, 8 bits/pixelMode 3c : 1400×1050, 8 bits/pixelMode 41 : 640×480, 16 bits/pixelMode 43 : 800×600, 16 bits/pixelMode 45 : 1024×768, 16 bits/pixelMode 49 : 1280×1024, 16 bits/pixelMode 4b : 1600×1200, 16 bits/pixelMode 4d : 1400×1050, 16 bits/pixelMode 50 : 640×480, 32 bits/pixelMode 52 : 800×600, 32 bits/pixelMode 54 : 1024×768, 32 bits/pixelMode 58 : 1280×1024, 32 bits/pixelMode 5a : 1600×1200, 32 bits/pixelMode 5c : 1400×1050, 32 bits/pixelMode 7c : 1024×600, 8 bits/pixelMode 7d : 1024×600, 16 bits/pixelMode 7e : 1024×600, 32 bits/pixeldjons@tosh-empire:~$

Note that I have found my max. resolution and bit depth (Mode 5c). Also note that my output has another max. resolution of 1600 x 1200 (Mode 4b and Mode 5a). I know for sure my LCD does not support that. Remember not to choose resolutions which are higher than your max. since it can or will damage your xserver-xorg or monitor / LCD.

  • Editing the 915resolution file

The configuration file of 915resolution makes sure your setup won’t be lost the next time you reboot the system. Editing the configuration file is also a breeze. It asks you to specify the Mode, bit depth and max. resolution. That’s it!Do the following terminal work to open the 915resolution for editing:

$sudo gedit /etc/default/915resolution

Below here I’ve copy / pasted the content of the file with the options I had to write down for my Intel Graphical Card and type of LCD.

## 915resolution default## find free modes by /usr/sbin/915resolution -l# and set it to MODE or set to ‘MODE=auto’## With ‘auto’ detection, the panel-size will be fetched from the VBE# BIOS if possible and the highest-numbered mode in each bit-depth# will be overwritten with the detected panel-size.MODE=5c## and set resolutions for the mode.#XRESO=1400YRESO=1050## We can also set the pixel mode.# Please note that this is optional,# you can also leave this value blank.BIT=32

It is possible to let the 915resolution file alone keeping it on auto. But in my case every time I rebooted the system it switched back to 1280 x 1024. Also this way you ensure 915resolution by accident or whatever does not select a resolution which will wreck.

  • Applying / Patching / Setting the Mode

After you have saved the configuration file and closed it there is one last thing we have to do with the terminal. We have sought for modes, we have specified one and now we have to let 915resolution know what our choice will be. Do the following terminal work to apply the Mode.

$sudo 915resolution 5c 1400 1050

Note that the mode 5c and the resolution 1400 x 1050 are part of my own Intel Graphical Chipset in combination with my own type of LCD Panel. If everything goes well you should receive a message which looks like this:

Intel 800/900 Series VBIOS Hack : version 0.5.2Chipset: 855GMBIOS: TYPE 2Mode Table Offset: $C0000 + $36fMode Table Entries: 21Patch mode 5c to resolution 1400×1050 complete

You are done! The only thing rest to do is restart the xserver (ctrl + alt + backspace) or restart the system. When you login it should be the maximum resolution. You can always open:System -> Preferences -> Screen ResolutionIn order to check if the application works.


28 thoughts on “Absolute Beginner Guide: 915resolution

  1. I give up.
    After upgrading to Edgy I can not get the right screen resolution/refresh rate. When I got the lcd monitor, it had I big stamp telling it would love to run on 1600×1200 with 60Hz. And after much trouble I finaly got up on that with Dapper. But then I used the “vesa” driver. This also worked with Gentoo. Anyway, I have tried all that I can think of. This guide went through without any problems, but I still got 1280×1024 at 75Hz. I can change to 1600×1200 but then the desktop goes outside the screen. I am not a Ubuntu guru. Do I have to do some changes to xorg.conf aswell or should i915 override it? I am just about to go an buy a new graficsgard, but I hate giving up. It worked in Dapper. I have the 865G Intel integrated chipset. In my Xorg.log it says that mode clock 162MHz exceeds DDC max 160MHz. Should I just go and buy another card?

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  3. Hi,
    I installed 915resolution and followed your recommended steps. It worked at first, but every time I reboot the mode I need to use (5c, 1280×800) keeps disappearing from the list that I get when I run
    $sudo 915resolution -l
    If I remove 915resolution and reinstall it, the mode comes back, but when I reboot it’s gone again and I have to reinstall to get 1280×800 as an option in my System–>preferences–>screen resolution menu.
    Any idea why this might be happening?

  4. I followed the instructions word for word…but it did not work: Although, the only additional thing I had to do was run: ‘dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg’ and then select intel, and then the resolution modes, and then BAM! It worked!!

    Thanks very much for the article, it definitely helped me understand 915resolution more!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! As a Linux newbie I read about ten articles on how to install and setup 915resolution and all of them were over my head but your explanation saved the day!

  6. Thank you for this walk through; it mostly worked for me with Ubuntu. I could not get it to work with my X60 Thinkpad tablet using the “right” mode (6b), but when I substituted the one that matched what Ubuntu kept trying instead (49, which was 1280×1024) it worked perfectly — and with Compiz Fusion, too. Thank you again!

  7. OK Guys…

    I have just bought a new computer (Intel 946) and convinced my children
    (and my wife!!!) that it would be better to install ubuntu than
    windows. I told them about security issues, plus the fact that
    windows is full of bugs and patches…

    Of course, the first thing that happened was that I could not
    get the 1440×900 resolution that the wide screen recommended
    (AOC, 19 inches)!

    So I went to the forums… and I tried EVERYTHING!!!!!
    The “915resolution”, the “xserver-xorg-video-intel” package,
    the “dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg” with “intel” and with
    “vesa” options… I have tweaked my xorg.conf file…
    and NOTHING works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Here is what happens:

    I do get the 1440×900 option in SYSTEM>PREFERENCES>SCREEN RESOLUTION
    but when I apply it, the display only occupies 4/5 of the screen.
    If, further, I accept that resolution and then try an “unsupported
    resolution” the screen goes black for the 15 second trial period and
    returns perfect!!!!!!!! (It has the correct resolution and uses all
    of the screen!)

    Now, I am sure there must be a way of bypassing all this rigamarole
    and getting the bloody thing to work properly from the beginning!!!!!!!!!

    Please don’t let me fall back into windows…



  8. my screen resolution is set automatically to 1024*768
    after the first command with the terminal:” $sudo 915resolution-l” it respons: “Unable to obtain the proper IO permissions: Operation not permitted
    how to continue from here…
    thank you and waiting for your reply

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    Plug into your computer and you got a remote controlled office missile launcher with 360 degrees horizontal and 45 degree vertival rotation with a range of more than 6 meters – which gives you a coverage of 113 square meters round your workplace.
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    Marko Fando

  10. Well,
    I have HP pavilion dv6345us and it comes with Vista which SUCKS BIG TIME,
    so I installed ubuntu 7.04. The first thing I noticed is that that resolution is stuck at 1024 and 768, I followed your instructions, but it did not work.
    Then after some research I installed intel driver from synaptic pakage Manager and then issued sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
    then restarted X by ctrl+alt+bksp. Boom it worked.

  11. I did not get the desired resolution printed out by 915resolution -l and reading your directions, I thought I had to choose from among those listed. That is not the case.

    I would recommend the URL: http://www.melvilletheatre.com/articles/intel-widescreen/index.html for additional information. It did not show the entire /etc/default/915resolution file, which for me (using an Intel 915GM and a Dell 2007WFP) wnded up being:

    # 915resolution default
    # find free modes by /usr/sbin/915resolution -l
    # and set it to MODE or set to ‘MODE=auto’
    # Mode to overwrite
    RESOLUTION=”58 1680 1050 24 1846 1080″
    # With ‘auto’ detection, the panel-size will be fetched from the VBE
    # BIOS if possible and the highest-numbered mode in each bit-depth
    # will be overwritten with the detected panel-size.
    # and set resolutions for the mode.
    # e.g. use XRESO=1024 and YRESO=768
    # We can also set the pixel mode.
    # e.g. use BIT=32
    # Please note that this is optional,
    # you can also leave this value blank.

    The key thing is to get both the xorg.conf and 915resolution files both correct. Worked great, and your blog got me started on it.

  12. Thanks!
    Works for me on Ubuntu 7.04. Not sure why, but i downloaded an earlier version not through a the regular ‘software upgrade’ channel and that didn’t work even doing the identical steps. But, problem solved now.

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