mok0's world

80 x 25 no more…

Posted in Ubuntu by mok0 on January 12, 2010

On my workstation, I have a beautiful, large, Samsung SyncMaster 275, which is a 27.5″ monitor. The screen area measures around 58 x 37 cm, and the nominal resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels.

The display is beautiful and crisp, and the fonts are nice and clear on the X-display, and Kubuntu looks lovely on the monitor. My wallpaper is an image of the stunning, intriguing and slightly eery MandelBulb 3-D fractal.

For a while, however, I’ve been annoyed with the virtual TTYs on my workstation. With a screen this size, the font size of the 25×80 terminal is approximately 1 cm. Working on it gives me a feeling of being teleported -25 years to an over sized version of the venerable DEC VT100 terminal. Another thing, the Kubuntu splash screen with the blue progress bar looked really ugly.

So today I did something about it. First, I ran:

sudo hwinfo --framebuffer

That gave me a rather long list of framebuffer modes. I chose the bottom one, that looked like this:

Mode 0x037d: 1920x1200 (+7680), 24 bits

The number I needed was 0x037d. Next step is to edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst and add:

vga=0x037d

to the default boot line, and reboot.

I now have 240 x 75 character terminal, and it looks beautiful! Now, I can run byobu with all its geeky goodness. And the Kubuntu boot-splash screen now looks really professional. Nice. There’s a slight problem with the status messages (from fsck) scrolling, but I can live with that for now.

Needless to say, I can’t show you a screendump… well, perhaps I’ll take a photo one of these days 🙂

I am a happy camper.

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4 Responses

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  1. Roger said, on January 13, 2010 at 06:07

    BTW this only works with Grub 1. If using grub2 you have to use grub modules.

  2. Jan Peter said, on January 13, 2010 at 08:51

    Soon it would be vgapayload=1920x1200x24 when using KMS.

  3. ricochet said, on January 13, 2010 at 09:32

    nice post,

    feel free to report bug and remind devs about 21th century look and feel; don’t miss grub2 too.

  4. maxauthority said, on January 13, 2010 at 14:34

    I did that once myself, but since the framebuffer is sooo slow, i turned back to 80×25, which is at least a little faster. Just try a “dmesg” and see the lines scroll by 😦


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