Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got Toshiba U500 (nVidia). Tried changing /etc/default/grub in many ways, now I've got:

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

0x014c is what vbeinfo in Grub related to 1280x800x16

I just wish my laptop could boot with nice, high resolution font and let tty consoles stay that way... How is that possible?

Regards, gocio

share|improve this question
  1. Install hwinfo since that is the only way i know how. (sudo apt-get install hwinfo OR sudo aptitude install hwinfo)

  2. Go to the console (gnome-terminal or any other) and type sudo hwinfo --framebuffer and you will get a short or long list depending on what video card you have. The list will look something like this:

    • Mode 0x0335: 320x240 (+640), 16 bits
    • Mode 0x0336: 320x240 (+1280), 24 bits
    • Mode 0x033d: 640x400 (+1280), 16 bits
    • Mode 0x033e: 640x400 (+2560), 24 bits
    • Mode 0x0345: 1600x1200 (+1600), 8 bits
    • Mode 0x0346: 1600x1200 (+3200), 16 bits
    • Mode 0x0347: 1400x1050 (+1400), 8 bits
    • Mode 0x0348: 1400x1050 (+2800), 16 bits
    • Mode 0x0349: 1400x1050 (+5600), 24 bits
  3. Lets say you want the 1600x1200 16Bit Resolution. Then you take the Hex value to the right, in that case 0x0346 and you write it down.

  4. In 10.10 (Do not remember if 11.04 also), Open /boot/grub/grub.cfg and fine the line that says linux

/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-23-generic-pae root=UUID=78758f-b37-4e7-be1-934152226 ro quiet splash

AND change it to

linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-23-generic-pae root=UUID=78758f-b37-4e7-be1-934152226 ro quiet splash vga=0x0346

As you can see you just put the hex value at the end of the linux line in the grub file. and save it. Reboot and that is all.

If you have a newer Ubuntu, most likely from 11.04 onward, then instead of opening grub where I mentioned above, open /etc/default/grub

You will find 2 lines similar to this:


On the second one, edit that line so it looks like this:


now save the file. Exit, and type sudo update-grub Wait until it's finished and reboot.

share|improve this answer
Can we specify custom resolution like 1600x800? – Starx Aug 6 '13 at 4:29
@Starx That would actually depend on the combination of your monitor and video card in VESA mode. If both support it then it will appear on the list and you will be able to see it correctly. But I seriously need to update this since this applies to obsolete versions of Ubuntu. – Luis Alvarado Aug 6 '13 at 4:48

To change the resolution of the TTY's (Ctrl+Alt+F1 through F6), the steps outlined on the Ubuntu Community Wiki should do the trick:

This should work in Ubuntu 9.10 and later, Linux Mint 8 and later, and probably also for any distribution based on those versions of Ubuntu that uses GRUB 2.

  1. Boot Linux while holding Left shift.
    The GRUB 2 menu screen appears.
  2. Press C to access the GRUB command line.
  3. Type vbeinfo Enter to access a list of available resolutions.
  4. Pick a resolution from the list and write it down.
  5. Press Esc to leave the GRUB command line.
  6. Boot into Linux.
  7. Open /etc/default/grub in your favorite text editor with root privileges.

    sudo nano /etc/default/grub
  8. Add the following line, where you replace 1280x800 by the resolution you wrote down:


    I put it right after the #GRUB_GFXMODE line.

  9. Save and exit.
  10. Update the GRUB configuration.

    sudo update-grub
  11. Reboot.

    sudo reboot

Now the TTY's should have the specified resolution. Unfortunately, you're stuck with only 16 colors.

share|improve this answer

First, for grub:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

and change the line:


to this:


Next, add framebuffer to use the card:

echo "echo FRAMEBUFFER=y" | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash
sudo update-initramfs -u

and don't forget to update grub!

sudo update-grub


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.