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'm fairly new to Ubuntu and have just installed Ubuntu Server 12.04 on a spare machine to experiment and play with!

The installation went without problem, however, whenever the OS boots the monitor displays an error message saying the resolution is out of range and I can't see to do anything - I can wait as long as I like, but nothing appears.

Ubuntu is the only OS installed so bypasses GRUB on boot, although the GRUB screen is also out of range if forced on startup.

I can access a shell from the recovery mode and I can get at a terminal through a live CD of the desktop version but have had little luck with it either.

I've been trying to figure this out for days and I'm at a total loss.

Any thoughts?

share|improve this question
If grub and the system both give you out of range errors how do you get into recover mode? – John S Gruber Sep 8 '12 at 18:23
Guess which entry on the table is the recovery mode...believe it or not! – Airstrike Sep 9 '12 at 14:47
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Disable graphical terminal in grub2.

To disable graphical terminal:

  1. Edit /etc/default/grub
  2. Uncomment #GRUB_TERMINAL=console
  3. Update grub with sudo update-grub
  4. Reboot

You could also try changing the terminal resolution in /etc/default/grub instead.

share|improve this answer
If you can't get into your system at all, you may have to use the live CD and make this change on your installed system. Edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg with this change if you do that. When you have grub working you may need to edit the Ubuntu entry you are going to use, adding nomodeset where it says "splash" and "quiet". Please see…, also. If you have to edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg you should make the changes to /etc/default/grub too so they will be permanent. – John S Gruber Sep 8 '12 at 18:17
Thanks - I got there in end by a fairly circuitous route. 1. Let grub load, work out (you can't see it obviously) where the recovery mode is and load it. 2. Run update grub bootloader to remount the file system in read/write mode 3.drop to a root shell and open etc/default/grub in nano 4. uncomment GRUB_TERMINAL=console 5.Exit nano, save changes and run Update-grub 6.reboot and live happily ever after.. – Airstrike Sep 9 '12 at 14:49
@Airstrike, would you mind writing this up step by step as an answer to your own question? It's more complicated than natex's helpful answer. Did you make changes to get Ubuntu to run its GUI without the "Resolution Out of Range" message? If so, you might include what you did there, too. It will be helpful to the next individual who has the problem. Answering your own question is perfectly fine at AskUbuntu. Thanks. – John S Gruber Sep 9 '12 at 15:13

On (Ubuntu 10.04 server) I was getting a Input Out of Range even until the login screen.

My graphic card was an old ATI Radeon. I modified GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and set it to radeon.modeset=0 instead of "quiet".


Only after that, it started working. Note that GRUB_TERMINAL=console was also uncommented as natex suggested it.

I fixed the problem by reading this answer, which also explain how to proceed for NVidia cards.

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.