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When using a virtual terminal with an external monitor, I would like to set the resolution to the monitors optimal resolution, but I'm not sure how. Does anyone know how I would go about doing this?

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With virtual terminal you mean those six you can access with Ctr+Alt+F[1-6]? – danizmax Mar 29 '11 at 10:35
Yeah, that's what I was referring to. – jumpnett Mar 29 '11 at 16:38
up vote 5 down vote accepted

run 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: 320×240 (+640), 16 bits
Mode 0x0336: 320×240 (+1280), 24 bits
Mode 0x033d: 640×400 (+1280), 16 bits
Mode 0x033e: 640×400 (+2560), 24 bits
Mode 0x0345: 1600×1200 (+1600), 8 bits
Mode 0x0346: 1600×1200 (+3200), 16 bits
Mode 0x0347: 1400×1050 (+1400), 8 bits
Mode 0x0348: 1400×1050 (+2800), 16 bits
Mode 0x0349: 1400×1050 (+5600), 24 bits

Then you take the Hex value to the right, for example 0x0346 and you write it down.

edit /etc/default/grub

the line that has ="quiet", make it "quiet vga=0x0346"

then you have to run> sudo update-grub

reboot the machine

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you may want to add that this change won't take effect until after a reboot. – ImaginaryRobots Mar 29 '11 at 16:20
done, thanks for the reminder – jet Mar 29 '11 at 16:35
When I run hwinfo --framebuffer, I don't get the Mode list. – jumpnett Mar 29 '11 at 16:53
the try some dc values: 792 for 1024x768 res. or 795 for 1280x1024 more: – jet Mar 29 '11 at 17:52

After you set up your virtual environment, you will need to install some specific hardware. If you are virtualizing a windows environment there should be an icon in the system tray on, bottom right.

Under linux, I'm not sure where it would show up but you should see those as well.

Without the extra install, you won't be able to get the full screen.

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I'm pretty sure by "virtual terminal" he means the TTYs you can access by hitting ctrl-alt-F1. – djeikyb Mar 29 '11 at 11:30
ah you're right. There is the word terminal in there but I'm not sure yet because then opening terminal and maximizing the window solves that very easily. – Nicolas de Fontenay Mar 29 '11 at 11:33
if you boot without graphics, you're dumped in a text only interface, no Gnome or any other graphical window manager. This can also be reached by pressing ctl+alt+F1 (try it, you can switch back with alt+F7). My default VT res is 1280x1024. @jumpnett wants to change it without rebooting. – djeikyb Mar 29 '11 at 11:38
I had no clue at all those were called Virtual terminals oO. I know about them though. Thanks for clarification. They do look huge and ugly. I didn't even think I could change their resolution. Where do you do that? – Nicolas de Fontenay Mar 29 '11 at 12:38
@djeikyb I don't mind rebooting if that solves the problem. – jumpnett Mar 29 '11 at 16:40

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