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How can changing the screen resolution be *so* hard? [Sunday 4th October 2009 at 10:13 am]
Thomas

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How can changing the screen resolution be *so* hard?

All I want to do is set up two monitors, one running at 1280x960@85Hz and the other at 1152x864@75Hz (though I'll settle for 1024x768 on the other). Now, neither monitor advertises this resolution as being supported, so in Windows I have to go to the Monitor properties and untick the box that says "Only display settings supported by this monitor". Fair enough, it stops people doing stupid things.

On Ubuntu, which is supposed to be nice and friendly and easy... I have to open a shell, use cvt to generate a modeline, use xrandr to tell X about that modeline, use xrandr *again* to tell X which outputs can use that modeline (this is getting too close to manually editing X config files for my liking, and that's never gone well for me). Then because I want to test the resolution first to make sure I remembered it right I then open the Display properties window and pick the resolution. It asks me some mumbo-jumbo about setting the virtual desktop size in a config file, then tells me I have to log out to apply the change!

Ok, so log out, wait for the Ubuntu LiveCD to auto-login... and it's still running at the old resolution. Open the Display properties... and the resolution I added has gone! At this point I gave up, because I'm only using the LiveCD to run a smart test on a hard disk (the Windows smartctl doesn't like the controller it's on).

Come on, Linux, join the 21st Century! I've been able to do this easily in other operating systems for over a decade.


Edit: Oh, and running the BBC's flash-based iPlayer in fullscreen mode has horrendous tearing, along with some clicks and pops from the sound. From a quick Google search it looks like if I spend quite some time easter egging various settings I *might* fix this... or I could fire up the Windows-based laptop which works perfectly.

(Credit where credit's due: Ubuntu detected and got at least partially working sound, graphics, Bluetooth, the SATA controller, the IDE controller, an ethernet card and the 802.11g dongle without needing any hacking or driver hunting)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: 13th_einherjar
Sunday 4th October 2009 at 12:55 pm (UTC)
If you're running a LiveCD, don't expect much. Half the point of a LiveCD is that it should not be able to record system changes onto the HD.

Having used the old Knoppix CDs, bootable business cards, a Menuet floppy, and the DOS floppies that Windows creates, it honestly surprises me that the Ubuntu LiveCD manages to get any of the drivers right.

So I don't think it's fair to compare a Linux LiveCD with an HD installation of Windows. If Windows were running from non-writable media, driver installation would be quite difficult.
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[User Picture]From: ralesk
Tuesday 6th October 2009 at 11:43 am (UTC)
Do not blame Linux Flash’s quality on Linux. There’s pretty much like one person working on it from Adobe and from what he writes on the penguin.swf blog, it’s a mess. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had an entirely separate codebase from the other Flash editions, just like how Skype does things...

It *is* ridiculous that I can’t play a simple flash video on my AMD AthlonXP 2500+. But seeing how I can play the same FLV file without a hiccup in mplayer, I think there’s something wrong in Flash rather than X or Linux in this case.


The other thing, yes, X is a mess and we should probably just forget it entirely already.
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