Unable to achieve greater resolution than 800x600

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5


  • Some systems report through the System, Preferences, Display tool that they are incapable of resolutions higher than 800x600 when they are actually capable of greater resolutions than that. This will cause a failure of the VIDEO section of the hardware certification tests as it requires 1024x768 @ 24 bpp as a minimum resolution / color depth.


There are several things that can be tried to work around this problem:

  • Add the parameter "resolution=1024x768" to the kernel line in grub.conf.
  • Add the parameter "video=1024x768" to the kernel line in grub.conf.
  • Modify and use the following xorg.conf file to allow your system to achieve the 1024x768 resolution necessary for hardware certification. To create an xorg.conf, refer How to create "xorg.conf" to configure X Windows on a system with no prior X configuration ?
    # This xorg.conf file has been designed for systems that support a resolution
    # of 1024x768 or greater, but only lower resolutions are listed in the
    # computer's System, Preferences, Display application. It assumes that X works
    # at low resolutions. It will allow you to achieve the 1024x768 resolution 
    # necessary for hardware certification purposes if you save it as xorg.conf,
    # place it in the /etc/X11 directory and restart X. Please read the other 
    # comment lines in this file and follow their directions to prepare the 
    # file for use. 
    Section "Monitor"
         Identifier   "Monitor0"
         ModelName    "LCD Panel 1024x768"
    # The HorizSync and VertRefresh lines below are designed for a generic LCD
    # monitor. They should also work for modern CRT monitors. If you know your 
    # monitor's values, replace the ones shown below with those values. 
    # Otherwise, uncomment the next two lines and use them as-is.
    #     HorizSync    31.5 - 48.0
    #     VertRefresh  56.0 - 65.0
         Option         "dpms"
    Section "Device"
         Identifier  "Videocard0"
    # The Driver line below should contain the appropriate driver for your system.
    # You can find your driver by looking at the system's /var/log/Xorg.0.log file
    # for lines that begin with driver names, like these:
    # This is an example of a system using the Matrox 'mga' driver
    # (II) MGA(0): initializing int10
    # (II) MGA(0): Primary V_BIOS segment is: 0xc000
    # (II) MGA(0): VESA BIOS detected
    # (II) MGA(0): VESA VBE Version 3.0
    # This is an example of a system using the Aspeed 'ast' driver
    # (II) AST(0): initializing int10
    # (II) AST(0): Primary V_BIOS segment is: 0xc000
    # (II) AST(0): VESA BIOS detected
    # (II) AST(0): VESA VBE Version 3.0
    # Replace the 'vesa' on the Driver line below (unless you are using the vesa 
    # driver) with the proper driver for your system and then uncomment the line.
    #     Driver      "vesa"
    Section "Screen"
         Identifier "Screen0"
         Device     "Videocard0"
         Monitor    "Monitor0"
         DefaultDepth     24
         SubSection "Display"
              Viewport   0 0
              Depth     24

This solution is part of Red Hat’s fast-track publication program, providing a huge library of solutions that Red Hat engineers have created while supporting our customers. To give you the knowledge you need the instant it becomes available, these articles may be presented in a raw and unedited form.


The first two ways didn't work. The overall problem is that:

  • The 'system'->'administration'->'display'->'display settings' listed all resolutions that the video card and monitor support, just like what is shown in windows 7 screen resolution list.
  • The 'system'->'preferences'->'screen resolution' only listed part of them.

xorg.conf didn't do anything but trouble. Only thing didn't try is the 'driver' to replace 'vesa'. Don't know what's the right driver and where to obtain it.

Hi Jian-xiong. If this solution isn't resolving the problem for you, you could ask over on our Discussions section, or alternately open a Red Hat support case.

Found driver from NVIDIA by running the utility called NVchooser.sh obtained from NVIDIA. It suggested the right drivers: NVIDIA_kernel.src.rpm and NVIDIA_GLX.i386.rpm

However, when "rpmbuild --rebuild NVIDIA_kernel.src.rpm" it complains:
"Legacy syntax is unsupported: copyright"
"Line 15: Unknown tag: Copyright: NVIDIA Corp. 2000"

Anyone knows how to bypass this?

If you'd like to install the Nvidia proprietary driver, your best bet is to use ELRepo's kABI-tracking kmod-nvidia.

You can determine which version of the Nvidia driver works for your Nvidia device by running nvidia-detect [1] from ELRepo. Then install the appropriate package(s) from the same repository. Pleasee see [2] for details.

[1] http://elrepo.org/tiki/nvidia-detect
[2] http://elrepo.org/tiki/kmod-nvidia