Assuming you have a monitor that supports some high resolution, say 1680 x 1050, and you’re using an nvidia card:

  1. System > Administration > Hardware Drivers
  2. Make sure the latest recommended nvidia proprietary driver is activated (if not, do it and reboot)
  3. System > Preferences > Display (it should ask if you want to use the proprietary config screen – select ‘Yes’)
  4. Select X Server Configuration
  5. Set the resolution to what you want and ‘Apply’, then quit the nvidia-settings screen.
  6. System > Preferences > Display (when it asks this time, select ‘No’)
  7. Click ‘Apply’
  8. Click ‘Keep configuration’ (assuming everything looks OK)
  9. Click Close

When you reboot, everything should be preserved. ย I still notice a flicker on the boot-up screen when I think it tries to reset it toย somethingย else, but it should stay at the resolution you specified.

3 Responses

  1. I have nvidia and 1680 x 1050 res. I have installed ubuntu 9.1 and it loads up and using the sound prompts can type name and password and sound indicates desktop has loaded. However all I get is a blank screen and a norrow coloured line at the top of the screen.
    Can you suggest how I can acheive setting the resolution by the command prompt from Grub. (I am relatively new to Linux). Would using my small monitor changing the settings as you describe and then re connecting my large monitor?

    1. I’m no good with command line. I got into linux when the desktop got pretty gsolid, and I generally try to figure out how to do things using the user interface because I think that more users will be able to follow along. Are you using DVI cables or VGA? I’d try to use DVI if possible, as I think they carry more than just the video signal, they have info about the monitor so Ubuntu can determine what it’s possible to do.

      If you plug in your smaller monitor and boot up, can you go into nvidia settings and change it to the 1650 x 1050? And if so, when you plug in the big monitor and reboot, what happens?

  2. Wow, great trick! I was running low on new settings to mess with…

    By the way, it worked on Ubuntu 10.04 (updated from Karmic or before though), even when the standard (non-nvidia) utility displayed a 150Hz, then a 50Hz refresh rate.

    I’m so glad to finally fix that bug, thank you so much James!

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