Higher resolution in Linux without adding new hardware?


3 min read
Higher resolution in Linux without adding new hardware?

People with a Full HD Screen on a laptop will enjoy a large real estate, compared to those who do not have one. Those who don’t have a higher resolution display can now have one on their systems. The only caveat is you will need a Linux machine, and you must remember the aspect ratio of your display, 16:9, 16:10, 4:3, 3:2 etc. However, a word of caution, I’m not responsible for any damage that happens to your product due to this article. Handle with care.

ADD THE REQUIRED DISPLAY RATIO

My current laptop has a resolution of 1366×768, which translates to an aspect ratio of 16:9. I wanted to convert this screen into a Full HD experience. On a 16:9 display, a FHD resolution would have meant 1920x1080px resolution.

To add a display mode, you will need to use the command sudo cvt 1920 1080 60 , where 1920 is my width (in px), 1080 is my height , and 60 represents a 60Hz monitor refresh rate. This means that your monitor will update once in every 1/60th second.

You will now get an output something similar to the one below (If you don’t get something similar, it is because your display might not be supporting it):

# 1920x1080 59.96 Hz (CVT 2.07M9) hsync: 67.16 kHz; pclk: 173.00 MHz
Modeline "1920x1080_60.00"  173.00  1920 2048 2248 2576  1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync

Now, you will need to copy everything that comes after Modeline, ie. “1920x1080_60.00” 173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync .

Then run the command sudo xrandr –newmode “1920x1080_60.00” 173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync

CHECK WHETHER DISPLAY RATIO ADDED OR NOT

To check whether your display ratio was added to the Linux system or not, you will need to use the command sudo xrandr -q . You will now get a list of display resolutions supported by your laptop. Your output should look like something below:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1366 x 768, maximum 8192 x 8192
eDP-1 connected primary 1366x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 344mm x 194mm
   1366x768      60.00*+  40.00  
   1360x768      59.80    59.96  
   1280x720      60.00    59.99    59.86    59.74  
   1024x768      60.04    60.00  
   960x720       60.00  
   928x696       60.05  
   896x672       60.01  
   ...
   ... 
   360x202       59.51    59.13  
   320x180       59.84    59.32  
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
  1920x1080_60.00 (0x34e) 173.000MHz -HSync +VSync
        h: width  1920 start 2048 end 2248 total 2576 skew    0 clock  67.16KHz
        v: height 1080 start 1083 end 1088 total 1120           clock  59.96Hz

Make note of the thing that appears in place of eDP-1 for you.

ADDING THE HIGHER RESOLUTION TO SETTINGS MENU

After you have made a note of the name from the previous step, run the command sudo xrandr –addmode eDP-1 1920x1080_60.00 , where 1920×1080 is your resolution, 60.00 represents the refresh rate, and eDP-1 is the display where you want to add the resolution. If there are no errors, there will not be any output.

CHECK UBUNTU SETTINGS FOR THE NEW DISPLAY RATIO

Now open Settings -> Display in your Ubuntu. In the display resolution you should now see the higher resolution, if everything went well, just like the one below:

Higher resolution option in the settings app

ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

Well, there is one small side effect. The fonts appear slightly blurred because your display does not natively support the higher resolution. Rest assured that the text is completely readable, unlike what the scale menu and title bar option would have done.

Now until next time, let me enjoy my higher resolution and a large real estate.

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