How to Change Monitor/Screen Resolution in Linux

Changing monitor or screen resolution in Fedora or RedHat is possible from the command line: all you need is the command that will open the interface to change the settings. I say this is easier, because you won’t have to search through the program menu(s) looking for it. But, you need to take some precautions before you play around with hardware settings.

Listed below are a list of essential files, which are rewritten by Linux whenever you make any changes to the settings of a hardware device. Be smart and back them up! These files are:

  1. “/[$home]/.X clients” which is created by Red Hat Desktop Switcher that reads .Xclients-default if window managers are not installed.
  2. “/[$home]/.Xclients-default”. It will take over loading of default Desktop Environments such as KDE and Gnome.
  3. “/etc/X11/xorg.conf” is a very important file that contains the setting details for X (monitor, GPM, screen, mouse, etc.).
  4. “/etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup”, Never tamper with this file as it is a system created backup of the xorg.conf. 

To create the backup of these files..

  • Use the “cp” command to create a backup from text mode, or just use konqueror to browse to the folder and then copy/paste.
  • A message window will appear in which you can key in a new name. This box appears only when the file you are trying to paste already exists in the directory.
  • Rename it in such a way that you know it is the original copy and not just any other copy. I prefer to name backup files as “xorg.conf.orig” or “xorg.conf-backup.mine”, something that reminds me of the reason of such a copy being there.

To change the resolution: “system-config-display”

This will open the GUI through which you can change the settings for the monitor, and can also other settings that matter to X-server and X-client.

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