Sunday, January 28, 2007


SuSE, Acer aspire 5580 and non-standard resolution 1280x800

My roommate recently purchased an Acer Aspire 5580 laptop and handed it to me for installing Linux. It is a pretty good laptop, well supported under Linux. It features Intel Core 2 Duo processor with Intel 945 GMA and 3945ABG wireless. I installed openSUSE 10.2 and everything went fine except for the screen resolution.

This laptop uses 1280x800 as native resolution, but my X refused to work with anything greater than 1024x768. Initially I thought that the problem is with SuSE not recognizing HSync and VSync frequencies of the LCD screen. I tried every possible refresh rate in display settings. After a lot of googling around, I found 945gm and 1280x800 laptop monitor problem suse 10.2 and patch the video BIOS. For some reason, the hardware vendor did not include the native resolution of the LCD display in the list of supported resolutions. The solution however is simple, as there exists a hack for fooling X. On SuSE, simply edit /etc/sysconfig/videobios and reboot. Also make sure that /etc/init.d/boot.videobios is executed on boot time by running the following command.

insserv boot.videobios

After editing, my /etc/sysconfig/videobios looks as follows:


I don't understand why hardware vendors can not follow standards! Anyway, the laptop is functioning fine now.

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