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Re: Console Resolution with GRUB2

From: D.J.J. Ring, Jr.
Subject: Re: Console Resolution with GRUB2
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 13:47:28 -0500

Hello Chris,

Thanks for your kind and excellent answer.

Is there some way that the GRUB install script (or other) could incorporate something that would allow 640x480 resolution?

I understand about making a larger font, but this does not allow programs such as aptitude ncurses and other programs with ncurses like ceni (network, wifi network manager) or tlf (amateur radio logging program) or any of the hundreds of console games and screen savers to be used.

Unfortunately we will no longer have the ability to go to original GRUB (grub-legacy) as the development has stopped and perhaps will no longer be comparable with the various libs as they update.

I know this is a small percentage of users, but even X Windows users sometimes like to show what *Nix used to look like :-)

I use framebuffer in my Lenovo N500 notebook and it is beautiful.  I use links2 -g to get 640x480 resolution to browser the web in color in framebuffer (or vga).  Also I use mplayer to view DVD movies - all in console.

Many disabled and blind people have little money, often this means using old Windows XP computers which will run current *Nix distros without Xorg Windows running.

There is an amazing amount of console programs out there that use graphics, like wordgrinder - word processing, games and everything.

All these are unusable as they only occupy a very small area on the screen.  If the resolution were put at 640x480 or 800x600 they would be full screen.

It used to be easy to just add the line vga=640x480x32 or whatever it was to the boot command line.  Most blind people could figure out how to do that.

Right now the various methods of changing different lines in grub sometimes work and now (most recently) do not work. 

This is why I came to this group.  All the methods that previously worked to get the new GRUB to give us 640x480 or 800x600 now are failing.  I have found no solution and the solutions of the past (work arounds) no longer work.

If there is another group to whom I should go to ask if this could be done to help blind people (and others) who want what is regular console resolution, please tell me (any of the members of the list).

I would not come here if I had not exhausted all the resources. had mantained a wiki with instructions on what to do to get those resolutions.  None of those instructions now works with the current GRUB although they worked with earlier versions of GRUB and of course, grub-legacy had the other method which always worked.

Could it be done that it would be as easy to change GRUB resolution in console when booting (this still is easy to do) but when the OS if fully booted, the resolution changes to the 1024 x 768 or higher which makes ncurses applications very small in about 1/4 of the screen and regular characters very very small.

Thanks for your consideration and patience,

Respectfully yours,

DJ Ring, Jr.
Green Harbor, MA 

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Chris Murphy <address@hidden> wrote:

On Feb 28, 2013, at 4:44 PM, "D.J.J. Ring, Jr." <address@hidden> wrote:

> Hello Bruce,
> The "problem" with this is that grub.cfg says "Do Not Edit this File".
> Why cannot grub2 have an easy way to change console resolution?
> When I open console programs, the display is tiny.  Also console programs with ncurses graphics are tiny.  These would be full screen if I could make console mode 640x480.

This sounds familiar. I can't remember if it's in help or devel, but changing the console resolution is the wrong way to fix this because invariably that makes LCDs (and most any non-CRT display technology) look like crap because in fact you can't change their resolution like you could with a CRT. Maybe the simplest thing to do is replace the default fonts, with rebuilt larger ones. There is a grub font utility, I'm spacing the name of it at the moment.

If you need a simpler boot loader, with a simpler scripting language, check out extlinux. But I'm not sure if it supports variable font sizes.

Chris Murphy
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