Changing Font Size

Alex Satrapa grail at
Fri Jun 14 12:45:06 EST 2002

On Friday, June 14, 2002, at 11:04 , Alan Buchanan wrote:

> Is there a simple way to change the monitor driver (or change the 
> font) =
> I obviously don't want to re-install from scratch again.

If you have actually got stuff working, it's probably not the monitor 
driver that's the problem.  Your X Windows server is probably configured 
to use an ultra-high resolution.  If you change the configuration of 
your X Windows server, things should grow larger (maybe even large 
enough to read).

If you look in /etc/X11/XF86Config (or /etc/X11/XF86Config-4), you 
should find a bunch of lines similar to this:

Quote from /etc/X11/XF86Config-4
> Section "Screen"
>         Identifier      "Default Screen"
>         Device          "Matrox Millenium G400 Dual Head MAX"
>         Monitor         "Diamond View NF17"
>         DefaultDepth    24
>         SubSection "Display"
>                 Depth           1
>                 Modes           "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" 
> "800x600" "640
> x480"
>         EndSubSection
>         SubSection "Display"
>                 Depth           4
>                 Modes           "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" 
> "800x600" "640
> x480"
>         EndSubSection
>         SubSection "Display"
>                 Depth           24
>                 Modes           "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" 
> "800x600" "640
> x480"
>         EndSubSection

There are two things to be aware of here - first is the "DefaultDepth" 
line (in this case, indicating 24 bits per pixel colour depth).

Then in the "Display" subsections, you'll have to find the one that 
matches the bpp that is selected.  In this case, the SubSection 
"Display" that has Depth set to 24.

The second thing that you need to be aware of is that the resolutions 
specified on that "Modes" line are in the order that the X Windows 
server will cycle through - with the first resolution as the default.

To change the maximum and default resolution to something with bigger 
graphics (to allow you to put away the magnifying glass ;), delete the 
first one or two of those resolutions, save the file, then restart the X 
Windows Server - this is usually achieved by switching to a virtual 
console (Alt+Ctl+F1), logging in as root and running /etc/init.d/xdm 
restart (or wdm or whatever you have as your display manager).

On a 15" screen, I wouldn't suggest running at a finer resolution than 
1024x768 (in fact, you should really consider sticking to 800x600).  I 
have a 17" CRT, which I've configured for 1280x1024 - that works fine 
for me most of the time, but can get hard on the eyes after a while.

You can switch your resolutions "on the fly" by using Alt+Ctrl and 
the -/+ keys on the numeric keypad.  Be aware that the "virtual desktop" 
size will remain at the maximum resolution, and when the monitor changes 
resolution you will end up with, eg: an 800x600 view into a 1280x1024 
workspace.  Definately not the same behaviour you might expect from 
Windows or Mac OS X.

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