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Thread: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

  1. #1
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    Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    Greetings and Happy New Years, at least if you are in the US.
    My new years resolution is to fix the resolution on my notebook.
    After an install of Lubuntu 12.10 using the alternative installer, (because of having only 384mb of ram) I noted the screen resolution is wrong on an old IBM Thinkpad A20p. It is the same wrong I got running the 12.10 Ubuntu liveCD.
    Rather than 1400x1050 it is 1024x768 at 60hz. This causes the screen to look somewhat ripped in half vertically then doubled on the right. Very challenging to navigate.

    A nice yet brief description of the machine is here in the ThinkWiki:
    IBM ThinkPad A20p
    Puppy Linux was able to get the resolution right running from the liveCD so I know there is hope.

    In trying to research the matter I ran into a few problems with the Lubuntu documentation.
    This page offers what would seem like the best approach:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lu..._Laptop_Screen

    The keyboard command (ctrl+alt+f1) takes you out of the GUI so you suddenly loose your instructions.
    It was not clear how to get back to the GUI – how do you?

    With a second computer displaying the instructions, I tried the first command: sudo service lxdm stop
    “LXDM: Unrecognized Service” Was the message I got back. I did the same in the terminal and got the same message.
    I got the same for GDM and KDM? So what service do I need to stop?

    Since the first command does not stop the service, the second command onward on does not work.

    Although I am not sure what the display problem really is, or how to correct it, I am guessing editing the Xorg.conf as mentioned in the instructions might be the answer by editing the resolution. I am not sure how to go about this. The xorg.conf is not in the locations mentioned in any post I have read so far.

    In addition, the Lubuntu menu choice Preferences > Hardware Drivers does not exist in this version?
    This was also offered as a suggestion in many of the posts I found during researching the issue.

    Of Note: This is also a very very old problem for what I could tell from other very old resources on the net.

    Help is needed and appreciated.
    Last edited by VitalBodies; January 2nd, 2013 at 04:15 AM. Reason: Asked: what service do I need to stop?
    Thanks to everyone in the open source movement!

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    The keyboard command (ctrl+alt+f1) takes you out of the GUI so you suddenly loose your instructions.
    It was not clear how to get back to the GUI – how do you?
    You can get back to the GUI with Ctrl+Alt+F7.

    It is possible you don't have a xorg.conf on your machine, in such case you'd need to create it. To do that go to single-user mode:
    Code:
    sudo init 1
    then:
    Code:
    Xorg -configure
    Note that this command will not work if the X server is running. The file is going to be created in /root/xorg.conf.new. Move it to /etc/X11:
    Code:
    mv /root/xorg/conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    With that done you can proceed to editing the file with your desired text editor.

    In the Screen section there's a subsection Display where you can edit resolution options, it should look similar to this:
    Code:
    Section "Screen"
        Identifier         "Screen0"
        Device             "Card0"
        Monitor            "Monitor0"
        SubSection         "Display"
                Viewport    0 0
                Depth       24
                Modes       "1400x900"
        EndSubsection
    EndSection
    Resolution options are located in the Modes line, add your resolution and some smaller ones like 640x480 and 800x600 as fallback. Xorg will pick the first correct value when initialized.
    Last edited by Isamu715; January 1st, 2013 at 09:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer!
    I will give this a try today. Would be nice if some day making these kinds of changes were built in the GUI.
    I will try to report back on how this worked.
    Thanks to everyone in the open source movement!

  4. #4
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    Code:
    sudo init 1

    ...Sent Lubuntu in to a blue screen with the lubuntu logo with five white dots under it.
    Like you might see durning shut down.
    Ctrl alt F1 or F6 would not bring it out of that mode.
    Was not sure what to do other than power down.
    Thanks to everyone in the open source movement!

  5. #5
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    If that doesn't work you'd have to start Ubuntu in single user mode instead. What is the output of:
    Code:
    xrandr
    on your machine?

  6. #6
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default
    Screen 0: minimum 640 x 480, current 1024 x 768, maximum 1024 x 768
    default connected 1024x768+0+0 0mm x 0mm
    1024x768 60.0*
    800x600 60.0 56.0
    640x480 60.0
    Thanks to everyone in the open source movement!

  7. #7
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    One other thing of interest is that the screen was not ripped in half on the blue logo screen.
    Thanks to everyone in the open source movement!

  8. #8
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    So the stop service commands did not work. I get the impression the goal was to stop the X Display MANAGER. Ok, so what is the X Display manager in Lubuntu 12.10?

    So far I think it is LightDM.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LightDM

    An updated note: the stop command mentioned in the instructions did stop LightDM.
    I added LightDM to the official documentation instruction page.

    I followed the instructions and edited the Xorg.conf and no change in resolution?
    I might try to see my Xorg.conf in the GUI.
    And should it be xorg or Xorg?
    Seems like xorg.conf.
    Last edited by VitalBodies; January 2nd, 2013 at 07:27 AM.
    Thanks to everyone in the open source movement!

  9. #9
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    And should it be xorg or Xorg?
    It's /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
    In addition, the Lubuntu menu choice Preferences > Hardware Drivers does not exist in this version?
    It was moved and now exists as a tab in Software Sources.

    From your xrandr output I can see that Xorg sees only few resolution modes, instead of all supported by the graphics card. It's possible to add a new mode, take a look at this thread, the first post contains detailed instructions on how to do that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Ibm A20p Notebook Display issue in Lubuntu

    Do you think we should try to add modes (which I tried and failed both using xrandr and xorg) or try to get Ubuntu to properly recognize the card? I tried editing the xorg.conf and saw no changes after adding more modes. By adding VideoRam to xorg.conf DEVICE the computer would no longer boot properly so I had to reload it so I am back to a new install.

    Ideas:
    How to get lubuntu to recognize the card?
    I read modes will not take effect, if, Lubuntu thinks there is not enough VideoRam - not sure if that is true and current or not.
    Is there a way to change resolution temporarily?

    I tried what I saw here:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Config/Res...nt_resolutions

    ...But it did not work, I am guessing because of the video ram issue.
    Although I was not really sure what to command as LVDS and VGA1 did not work?
    Do I use "default"?

    Does the monitor resolution have to be defined in xorg.conf for the modes to work?
    Last edited by VitalBodies; January 3rd, 2013 at 01:54 AM.
    Thanks to everyone in the open source movement!

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