Changing the tty resolution on Ubuntu Server
It’s been a busy few weeks here in the mattrudge.net tower. Firstly a break-in at the house left me bereft of laptop, digital camera, and other devices. Secondly, while in Italy, our rental car was broken into, which relieved me of my remaining gadgets, and finally a high-level hacking decision was evidently taken to bring down the menace of my NTP server, since I was knocked off the Internet by a Denial of Service attack! For one issue I had to edit the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter from 3G Internet on my phone!
Anyway, that’s just a moan, and nothing to do with the title of this blog post. Synchronicity is wonderful – I was just actually looking at how to change the tty resolution on a console-only Ubuntu Server, when the same question popped up on the Ubuntu Forums.
Ubuntu helpfully sets the console resolution for you – depending on what graphics card and monitor you have. Sometimes, though, the font can appear almost nanoscopic! Also – as was the case for me – you may be putting an older monitor onto the server, which won’t support such a high resolution.
Many of the answers focus on editing /etc/default/grub, but many of them don’t work – or only work for the GRUB selection screen. Here’s how to change the tty console resolution on Ubuntu 12.04 Server (this method works for everything from 9.10 as far as I know).
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
Add the following lines – or uncomment and modify them if they already exist:
Save and close the /etc/default/grub file. And finally:
When your server reboots, the console resolution will now be 800×600, which is good enough for most old monitors – and myopic, old sysadmins!