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#1 2012-06-29 13:00:45

Tuber
#! Member
From: Kapolei, Hawaii
Registered: 2012-02-03
Posts: 93

Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

Don't know if this has been covered before, but a quick search didn't find anything recent, so...

Those of you with Netbooks that have 1024x600 screens have likely run into frustration with some applications that will not fit into a 600 line display (tsMuxerGUI & Handbrake are examples). The kludge workaround is to use the Alt key to grab the application and drag it upward until the buttons you need (which always seem to be at the bottom) become accessible. But that won't work if the app simply refuses to run.

Fortunately there is another option.

The Linux xrandr utility will let you adjust your little Netbook screen to higher resolutions. "But wait a minute", you're saying, "you can't get more resolution than there are pixels on the display!" Well, yes and no. There are two ways to accomplish this. You can squeeze the higher resolution into the smaller display, but as you'd expect that will cause a loss of resolution, and possibly distortion as well (depending on your settings). The other option is to create a larger virtual display. In this mode your screen is a window to a larger display. You only see part of the larger virtual display (without distortion or blur), and the missing parts will scroll into view when you move the mouse pointer off the edge of the screen.

For example, if you open a terminal and enter

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1024x768 --scale 1.0x1.0

You will add an additional 168 lines to the bottom of your screen. Move your mouse pointer off the bottom and it will scroll up to reveal the missing lines. Move it off the top, and the upper part of the virtual display will scroll down into view again.

Note that you may have to change the name of your display. Most Netbooks use LVDS1, but I'm sure there are some that are different. If you just type xrandr alone it will give you a lot of info about your display system, including the display name and compatible resolutions.

Now if you don't like all that scrolling around, you can use the command above, but set the scaling parameter to 1.0x1.28 (divide the new resolution by the default resolution to get your scale parameter).

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1024x768 --scale 1.0x1.28

That will squeeze the additional 168 lines into your 600 line display. This will both distort and blur the image, but it should still be quite readable.

To return you your native resolution you enter

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1024x600 --scale 1.0x1.0

So what if you can't remember all this cryptic terminal stuff? Well that's easy, just add it your menu! Open the menu editor (Menu > Settings > Openbox > GUI Menu Editor). Work your way through the menu to the display settings (Menu > Settings > Display Settings) and add a new item. Here's how I set mine up.

Label: Set 1024x768 pan
Action: Execute
Execute: xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1024x768 --scale 1.0x1.0

And I added two additional items:

Label: Set 1024x768 squish
Execute: xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1024x768 --scale 1.0x1.28

Label: Restore 1024x600
Execute: xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1024x600 --scale 1.0x1.0
edited_menu.jpg
Now I can switch resolutions with just 2 mouse clicks.

It's possible to enable both vertical and horizontal scrolling. For instance

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1280x720 --scale 1.0x1.0

will give you a virtual 720p screen. Or you can set the --scale parameter to 1.25x1.2 to squish all those extra pixels into your tiny screen. Things get real small and quite blurry, so you probably won't have much luck squeezing higher resolutions than that into a Netbook display.

But since I know you're going to try it anyway, the line for squished 1080p would be

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1920x1080 --scale 1.875x1.8

and that will definitely give you a headache! mad

You can do a lot more with xrandr, like rotate the screen to portrait mode (xrandr --orientation left).
xrandr_portrait_mode.jpg
You'll definitely need an external keyboard+mouse for that.

For more information try xrandr --help & man xrandr.

Last edited by Tuber (2012-06-29 13:06:31)


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#2 2012-06-29 17:14:18

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 12,682

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

Didn't work on my netbook - desktop extended past the bottom of my screen, but would not pan.  Perhaps this has something to do with cb-hotcorners in Waldorf?


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#3 2012-06-29 17:26:44

omns
#! wanderer
From: ~/
Registered: 2008-11-25
Posts: 5,131

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

Moved to Tips, Tricks and Scripts smile

Nice howto btw smile Like pvsage I'm running Waldorf so I'll have test later today and report back.

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#4 2012-06-29 21:30:54

Tuber
#! Member
From: Kapolei, Hawaii
Registered: 2012-02-03
Posts: 93

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

pvsage wrote:

Didn't work on my netbook - desktop extended past the bottom of my screen, but would not pan.  Perhaps this has something to do with cb-hotcorners in Waldorf?

Bummer. I'm still on Statler. Haven't tried Waldorf yet. Is it possible to temporarily disable cb-hotcorners to see if that is the problem?


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#5 2012-06-29 22:04:49

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 12,682

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

Disabled both cb-hotcorners and cb-compositor and restarted; still doesn't work as advertised.


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#6 2012-06-30 02:28:29

rhowaldt
#!*$%:)
Registered: 2011-03-09
Posts: 4,396

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

nice how-to!
i don't have a netbook but was curious and wanted to try it out on my laptop. so i changed a few parameters based on the output of plain 'xrandr' (without arguments), and it worked. but i couldn't scroll either, and i'm on Feb'11 Statler > Sid. no hot-corners or anything.
btw, setting it back when you don't see where you type is annoying. figure out a bit late that i could just not run my terminal fullscreen smile

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#7 2012-07-03 16:16:48

thevdude
#! Junkie
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Registered: 2011-09-01
Posts: 469

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

There's a patched synaptics driver that lets you rotate the axis of the touchpad, so when the screen is rotated, the touchpad can rotate too and up is still up, left is still left, etc.

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#8 2012-07-04 03:00:41

Tuber
#! Member
From: Kapolei, Hawaii
Registered: 2012-02-03
Posts: 93

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

pvsage wrote:

Disabled both cb-hotcorners and cb-compositor and restarted; still doesn't work as advertised.

Just tried it on Waldorf myself, and yea, something broke. Bummer, I liked being able to do that. sad

Took a quick look at google and others have reported it as well. One even said it used to work in Wheezy, but does not now. Statler/Squeeze had version 1.3.3, while Waldorf/Wheezy has 1.3.5.

Just tried to scale the screen down,

xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode 1024x600 --panning 1280x768 --scaling 1.28x1.28

and that worked (the screen shrank and got a little blurry), but now the mouse pointer will not go to the edge of the screen. It stops where the default resolution ends. sad

So yea, something is definitely broken in xrandr 1.35.

EDIT: Or not... tried installing the older xrandr 1.3.3, but it still doesn't work.

Last edited by Tuber (2012-07-04 07:36:52)


There are only 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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#9 2012-07-10 12:47:52

Tim
#! CrunchBanger
From: SWeden
Registered: 2012-07-09
Posts: 149

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

Added this to my menu two days ago. Works really well on my netbook (Asus 1001pxd) with stable #! on it.
Thanks for the tips, really useful and i use it when needed smile


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#10 2012-07-10 22:31:11

machinebacon
#! unstable
From: China
Registered: 2009-07-02
Posts: 6,634
Website

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

Related (for those with mini-screens) smile http://xfce-look.org/content/show.php/c … ent=101531

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#11 2012-07-11 21:38:28

Tim
#! CrunchBanger
From: SWeden
Registered: 2012-07-09
Posts: 149

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

upgraded for waldrof, the panning doesent work for me either hmm

machinebacon, taking a look at that link smile


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#12 2012-08-11 11:54:20

Tim
#! CrunchBanger
From: SWeden
Registered: 2012-07-09
Posts: 149

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

Would someone wants to write a updated guide of this for waldorf?
I really want it to work, and what ive have tried , does not work properly sad

thanks in andvance


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#13 2012-08-29 04:07:30

crunchbanghpmini110
Member
Registered: 2012-08-22
Posts: 12

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

From what I have read its a bug with xorg not xrandr. A guide to downgrade xorg may fix xrandr.

I have experienced same thing in other distros.

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#14 2012-10-27 13:03:22

Tuber
#! Member
From: Kapolei, Hawaii
Registered: 2012-02-03
Posts: 93

Re: Fun with xrandr and tiny Netbook screens :)

FYI: This appears to be working in Waldorf now.

A few weeks ago I popped a new HDD in my Netbook to test out Windblows-8. Recently I added a fresh install of Waldorf off the latest ISO as well. This evening I stumbled across this thread while looking for something else and decided to give it a try again.

It worked!

Tried both 1024x768 squished and panned. Both are working on my Acer AO532h Netbook.

Aloha, Tim

Last edited by Tuber (2012-10-27 13:06:10)


There are only 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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