How To Configure a New Video Card

This page created and maintained by PhilSchaffner. Contributions from others are welcome.

Start by seeing what the system understands your video controller to be:

/sbin/lspci -m

Look for the line describing it in the output of the above.

Here is a list of all the available X11 drivers:

$ rpm -qa xorg-x11-drv\* | awk -F"-" '{ print $4 }' | sort | pr -t -w80 -4
acecad              elographics         microtouch          spaceorb
aiptek              evdev               mouse               summa
apm                 fbdev               mutouch             tdfx
ark                 fpit                neomagic            tek4957
ast                 glint               nsc                 trident
ati                 hyperpen            nv                  tseng
calcomp             i128                palmax              ur98
chips               i740                penmount            v4l
cirrus              i810                rendition           vesa
citron              jamstudio           s3                  vga
cyrix               joystick            s3virge             via
digitaledge         keyboard            savage              vmmouse
dmc                 magellan            siliconmotion       vmware
dummy               magictouch          sis                 void
dynapro             mga                 sisusb              voodoo

And the system-config-display command usage:

$ system-config-display --help
Usage: system-config-display [OPTIONS]
  -h, --help        display this help and exit
  -v, --verbose     display what the program is doing more verbosely
  -o, --output=     the filename of the config file to be output
      --reconfig    don't base configuration on existing config files
      --noui        don't show the gui, implicit when using --set options
      --forceui     force the ui to be shown, needed when using --set options
                    to change some setting, but you still want to show the ui
      --set-<key>=  change the value of a specific configuration key.
        currently supported keys are:
        resolution  the screen resolution used
        depth       the color depth in bits
                    most drivers support 8, 15, 16 and 24
        driver      the graphics card driver to use
        vsync       monitor vertical sync rates allowed (in Hz)
        hsync       monitor horizontal sync rates allowed (in kHz)
        videoram    the amount of videoram in kilobytes, 0 means probe

Putting all the above together, as root, try the following:

system-config-display --reconfig --set-driver=NAME --set-videoram=0 --set-depth=24 --set-resolution=MxN

where you have input the appropriate values for NAME, M & N.

For a first-time configuration you may just be able to run


For a changed video card might first try just

/!\ The system-config-display command has been removed from CentOS-6. The recommended replacement is xrandr.

system-config-display --reconfig

Log out and then log back in again, to test.

It really is a bit of a black art to get a viable xorg.conf -- it may take a few iterations to get it right.

Alternatively, log out, change to a virtual console with Ctrl-Alt-F1, log in as root, and do:

telinit 3

to get to text mode.

Run system-config-display followed by startx to test, exit X, repeat as necessary, then when you have it right:

telinit 5

to restart the GUI login.

For GNOME user resolution settings are under "System / Preferences / Screen resolution"

For KDE can resolution preferences be accessed via "Control Center / Peripherals / Display" or Right-click on the desktop, and select "Configure Desktop / Display"

HowTos/ConfigureNewVideoCard (last edited 2012-05-13 16:42:27 by PhilSchaffner)