Solve Display Problems in Ubuntu, Linux Mint

Posted Under: FileFord >> Blog >> How to, Linux

For Major Display / Graphics Problems in Linux

(for no display problem)

You can try to restore normal graphical display in Ubuntu or Linux Mint as follows:

  1. In the Grub bootloader menu, boot your computer into recovery mode:
    Ubuntu:
    Advanced options for Ubuntu – Ubuntu, with Linux xxxxxxx (recovery mode)
    Press Enter.
  2. In the recovery menu that appears then, choose the first option:
    resume Resume normal boot
    This will attempt a normal boot with failsafe video settings.
  3. No avail? Then restart in recovery mode and choose the fourth option:
    failsafeX Run in failsafe graphic mode
  4. No avail again? If you’re familiar with the terminal and its commands, then you can restart in recovery mode and choose the option:
    root Drop to root shell prompt

This will allow you to try to restore normal graphical display from the terminal.

 

Minor problems (bad display)

Other, minor display problems (wrong resolution, unstability, wrong brightness) can have various causes:

Bad stability and performance

Stability and performance issues can usually be addressed by disabling the visual effects in Linux Mint and in Ubuntu (discussed below).

 

Wrong resolution: Nvidia card

Do you have an Nvidia card running on the restricted Nvidia driver (which is recommended), and is the display resolution wrong? Then proceed as follows:

  1. First make sure that you have installed the application gksu:

    Launch a terminal window.
    (You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)
    Type (or copy/paste):

    sudo apt-get install gksu

    Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even asterisks will show, which is normal.

  2. Then type in the terminal (use copy/paste):

    gksudo nvidia-settings

    Press Enter.
    Now you can configure your display with this nifty tool from Nvidia itself. Proceed as follows:
    Click “X Server Display Configuration” (top left, second entry).
    On the right in the window: click the tab “Display” (which should be opened already).
    Resolution: click the button that says “Auto”, and choose the display resolution that you want.
    Click “Save to X Configuration File”.
    Click Close.

  3. Reboot your computer. Now the display resolution should be right.

 

 

Brightness of the display is wrong and not adjustable

Some laptops have a problem with the brightness of the display: the Fn keys to adjust the brightness, don’t work. Therefore the brightness of the screen may be too high or too low, which can be maddeningly annoying.

You can try the following progressive scheme:

Easiest method: try the slider

When you click (Xfce/Xubuntu: right-click) on the battery icon in your system tray, you see (among other things) a slider for the brightness. Try if you can set the brightness with that.

If that doesn’t help, continue with item 6.2 below.

Easy method: fix brightness for an Intel video card

Note: this step is only meant for computers that have only one graphics card, namely an integrated Intel chipset. It’s not meant for laptops with hybrid video (with two video cards on board, namely both an Intel and an Nvidia or ATI/AMD video card). Do you have hybrid video? Then skip this step and proceed with step 6.3 in the right column.

For an Intel video card you can do the following to fix the brightness:

a. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

b. Copy/paste this command into the terminal:

ls /sys/class/backlight/

Press Enter. You have an Intel video card when the output reads:

intel_backlight

c. Copy/paste this command into the terminal:

lspci | grep VGA

Press Enter. Now you should get the BusID, which is in most cases:

00:02.0

d. Then copy/paste the following command line into the terminal:

sudo touch /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

Press Enter. When prompted, type your password. This will remain entirely invisible, you won’t even see dots, this is normal. With this command you create an empty text file.

e. Now make sure that you have installed the applications gksu and leafpad:

Copy/paste into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install gksu leafpad

Press Enter.

f. Now copy/paste this line into the terminal (it’s one line):

gksudo leafpad /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

Press Enter.

Copy/paste the following text block into that empty text file:

Section “Device”
Identifier “card0”
Driver “intel”
Option “Backlight” “intel_backlight”
BusID “PCI:0:2:0”
EndSection

Note that there’s a small, but essential difference between one line in the text block above and the outcome of lspci: the final 0 of the BusID isn’t preceded by a “.” but by a “:”.

Save the modified text file and close it.

g. Reboot your computer: you should be able to change the display brightness now, with the usual Fn keys. If not, continue with item 6.3 in the right column of this page.

 

Another easy method to fix the brightness: add a Grub parameter

It might be sufficient to add a parameter to Grub.

a. First make sure that you have installed the applications gksu and leafpad:

Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type (or copy/paste):
sudo apt-get install gksu leafpad

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even asterisks will show, which is normal.

b. Then type in the terminal (use copy/paste):
gksudo leafpad /etc/default/grub

In the text file that opens then, find the line:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=””

Replace it with this line:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”acpi_osi=Linux”

Save the file and close it.

c. Now in the terminal:
sudo update-grub

Press Enter.
Type your password when required; this will remain entirely invisible, not even dots will show, this is normal. Press Enter again.

d. Reboot your computer. The Fn brightness keys should work now. If not, replace the line:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”acpi_osi=Linux”

by this line:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”acpi_backlight=vendor”

Then run sudo update-grub again and reboot.

When still no avail, continue with item 6.4 below.

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