Subject: Re: problems with X configuration
To: Steven M. Bellovin <>
From: Matthieu Herrb <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/05/2005 16:47:46
Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
> This is what I love about X...  I've received several different, 
> mutually contradictory, answers.  One gave explicit numbers except for 
> one value, which was suggested were likely in the 60-80 range.  This 
> answer says it's more likely to be around 160.  (Aside: this line 
> appeared in the log -- does that support the 160 hypothesis?)
> (II) VESA(0): clock: 162.0 MHz   Image Size:  367 x 275 mm
> That aside, the definitive answer was filled with magic numbers whose 
> origins I don't know.
> Another person said to use 'gtf', but noted that it might not work with 
> my card/driver.  And a fourth said it was hopeless with XFree86, and 
> that I needed X.Org.

The 3rd and the 4th authors were the same person :-). I mentionned gtf 
in answer to Christos suggestion, just because many people still have 
problems computing mode lines manually while XFree86 ships a tool to do 
that since 4 our 5 years now. But it the case of the VESA driver it's 

> I love X...

I'm not sure X is to blame here. If Dell had provided a BIOS that 
exports the 1600x1200 mode as a standard VESA mode, just running X 
without an XF86Config file would have worked perfectly, for now it 
probably works with a zoomed 1280x1024 mode which is not that bad, ihmo.

Why isn't Dell's BIOS  advertising the 1600x1200 mode, I can't tell. I 
don't need to remind you that a great part of open source software is 
about supporting semi- or fully broken, undocumented hardware designs.

When something works out of the box with the default OS that comes with 
a machine, it's generally because the driver for this OS is full of 
workarounds for the flaws in the hardware.

> Anyway -- my thanks to all, and I'll try these suggestions tomorrow or 
> Friday, when I'm next at the machine.