screen resolution and virtual desktop size

Keith Packard keithp at
Sat May 19 09:24:49 PDT 2007

On Sat, 2007-05-19 at 12:28 +0200, Tomas Carnecky wrote:
> I have a 1280x1024 TFT monitor currently running in native resolution.
> For games, I'd like to switch it to 1280x720 resolution, but so that the
> picture doesn't stretch to the whole monitor, instead, I'd like to have
> black bars on top and bottom of the monitor. The reason: games only let
> me choose from available resolutions, and I'd like to play the game in
> widescreen resolution. When I added a 1280x720 modeline to xorg.conf, it
> didn't work quite like I wanted, the image was stretched vertically to
> the whole monitor. And having a smaller virtual desktop size than the
> monitor resolution didn't work. Is it possible to configure xorg the way
> I want?

For external monitors, you're at the mercy of the monitor vendor; some
will let you choose between scaling and pixel-for-pixel displays. It
might be possible to fake out the monitor by adjusting the blanking
values, but the server doesn't have any way to set blanking in a
modeline from the config file at this point. I think it would be
possible to make this work as well, but it would be a bit of an

For internal panels, Eric and I have discussed adding a panel scaling
property with three modes: 

     1. Stretch to fill the panel
     2. Stretch to fill as much of the panel as possible while
        preserving the pixel aspect ratio
     3. Pixel-for-pixel. Don't stretch at all, just display the image in
        the center of the panel.

keith.packard at
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