screen resolution and virtual desktop size

Tomas Carnecky tom at
Sat May 19 09:55:18 PDT 2007

Keith Packard wrote:
> 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
> adventure.

You mean I'd have to edit the xorg source code and recompile it?

> 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.

3. is what I'd need! But what's the difference between 'external
monitor' and 'internal panels'? I suppose I have an 'external monitor'
attached to my nvidia graphics card.


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