Monday, August 14, 2006

Getting Linux to work in Portrait mode...

This weekend I swapped out my 17" LCD (Dell 1705FP) with a 19" (Dell 1905FP) version that can be used in portrait mode. There is not particular reason why I used the portrait mode other then desktop space. I first tested it in Windows and it was just a matter of plugging it in and then using the Nvidia control panel to set the rotation to portrait.

I then switched over to Linux (Fedora Core 5) and ran into a few snags. There was a dependency conflict between the latest nvidia driver and the kernel I had installed and so the system was starting up with just the native nv drivers. Once that was resolved, I realized that the Linux version of the control panel didn't have the options that the Windows version had including the ability to rotate. It took awhile, but with the help of a friend and Linux guru, i was able to get Linux to go into portrait mode.

First, to get the Rotation option to appear in the Nvidia control panel, I had to add to the Device section:

Option "RandRRotation" "on"

This gave me the option to change the location once I log in, but the problem is that until I do everything appeared in landscape mode so I would have to tilt my head 90 degrees in order to log in and get to the contral panel.

Digging around the Nvidia drivers appendix, I found the option to have X rotate automatically on startup:

Option "Rotate" "left"

This did the trick and I now have less strain on my neck, but then I noticed that things were a bit off on the screen. I realized that Linux was running the driver at 75hz refresh rate which is supported by the monitor but LCDs run optimally at 60hz. I had selected the right monitor, but checking the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, the monitor section have a range for the VertRefresh rate up to 76hz. This is ok, but Linux only used 75hz and didn't let me select anything different. Even when I modified the VertRefresh to just 60, it still used 75.

Again, my friend came to the rescue and suggested I added the following to the Device section:

Option "UseEdidFreq" "false"

Restarting X and all was well. ^^b

I'm still getting used to having my monitor taller then it is wide, but the only troublesome thing is finding wallpapers for it!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great tips. Worked perfectly for me on Fedora 7 with the NVidia driver. Rather than edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf directly, I used the nvidia-xconfig utility and set --randr-rotation and --rotate=left.