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I am using a Samsung n150 netbook with a 10.1 inch screen and it has a maximum screen resolution of 1024x600. I am running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and want to enable screen panning for a larger virtual display; so that the screen seen is a subset of the larger display that can be navigated via the mouse. I believe that the virtual screen size of 1024x800 would suite my purposes, but anything with at least larger y-axis would be suitable.

There is the Panning-viewport instructions link, which recommends this command:

xrandr --output VGA1 --rate 60 --mode 800x600 --fb 1280x1024 --panning 1280x1024

I have modified the command to suite my situation:

xrandr --output LVDS1 --rate 60 --mode 1024x600 --fb 1280x1024 --panning 1280x1024

The terminal then prints xrandr: cannot find mode 1024X600, and this was the same even with mode 800X600. I tried using --output VGA1 as well. xrandr -q gives (briefly):

LVDS1 connected 1024x600+0+0
1024x600  60.0*+
800x600   60.3

I tried xrandr --newmode 1024x600 as well but no changes happened trying again. I have read the man pages and wiki randr page,link2,link3,link4 on using randr which discuss randr. I cannot understand the command and how to work with it. Even though there is only an output a rate a mode the fb and the panning option, I cannot figure out what they are doing and how to set them up for panning on my system.

Is there a simple modification of the terminal line I am using to fix the problems of setting up panning or some mode addition include via --newmode that should be made?

share|improve this question

First, you need to generate the new mode

gtf 1024 600 60

You will get something like:

# 1024x600 @ 60.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 37.32 kHz; pclk: 48.96 MHz
Modeline "1024x600_60.00"  48.96  1024 1064 1168 1312  600 601 604 622  -HSync +Vsync

Then present this mode to xrandr using --newmode

 xrandr --newmode "1024x600_60.00"  48.96  1024 1064 1168 1312  600 601 604 622  -HSync +Vsync

Then add this mode to LVDS1:

xrandr --addmode LVDS1 "1024x600_60.00"

And finally you can use this new mode with panning:

 xrandr --output LVDS1 --rate 60 --mode 1024x600_60.00 --fb 1280x1024 --panning 1280x1024
share|improve this answer
this looks great, im trying to add mode with 1024x800, but im getting errors when trying to add the mode: alex@alex-laptop:~$ xrandr --addmode LVDS1 "1024x800_60.00" X Error of failed request: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes) Major opcode of failed request: 149 (RANDR) Minor opcode of failed request: 18 (RRAddOutputMode) Serial number of failed request: 23 Current serial number in output stream: 24 what could be the reason? – Vass Sep 11 '12 at 15:38
You cannot add mode that is bigger than your screen, if you want bigger desktop you can only do this in framebuffer (--fb option). – Paweł Rumian Sep 11 '12 at 19:40
if my desktop is 1024x600 I cannot have a bigger screen that I can pan? So must I increase the desktop into a bigger panning mode? or is framebuffer some kind of different environment which can be made bigger? – Vass Sep 12 '12 at 11:37
Everything is in my answer. xrandr mode cannot be bigger than physical size of the screen, but you can use framebuffer to create bigger virtual desktop. – Paweł Rumian Sep 12 '12 at 13:41
thanks, could you tell me how to use framebugger to create a bigger virtual desktop? – Vass Sep 14 '12 at 4:44

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