Google could not help me with this problem. I hope you guys can.

When I boot my computer, the first few screens presented to me by BIOS and boot menu are stretched to fit the LCD screen. Once Linux boots, however, the screen shrinks so one pixel of the console font uses only one pixel of the screen, causing the usable area of screen to shrink to only the upper left part of the screen, since the console uses only 640x480 of the 1280x1024 size monitor.

I know I can use the VGA= boot flag to set modes that increases the number of rows and columns of text, so that the whole screen is used. However, what I want to do is keep the number of rows and columns as they are but scale the whole screen to fit the monitor, just like the BIOS boot messages. I need to do this in a way that will work on any monitor automatically.

EDIT: I've not given info on hardware on purpose, because I want the solution to be hardware-agnostic. The distribution I'm using is Ubuntu 10.10.


3 Answers 3


Using only the nomodeset kernel option got me the results I wanted, the console now fills the entire screen.


I cannot post a comment, but knowing your distribution, video card model and driver version might help people give you a better advice.

I would read about enabling KMS to make your console use the whole screen with its native resolution and then about setfont to adjust console font size. At least KMS is what I used on my Arch box to run framebuffer in monitor's native 1366*768.

Other way to solve this is changing BIOS settings, see Conslole mode only using 640x480 of 1027x768 area at Archlinux BBs.


Probably nomodeset seems to fix the problem but I think is not a good solution. nomodeset instructs the kernel not to load video drivers and use BIOS modes instead until X is loaded. This is something to avoid.

I found this solution (probably a duplicate). Just installing fbset package.

fbset - show and modify frame buffer device settings

In my case just installing and reboot worked (/etc/fb.modes overwrited). If not you can get geometry info with sudo fbset --info and change all virtual consoles on this devices to that geometry with something like:

sudo fbset --all --geometry 3200 1800 3200 1800 32

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