On Windows computers, there is a simple "hide the modes this screen does not support" button.

How can I get the available video modes supported (accepted) by my actually connected screen via Linux command line?
I.e: I would like to answer to this question: "Would my 1280x1024 video mode be supported by this screen"

I have read about the hwinfo program, but it seems not to be included on Ubuntu anymore.

The other method I tested uses vbetool, but I think it is not the appropriate way:

luis@Terminus:~$ sudo vbetool vbemode get

And I have read too about a method implying the commands execution on GRUB menu (like vbeinfo), but I would like to find some inside-Linux way.

Answers generic for any Linux distro are preferred.
If not possible, Ubuntu or Kali are accepted.


Have you tried "xrandr" ?

When run without any option, xrandr shows the names of different outputs available on the system (LVDS, VGA-0, etc.) and resolutions available on each

Demo output :*

$ xrandr -d :0  
Screen 0: minimum 64 x 64, current 1920 x 975, maximum 16384 x 16384  
VGA-0 connected primary 1920x975+0+0 0mm x 0mm  
   1920x975       60.0*+  
   1600x1200      60.0  
   1440x1050      60.0  
   1280x960       60.0  
   1024x768       60.0  
   800x600        60.0  
   640x480        60.0

*Note that you can specify which X display to print info about (-d, --display), as I've done here because I ran the command over SSH (without any X-forwarding).
There does need to be at least one X display for xrandr to be of any use.

For more info, check out "man xrandr".

  • 1
    Upvoted. But please don't post screenshots of textual output, paste the actual text...
    – jasonwryan
    Aug 23 '15 at 22:56
  • Well, I like it, but it requires X-Windows. Or so I think when yielding Can't open display. Upvoted anyway, as long as it solves the problem, and works even with multiscreen (two screens in my case). Aug 23 '15 at 23:19
  • 2
    @jasonwryan Sorry, I was running it in a VM so it was easier to take a snapshot than to SSH in, (where the command needs additional options). Updated now !
    – robut
    Aug 23 '15 at 23:43
  • 2
    Mmm... but I think you still need some X display running. If I log out from Xfce and run (via TTY or remote SSH) xrandr -d :0, I get Invalid MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 keyCan't open display :0. It seems some user must be logged to the X Windows system for xrandr to work. Aug 24 '15 at 0:12
  • How do I interpret from that output what the name of the mode actually is (for use with --mode)? When I try to use any of the resolutions as mode names I get a “cannot find mode AxB” error, where AxB is the listed resolution.
    – Kvass
    Aug 25 '19 at 13:35

You can try hwinfo

sudo hwinfo --framebuffer

It will list all supported video modes for your terminal.

  • When I run that command I get no output. (No errors either, exit status 0)
    – Hubro
    Feb 2 '20 at 15:01
  • Using hwinfo v21.70 it seems you need to provide the option --log. For example: hwinfo --log framebuffer.log --framebuffer. Then you'll be able to view the output in the file "framebuffer.log". Nov 17 '20 at 21:21

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