I have an AMD Radeon HD 4650 Graphics hardware, and a LCD monitor with an odd native resolution of 1440x900.

I use debian stable on this system.
When not using the firmware-linux-nonfree package, the display resolution offers few choices that doesn't look very well on this monitor, since they are lower than the monitor's native resolution. The best resolution I can get is 1152x864, which is one under VBE resolutions.

So, I want to know, which one is odd, Graphics hardware, or the monitor, or both?

  • If I use the same graphics hardware with some widespread 1366x768 (16:9) monitor, can I have VBE resolution at 1366x768?
  • Or if I use the same 1440x900 monitor with some open source Intel HD Graphics hardware, can I have VBE resolution at 1440x900?
  • Why is 1440x900 odd?
    – schaiba
    Jan 11, 2016 at 14:53
  • Because -- it is not 16:9 , it is not included in VBE modes, it isn't something that majority monitors use. Most, if not all laptops use 1366x768. Any of 1280x720 , 1366x768 , 1920x1080 are not soo odd i think. I'm not sure if newer Intel and Amd graphics chips support 1440x900 in VBE mode.
    – Bharat G
    Jan 11, 2016 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


If your hardware requires firmware to be loaded on chip then you should use it, otherwise do not wonder why your resolution resets to something not native to your monitor.

Without firmware the graphics driver probably fails to detect graphics chip at all or can't access it's advanced features you mentioned, and falls back to VESA resolutions provided as basic ones by your monitor for failsafe (always available) operation.

VBE modes are provided by the video bios of the graphics chip itself and usually contains only definitions for most common modes.

  • So, it is a property of graphics chip. That's all I wanted to know. Thank you :)
    – Bharat G
    Jan 11, 2016 at 15:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .