I have an old P3 laptop with an 800x600 screen on which I've installed WattOS 7.5. I know it is now on 10 but 7.5 is the latest one that will fit on a CD. The later ones will only fit on DVD. This is an old machine - it only has a CD reader, it will not boot off USB and it doesn't like microWatt (which still fits on a CD). There is something wrong with the microWatt drivers - the entire screen appears as a 0.25" bar. Anyway, it has WattOS 7.5.

My login screen is very reddish. If I run it from my desktop it is greenish - which is the correct colour. Also, for some reason, the system thinks it has a 1024x768 screen. After logging in, all the colours are OK.

The obvious answer would have been to ask the WattOS site but it is a chicken and egg situation. It wants me to sign in and in order to sign in, I need an invite key. I've got no idea what one of those is. To find out, I'd have to login and ask but I can't login because I haven't got an invite key.

Before committing the settings in stone, I decided to try them out. First, I set the screen size

xrandr -s 800x600

The screen size changes and I can now see the taskbar but the brightness has also changed to half. When I type xrandr -q, I get

xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default
Followed by the resolutions

I suspect it is assuming I have 24 or 32-bit colour but this is an old system so at most 16-bit colour, which possibly explains why it has all gone dim and why my login screen seems to have lost its blue/green component.

The questions

  1. I must be looking up the wrong keywords - I can't find how to set the number of colours to 65536 or to tell the system that it has 16-bit colour. All the hits I am getting are how to set console window colours.
  2. Another lot of searches says gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf This file doesn't exist on my system. Again, I think I'm looking up the wrong keywords. Almost all the hits tell me where it is, none of them tell me what has replaced it.
  3. How do I make these settings permanent so that my login screen appears in the correct colour and the system knows what size my screen is.

Edit I've found https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1493835 Apparently xorg.conf will be used if created. I'll give that a try later today. The laptop can only stray from a power supply for 5 minutes: after that it shuts down.

Edit This question is now purely academic - the machine just died.


Finally got to the bottom of this. WattOS has an on screen utility called arandr. I've never been successful in pasting pictures so I'll do a sort of diagram. On some systems, it is called the Screen layout editor. On WattOS, it is called arandr. I used it because I thought it had something to do with xrandr.

|            |   |
| default    |   |

What I was doing was going through all the menu options and icons and not finding anything to do with resolution. The help doesn't tell you how to use it - all it has is the about screen.

What I should have done is right click on the area marked Default, select Resolution and then pick the resolution.

It is as simple as that: it has only taken me 7 years to figure out this one.

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