I am trying to install drivers and when I try to run the command make menuconfig I get the error message that the "display is too small" for that command? What does this mean, and how to solve this?

desktop:~/Downloads/linux-3.3.2$ make menuconfig
  HOSTCC  scripts/basic/fixdep
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/conf.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/checklist.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/inputbox.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/menubox.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/textbox.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/util.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/yesno.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/mconf.o
  SHIPPED scripts/kconfig/zconf.tab.c
  SHIPPED scripts/kconfig/zconf.lex.c
  SHIPPED scripts/kconfig/zconf.hash.c
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/zconf.tab.o
  HOSTLD  scripts/kconfig/mconf
scripts/kconfig/mconf Kconfig
# using defaults found in /boot/config-3.2.0-24-generic-pae
/boot/config-3.2.0-24-generic-pae:4351:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for FB_VESA
Your display is too small to run Menuconfig!
It must be at least 19 lines by 80 columns.
make[1]: *** [menuconfig] Error 1
make: *** [menuconfig] Error 2
  • What don't you understand about that error message exactly? – Mat Apr 27 '12 at 8:29
  • Well do know, I am new to linux. What does it mean the display is too small? Which display is it speaking off? I have a BenqG2220HD 20" display, that is what I am thinking off. Though do know, I am trying to install graphic drivers. – John S Apr 27 '12 at 8:33
  • 1
    It's the terminal window you're running menuconfig in that is too small (to narrow). – Mat Apr 27 '12 at 8:37
  • Since you're using X anyways, you could also go with make xconfig or make gconfig (given satisfied dependencies). – sr_ Apr 27 '12 at 11:32

You're running a text mode program, which is executing in a text terminal. The program is complaining about the size of that text terminal. Many traditional hardware terminals had 80 columns and 24 lines; many programs assume a terminal that is at least that large. You are likely to run into this kind of problem if you use smaller terminal windows. Resize your window, and change your default size if your default size is less than 80x24. You will rarely benefit from more than 80 columns — this is the de facto standard width. Most programs will take advantage of more lines.

See What is the exact difference between a 'terminal', a 'shell', a 'tty' and a 'console'? for background.


The error message: It must be at least 19 lines by 80 columns. is pretty clear here , you'll need to enlarge your terminal , to at least 19 lines height , and 80 columns width.


The error message is pretty much clear.
Resize or maximize your terminal window to make it bigger, and try again.


As a work around, you could adjust the font size with terminal preferences. That would help resolve the issue.

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