Both have been success stories. I haven’t had anything bad to report about Edgy so far which I guess makes me in a minority judging by the forums I have read in various places. It seems like lots of people have run into problems of some sort or another. In fact their are whole pages dedicated to resolving issues with Ubuntu Edgy, one example being the Ubuntu Edgy Common Problems with Solutions page.
So when I recently purchased a new Dell 1907FP LCD monitor to replace my old CRT monitor I was expecting a fairly painless exercise. After all, I was just replacing a monitor. Surely it couldn’t be that difficult with Ubuntu Edgy, could it? Maybe it was my turn at last to experience some Edgy woes.
Now the problems I experienced may not necessarily have been to do with Edgy, the same problems may well exist with Ubuntu 6.06, so maybe this is a general Ubuntu issue. But I do seem to have run into a lot of hassle performing a simple exercise like replacing a monitor.
Firstly I simply connected the new LCD monitor to my PC and tried booting up. Booting into Windows worked without any problems but as soon as I tried booting into Ubuntu I ran into issues. The GRUB menu would display OK and I could see the Ubuntu splash screen OK but the LCD monitor then displayed a message saying ‘Unable to display screen resolution’ and the Ubuntu login screen would not appear.
I knew straight away that this was a screen refresh issue. I’ve dabbled with the xorg.conf file before and I knew various display settings are stored in this file. I was fairly certain that my old CRT monitor settings were still stored in this file. Before trying to modify this file I tried a few things.
Under the “System | Preferences | Screen Resolution” menu option in Ubuntu I had my CRT monitor set to an 85hz refresh rate and I knew LCD monitors typically work at a refresh rate of 60 or 75hz, anything higher than these two values and the LCD display was unlikely to work. So the first thing I tried was reconnecting the old CRT monitor and setting the refresh rate from 85hz down to 60hz. First thing I noticed was that as soon as I rebooted my PC with the old CRT monitor that the refresh rate would reset back to 85hz. I’ve no idea why Ubuntu does this? So I had to come up with another solution.
The next thing I tried was to reboot into Ubuntu using my old CRT monitor, drop the refresh rate to 60hz, connect the new LCD monitor and then enter the following from the command line:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
I was hoping this would force Ubuntu to detect my new LCD monitor settings. Unfortunately, when I rebooted my PC I ran into the same ‘Unable to display screen resolution’ problem.
Next, someone suggested I boot from the Ubuntu live CD and copy the xorg.conf file created by the live CD to my hard drive. I was able to boot up into Ubuntu using the live CD using the new LCD monitor without any issues, so things looked promising.
My next step was to try and figure out how to access my hard drive from the live CD. I came across an excellent site which showed me how to mount linux partitions using the Ubuntu live CD. Things seemed to be looking up. I mounted the Linux partition containing my Ubuntu install and copied the xorg.conf file created by the live CD to my Ubuntu partition.
I shut down my PC, removed the live CD, and then tried booting into Ubuntu from the hard drive. This time I got as far as the logon screen. I thought I had cracked it. But as soon as I entered my username and password I got an error message, something along the lines that ‘X could not last more than 10 seconds’ and then it would take me back to the logon screen.
In final desperation I reinstalled Ubuntu Edgy from scratch. This seemed like overkill to me just to replace a monitor. I’m not an expert with Linux and there may have been other steps I should have tried, but it shouldn’t have to be this difficult. Perhaps you can let me know what else I could have tried. But it was a painful exercise for me!