I searched the internet for two whole days in order to get together the information needed to install the drivers for my Intel 945GM graphics card in my laptop, and so I thought I should post a guide just for the case somebody else has the same problem
This guide has been written by my own and has only been tested on my Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi1505 laptop with Ubuntu, so I cannot guarantee that it works always.
(although I don't know why it shouldn't work on other laptops with the same vga card )
The guide has 2 parts. 1. Install the drivers. 2. Set up the resolution
The second part doesn't depend on the first, so you can do the second part even if you didn't do the first part, and also if you have another graphics card.
If you intend to install the latest 64bit version of Ubuntu edgy:
Don't follow this guide. I've recently installed 64 bit Ubuntu and the driver was already installed. I just had to add the videoram section in the xorg.conf file. Search this guide to see how to do this.
1. Install the drivers.
There's an explanation on how to install the drivers at
I followed the guide there (and the instructions following are based on the guide there), but the author says that the widescreen resolution will work immediately after installing the drivers, which was not true for my laptop.
-download the driver package for SuSE Linux from
-install the alien package from the Ubuntu CD/DVD or from the web via the Synaptic Package Manager
-as su (or via sudo), do
what you get is a converted .deb-package, which can be easily installed with dpkg
-install the package: again, as su, do
dpkg -i dri-Intel-3.4.3006-20051209.i386.deb
-the drivers are now installed, so all you have to do now is to put them into the xorg.conf file:
as su, edit
, and search for the
-section, where your graphics card is described. now change the
On my laptop, which is able to give the vga card up to 128MB of memory as video RAM, Ubuntu only gives 12MB away (you can see this in /var/log/Xorg.0.log). To give the vga card its 128MB memory, add this line to the end of the "Device"-section where you changed the driver:
Now if you reboot and look at the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file, you should see something like:
(II) I810(0): BIOS now sees 12288 kB VideoRAM
(--) I810(0): Pre-allocated VideoRAM: 7932 kByte
(**) I810(0): VideoRAM: 131072 kByte
(--) I810(0): Maximum frambuffer space: 130904 kByte
That's it, you finished installing the drivers! Reboot or just restart the X server (logout and Ctrl-Alt-Backspace) to check if it works.
If it doesn't work or if you wanna undo everything you just did, do the following:
as su, do dpkg -r dri-Intel
as su, change the Driver in the device-section of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file back to vesa (or whatever was there before you changed it to i810) and remove the videoram line
2. Set the widescreen resolution
There's a tool called 915resolution, which hacks the vga BIOS to change the available resolutions. The changes are only temporary (until you reboot) and so there's no risk of messing up your card.
I've noticed, that there is a 915resolution package in the synaptics package manager (at least if you have all available sources activated, like universe and multiverse). Thus, you don't need to download 915resolution by yourself. You can just install it with apt-get or the synaptics package manager.
-download 915resolution for Debian:
-as su, do
dpkg -i 915resolution_0.5-2_i386.deb
you now have 915resolution installed
-again, as su, do
to list the modes of your graphics card
-choose a mode (i recommend the highest resolution, since your laptop screen will probably be unable to use that resolution at all) and set the resolution to the resolution of your choice with
915resolution <mode> <width> <height>
, for example
915resolution 54 1280 800
to set mode 54 to 1280x800
-now that your vga card has the mode (for this session), you need to tell X that your monitor supports that mode, too. So you have to add a "Modeline" to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.
-generate a Modeline for the desired resolution and frequency, for example with the program xorg-edit, or somehow else.
If you use xorg-edit, don't edit your xorg.conf with it! It just messes everything up by setting your keyboard layout to
and such things! just generate the modeline and quit without saving!
-insert the Modeline into your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file:
as su, edit
section, add the Modeline to the end of the section. My Monitor section, for example, looks like this now:
Identifier "Generic Monitor"
Modeline "1280x800" 83.46 1280 1344 1480 1680 800 801 804 828 -HSync +Vsync
-basically, you're done. The problem is, that after a reboot, your video BIOS is resetted, and you have to execute 915resolution again. Fortunately, 915resolution provides startup scripts (in /etc/rc*.d). Unfortunately, they are at the wrong place there.
So, if you want 915resolution to be executed each time you boot Ubuntu and BEFORE gdm is started, you have to do as follows:
-first, remove the old scripts from the rc*.d directories:
as su, do
update-rc.d 915resolution remove
then, insert the scripts before gdm:
usually, Ubuntu goes to runlevel 2 and gdm is started by
so if you want 915resolution to start before gdm:
as su, do
update-rc.d 915resolution defaults 12
you can check if you've done it correctly by looking into
if there's a file called
, everything is fine. If not, go through the steps again and try to find the problem
-now the last thing you have to do is to tell the script what resolution to add to the video BIOS:
as su, edit
and insert the values you want 915resolution to set.
The next time you start your laptop, you should have the desired resolution.
Oh, and while we're at it:
If you boot without a splash screen (so if you have the text scrolling while Ubuntu boots up:
you may want to set the vga mode to a useful value in grub's menu.lst
as su, edit
and in the first line starting with
This makes the text look nice, but it doesn't work with a splash screen! (at least it didn't work for me, but I hate the splash screen anyway )
Beware! I am new to Ubuntu and I'm no Linux expert, so if you have problems, I might not be able to help you!
Feel free to ask, though.