On-board graphics card resolution

I am using an ancient HP LH4 Netserver as home mediaserver and am having trouble with the on board graphics setup.

I know the chips can give me 1024x768x256 colours which is primitive I know but all I need. The display works fine using GRADD driver in OS/2 (if anybody out there has heard of that OS) but if I try and set this resolution using YaST I only get 4 bit colour and the best I can get with 8 bit (256) colour is 800x600.

This suggests to me that the driver is probably correct but there may be a more general purpose driver that would work.

Not even sure how to begin here and help would be much appreciated.

I did try adding another graphics card but ran into interrupt/slot problems so will only go back to this if all else fails.


With GRUB as your bootloader, you can add the parameter vga=773 to get a console or a boot screen in 1024768256. It won’t solve your problem, but it will be a quick way to see whether you can achieve the resolution with a framebuffer driver.

If that works, then you may be in with a sniff of a chance by running sax2 from the console, when booted up to runlevel 3. There are command line options which allow you to select vesa modes.

You may also check if the amount of video memory is correctly recognized - and if it is shared that it matches what the BIOS SETUP says. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that on old gpu’s you may need declare the amount with an option in xorg.conf.

This accords with some of the symptoms on shutdown. Sadly I haven’t a clue where to begin sorting it out.
Thanks for the pointer though.

For a start I have opted to have the BIOS flash up the configuration during boot and this has details of some memory setup as I recall. The screen instruction say “pause” key to pause, any other to proceed but it does not pause when I press the pause key, (Northgate Omni Key/102 keyboard). Any ideas whether pause key is mapped somewhere else?


Not sure I understand your problem. If you mean how to enter bios, this is usually done by pressing the DEL key (or F2 in an intel motherboard) a few seconds after turning on the computer. Never saw a bios you had to enter by pressing the PAUSE key. I did see programs where the pause action required pressing SHIFT+PAUSE, only PAUSE wouldn’t work.

In the BIOS there is an option to have the configuration displayed or not displayed before boot process starts.
If set to display the configuration is flashed up on a screen for about 2 seconds and then the boot process continues.
At the bottom of the configuration screen is the instruction press pause to pause …
I shall try the SHIFT+PAUSE. Thanks for the suggestion.