VGA mode is changing during boot


my linux pc is connected to a lcd monitor with native resolution 1280x1024.

The font at the textconsoles is too small for me.
So I changed the entry “vga=…” in the file /boot/grub/menu.lst to “vga=0x0314”.

During the first few seconds the screen-resolution matches the setting of the vga-mode, but after then the vga-mode automatically switches to 1280x1024 (only at the textconsoles).

The x-server is configured to 800x600 which is the resolution I want.

I also tried vga=normal and vga=788.

In older suse-version 10 and lower never had this problem.
It seems to be new in version 11.

Any ideas?

Thank you.

The screen resolution is now set in the console, indeed after a few seconds, and the vga option is then ignored. If it is not desired, append “nomodeset” to the kernel options.


thank you, but this does not work for me, because I need the x-server to start.

When I append “nomodeset” to the kernel, the x-server does not start.
But you are right: with “nomodeset” the vga-mode does not change during boot.

Any more ideas?

It’s not that simple. The “vga=” option does not persist through the boot option due to 11.3 implementing Kernel Mode Setting (KMS). Using “nomodeset” as a boot option, depending on the graphics driver (if supporting KMS), can invalidate the driver normally loaded by default and cause a different graphics driver to be loaded e.g. the “intel” driver would not be loaded and would be replaced by “fbdev”, an inferior driver in performance with limited resolution support. Refer to the 11.3 release notes for the possible changes by “nomodeset”. The OP may not want that to happen. :wink:

Oops, unfortunately my warning came too late. At least you have the explanation.

Sadly you’re not alone:

Console screen font very small in openSUSE 11.3 - Linux Forums

Bug report:


thanks for the answers, but is there a workaround for the problem?

With drivers using KMS, you can set the display mode you want via grub (/boot/grub/menu.lst if you want it to be permanent) with the ‘video=’ parameter.

For example, to set 800x600@60Hz, you can use


To test, from boot wait ubntil the grub menu appears, type the ‘video=’ parameter (in format as above), then press [ENTER]

The tty console should now be in the desired display mode (which directly affects your font size displayed).