Writing surface smaller than monitor-sceen?


is it possible to adjust the writing surface of the tty-consoles considerably smaller than the screen
of the monitor? If so, how?


Thanks for suggestions,

Are you able to shift the image horizontally via the monitor settings? (I’ve seen this too with certain monitor and graphics card combinations.)

No – I did not know how.

Does the monitor have a menu (or remote) of some kind?

Yes, it have. But if I move the horizontal tty consoles to the right so the same is true for X Window KDE
desktop. My idea is this run such a right shift only for the tty consoles. I suspect that this does not work.

Maybe you could configure grub2 (/etc/default/grub) to set a particular frame-buffer resolution (that is compatible with your monitor) eg


then run

grub2-mkconfig  -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

and reboot.

I have seen some references that mention setting GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX so that the display resolution is preserved (with the same resolution set by GRUB_GFXMODE)


GNU GRUB Manual 2.00: gfxpayload

I’ll leave you to research this further. It might take some experimentation.

Please see:



Did some research (may need to be verified),
Largely based on the Arch Linux Wiki

But also consistent with various other sources…

It appears that when a video driver is running in KMS mode, the hardware screen resolution is passed to the tty console, so by default you probably can’t modify the tty display. And, for this reason it’s likely that trying to manipulate hardware display resources to change the tty resolution will also affect graphical displays.

There are some references to switching from KMS to User mode video drivers, but YMMV.
There are also some references to switching from open source drivers (again, in KMS mode) to proprietary drivers but that recommendation may be obsolete… Current proprietary drivers from nVidia and ATI may not use the open source stack but are likely to still behave similarly today.

The alternative likely is to invoke a windowed console instead of a bare tty console.


Please see further:



As I noted in my post,
One try is to turn off KMS (which is what nomodeset does), but it’s anyone’s guess how long this <might> work, and for this to work may also require running non-proprietary video drivers although that may be evolving as well.

I guess in my own mind why this should be a major issue if you’re running a Desktop (ie window manager) because in that environment you can run windowed consoles instead of tty.