Changing Video Settings on SunBlade 100

To change the display resolution or refresh rate on a SunBlade 100 or similar Sun hardware isn’t as easy as it sounds. Or at least it’s not obvious. These directions are for an M64 type graphics accelerator. The steps are similar for other Sun graphics accelerators, but the command will be different (maybe ffbconfig). Check your hardware documentation for details.

These coommands should be run as root. I recommend running these commands via ssh from another system. If you accidentally change the resolution to something that is not supported you won’t be able to see so well to change it back.

To change video settings you’ll first want to find out what the card and display are capable of.

m64config -res ?

This will print the resolution and refresh rate options you have. Where three numbers are listed this represents the horizontal and vertical resolution and refresh rate respectively.

The current configuration will be shown with a [3] next to it. Write down the current resolution and refresh rate. There are a lot to choose from and you’ll want to know you can get back to one that works.

Configurations marked with a [2] are not supported by the video card and will probably not work.

To change the settings run this command with the desired resolution/refresh rate. The now forces the system to change these settings immediately rather than at next refresh.

m64config -res 1024x768x75 now

Your monitor should click and flicker and with luck will then come back at the new resolution. If it doesn’t you can change it back to the old settings by running the m64config command with the orignal settings. You did write the old setting down like I told you to right?

solaris, sun, unix, system administration, sysadmin

3 thoughts on “Changing Video Settings on SunBlade 100”

  1. Respectfully, when writing up a blog, not only should you reference the relevant man pages (m64config(1M)) but it often helpful to read them :-0 — options like ‘try’ are worth mentioning as are -prconf and -propt worth a look before you change anything.

    IMPORTANTLY, these commands are best invoked from the console without the X Windows Systems running (a prereq for ‘try’ functioning correctly I seem to remember)

    To all SysAdmin bloggers: With people drowning in a sea of information, research your comments, make sure you have read the man page on the command you are recommending, reference it, and any you found useful. Try an be informed on a topic before you start dispensing advice… people (and the ‘wisdom’ they pass on) is a big reason why computing is misunderstood.

    Please do not take personal offence, its not intended that way.


  2. Peter, thanks for commenting. I haven’t used the ‘try’ option but thanks for mentioning it.

    I usually do mention to folks to check the man pages for more info, but most folks who know how to do that don’t need to be reminded.

    As for leaving out options, I try to provide a reference so someone can quickly understand the minimum steps to make a change. I expect those who want to get fancier to be looking at the man pages etc.

    No personal offence taken. This is why comments are there. One of the greatest (and possibly most underused) strengths of blogs are that they allow feedback, positive or negative, from anyone.

  3. Thanks for this quick tip! Just wanted to let you know that this helped tremendously! We have been trying to get our E450’s connected up to our KVM’s for sometime, and this quick tip got it fixed in 2 minutes! Thanks again!


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