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Re: "Modes" versus "Virtual" in xorg.conf

On Fri, 25 Mar 2011 08:31:07 -0800, peasthope wrote:

> Either of these in /etc/X11/xorg.conf will set the display resolution.

Hum... I'd say "yes but no" :-P

Both values can be used to serve the same purpose (screen resolution) but 
they are intended for different use.

For instance, you can specify a fallback list of modes (available 
resolucions) such 1920x1200, 1152x864,800x600,640x480 while you can only 
get one virtual size (whatever you specify).

Besides, both values control different settings (resolution is different 
that virtual deskop). This effectively translates into that you can have 
a 17" CRT monitor with 1024x768 screen resolution but a virtual size of 
1920x1200 (you will have to move your mouse up/down/right/left to reach 
the boundaries :-)

> "Modes" is far more common that "Virtual" in cited xorg.conf examples.
> Why?  Is this a matter of technical efficiency?  Is the Virtual setting
> just more recent than Modes?

Both values are reminiscences of the "old times", but I'd say virtual 
modes accomodate better with the new Xorg server which tries to set all 
the setting on-the-fly with no need of static configuration file 
(xorg.conf). And IIRC, defining a "virtual" value has less drawbacks than 
using a static "mode" (if you replace your monitor with another one, your 
display can be happier of having a big/different value for virtual 
desktop but can get stuck when trying to set a concrete "mode" that does 
not match its current specs).



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