Thursday, March 26, 2009

VGA Utility for EeePC

Asus has recently provided a VGA Utility (vga-utility) for EeePC 701 models which allows a virtual desktop of 1024x768 with panning. This is especially useful to users of EeePC 4G with the small 7" screen which only supports 800x480 screen resolution.

This utility is now available as update from "Add/Remove Software" for 701 models, but in fact it will work for all EeePC models (and perhaps all Linux distros). Here are the steps how to install this utility for other EeePC models:

1) Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add this line:
sudo kwrite /etc/apt/sources.list
deb p701 main

2) Update apt cache
sudo apt-get update
3) Install vga-utility
sudo apt-get install vga-utility
[NB. An alternative to the first 3 steps is to download the package vga-utility_1.0.2_i386.deb and install by right click on it and select "Install DEB file"]

4) For EeePC models that do not use the user simpleui.rc in /home/user/.AsusLauncher/ (i.e. 900 and later models), you will need to manually add the "Easy Mode" desktop icon shortcut to run this program. You can either edit your user simpleui.rc in /var/lib/AsusLauncher/ or the system default simpleui.rc in /opt/xandros/share/AsusLauncher/ and add these lines:

<parcel simplecat="Settings" extraargs="/opt/VGA_Utility/VGA_Utility" icon="desktop_mode_norm.png" selected_icon="desktop_mode_hi.png" packages="vga-utility">
<name lang="en">VGA Utility Update
<desc lang="en">Ver.1.0.1 2008-10-27 VGA Utility Update。 Please Press"Install",for installing。
<name lang="zh_CN">VGA 程序更新</name>
<desc lang="zh_CN">Ver.1.0.1 2008-10-27 VGA 程序更新。 请按"安装"以执行安装。</desc>
<include>en zh_CN</include>
For detailed instruction, please refer to this wiki: Adding icons to Easy Mode.

5) Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to change the default virtual display from 1024x768 to 1680x1680:

sudo kwrite /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen1"
Device "Device1"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Virtual 1024 768 <--- 1680 1680
Depth 8
SubSection "Display"
Virtual 1024 768 <--- 1680 1680
Depth 15
SubSection "Display"
Virtual 1024 768 <--- 1680 1680
Depth 16
SubSection "Display"
Virtual 1024 768 <--- 1680 1680
Depth 24

6) Restart X

Changing Virtual Display Size

By default, VGA Utility set virtual display to 1024x768. But actually the display card of the EeePC can support a virtual display up to 1680x1680. This can be easily changed by editing the script /opt/VGA_Utility/script/

The following modelines are known to be supported by the EeePC display card:
"800x480" 29.6 800 816 896 992 480 481 484 497 -hsync +vsync
"800x600" 38.22 800 832 912 1024 600 601 604 622
"1024x600" 49.0 1024 1064 1168 1312 600 601 604 622 -hsync +vsync
"1024x768" 64.56 1024 1056 1296 1328 768 783 791 807
"1280x1024" 135.00 1280 1296 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +HSync +VSync
"1680x1050" 147.14 1680 1784 1968 2256 1050 1051 1054 1087
To avoid the trouble editing them every time, I have written separate scripts for different resolutions 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1680x1050, together with a shell script which offers a menu to choose desired virtual screen size (and copy it to overwrite the original

You can download my package change_startpan.tgz, unpack it and run the script, which will then move the scripts to /opt/VGA_Utility/script/ and the script to /home/user/bin.

Edit 2009/5/29: I have modified the "" script, now displaying a nice GUI dialog for the user to select virtual display resolution and a warning when VGA_Utility is found running.

Beware that you will need to return display from "Pan Mode" to "Normal Mode", and close VGA_Utility before you change because will be running until VGA_Utility is closed.


  1. your script is not accessible, it very "sympas" if you can corrige it

  2. I have uploaded the scripts to and updated the link above.

  3. I have installed the utility in eeebuntu and it seems to work fine, but I can't get the screen to pan. Is there a key combination to pan?

  4. It's working fast. I like information provided by you. It's a latest & interesting. Thanks

  5. This script is working best. I like this. Thanks again.