When I ran the PCLinuxOS 9.1 livecd it did not do a good job of detecting my video card. It did however boot into a GUI at 800x600 @ 60Hz. Not bad, just not that good. There are two ways to change the setting to something more to your liking. The first and easiest way is to use the cheat code at the boot: prompt. The second way and the way it is done after it is installed to the hard disk drive is described below.
My ATI Radeon 9200SE video card works with DRI.
DRI = Direct Rendering Infrastructure - 3d hardware acceleration.
I'm told that the Radeon cards up to the 9200 series will use the open source DRI code. Cards after 9200 will not, and use ATI's closed source drivers for DRI.
Using the supplied cheat code to boot up in livecd mode...
Type in one of the following:
"livecd xres=1280x1024 xbpp=16"
"livecd xres=1024x768 xbpp=16"
At the boot: prompt without the quotes, when you are booting with the livecd.
xres is the resolution of the monitor, 1024x768 in my case.
xbpp is the bits, 8, 16, or 24 that the video card will support.
It's the easiest way if all you are going to do is boot up in livecd mode and check out this distribution.
At the desktop logged in as a user...
You can also goto the K-> Configuration-> PClinuxOS Control Center. And set it up here, but you will lose anything you setup here in livecd mode if you reboot the computer. The settings are only saved to memory in livecd mode! You can explore in here to learn what's going on, before PCLinuxOS is installed on a hard drive.
In the Run as root dialog box, enter the root password, then click on OK.
Next click on the the Hardware tab.
In the Options menu make sure the Experts Mode has a check mark, otherwise you will not see this next icon, it will be hidden in the hard drive install, but visible in the live cd mode.
Click on the Configure basic video settings such as graphics card, monitor, resolution, etc. icon.
You can setup everything on the Graphical Server screen.
Start at the top and work your way down. It's point-n-click.
Graphic Card choose your video card here. (fglrx = 3d)
Monitor choose your monitor here under vendors.
Resolution choose what your video card will support.
Test run the test to see if what you selected works.
Options If you have any put them here.
This is what a correctly configured setup looks like doing the test.
If you see this full screen, click on Yes, anything else should be No.
If you only get a blank screen wait 15 seconds and you will be returned to the Graphical Server dialog box where you can change your selections and try again.
If you can not get your video card and monitor setup correctly then your hardware is not supported, it's that simple.
The whole purpose of livecd's is to see if your hardware is compatible, if it isn't then move on to another distribution. Don't forget to pass along the CD to someone else so they can try it on their computer.
When you have it setup to your liking by clicking on the tabs, click on OK. You should see small text at the top of the last window stating that you need to log out, then control+alt+backspace and log back in for the changes to take effect. Continue to OK your way all the way out then file->quit the PClinuxOS Control Center.
That's right, you have to logout, then click, end current session, then at the login dialog box you do the keyboard combination control+alt+backspace. This will reboot the Xserver and the screen will go blank for probably 5 seconds or so, and when it comes back to the login dialog box you will notice the new screen resolution that you chose. Login back as a user and enjoy.
Do not reboot the computer in livecd mode or you will lose the changes you have just made.
This is how I had to setup my video card and monitor in PCLinuxOS, after I installed it to the hard drive. For whatever reason my Radeon video card and ViewSonic monitor was not properly detected for me during the install, it happens, so I just set it up myself.
Now as root or a user, I can now change my video monitor settings at will using:
K-> Configuration-> Hardware-> KRandRTray
And best of all, I don't have to reboot for them to take effect.
I chose a resolution of 1600x1200 when I set this up.
I could of chosen any resolution that the video card will support.
What it's doing is setting the upper limit to 1600x1200.
My choices are from 400x300 up to 1600x1200
I chose 1024x768 then chose 85Hz
I could have chosen 1280x1024 when I set this up and this would be the upper limit. Any upper limit less than your video card can support is fine.