Introduction

The screen resolution defines how crispy your images will look like.

Higher screen resolutions also allow for more screen real estate and thus allows you to have more windows side-by-side to simplify your workflow and minimize window switching.

Maximum screen resolution depends on the capabilities of your graphics card and the size and resolution of your monitor.

Ideally, the selected resolution is equal to the monitor resolution to avoid scaling artifacts.

For optimum results your game is equally configured for the same screen resolution if running full screen.

There are however use cases where you either:

  • Require the information on your current resolution
  • Need to change your resolution (e.g. to avoid video re-sampling when creating screen videos, or to reduce your live stream bandwidth)

Guide

Here you may find some useful methods to check your display resolution.

1.  There are times when one does not want to open a game or another application to verify the current screen resolution.
The quickest way then is using the command line (does not require root privileges):
xrandr | grep '*'

This will list the current resolution, e.g.
1920x1080 60.02*+

2. You may also check your current and the maximum, as well as other permitted screen resolutions.
Simply use the plain xrandr:
xrandr

This will list all available resolutions, with your current resolution marked with an asterisk “*”:
Xrandr output

3. Now that we have learned to love the power of xrandr, we may also list the available monitors and their capabilities:
xrandr --listmonitors

It will show the available monitors with name, maximum and minimum resolutions, and mark on the currently used monitor:
Xrandr monitor listing

4. If you are using KDE or Plasma Desktop, you may directly go to the System Settings and under Hardware select the Display and Monitor program to see your current and possible screen resolutions:
KDE display configuration

Similar system configuration tools are available on most common desktop environments.

5. Alternatively, on openSUSE Linux, YaST2 Hardware Information can show the current display and monitor information
openSUSE display hardware information

6. Your favorite flavor Linux distribution offers additional or similar ways of verifying your display resolution. As usual, mileage may vary, but approaches should be similar, that is using a configuration tool.

Tips

Use the –help option in xrandr to see a complete list of possibilities that xrandr offers:
xrandr --help

You can also change the screen resolution with xrandr using the -s option:
xrandr -s 1920x1080

There are other applications that integrate with your desktop to view and change your display settings and more. One of those has been krandr, which has since been replaced by kscreen under KDE.

Summary

Whenever you may want to check your display resolution, there are generally two methods available:

  1. Using command line and xrandr.
  2. Using a system configuration tool.

The first method may be advisable if you want to copy or export the results as text.
The second method maybe more appropriate for inexperienced users (and those that just don’t like typing), or just a quick peek.

References

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