Changing the Screen Resolution for Raspberry Pi in Debian Wheezy
The Raspberry Pi has two video outputs, an HDMI output and some stanky old
component composite video output that you would expect to see on the back of an old VCR. Using the HDMI output on a newer LCD screen will result in an amazingly crisp image that is quite impossible to read unless you are sitting directly in front of it as though it is a monitor, which is a great way to look ridiculous while simultaneously hurting your eyes. Why not enjoy your TV while sitting on a comfy sofa, and not with your face a couple feet in front of it?
After a vigorous 20 minutes of searching on how to change the font size and eating some toast, I got a bit bored with the lack of results and flavor, respectively. This made me start looking at how to change the resolution which landed a few results for booting with Grub and passing the resolution parameters that way, but I’m not terribly keen on installing grub to require more time during the 30 second boot. Getting no immediate satisfaction from the internet answers, I decided to look around Debian Wheezy until I came across the /boot/config.txt file, which allows you to change the resolution from there.
You’re going to have to access the file as root, so do a little
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
to open the file in nano.
Inside of the file, there are a few lines commented out with hashes that read
Uncomment those, or add a few new ones below.
PROTIP: By careful when trying to add a hash symbol to the file, since it will likely end up being a pound symbol. Raspberry Pi is made by British people who don’t use American keyboards (those savages), so the default keyboard layout is different. The hash symbol is the
forward back slash key. I am assuming that everyone reading this blog is American because as an American, everything is by default American, which is a very delightful American trait which I am certain that you enjoy immensely.
You can change the keyboard layout, memory split, and setup ssh access by entering the following command;
Next, reboot by either yanking the power cord out of the damn thing and plugging it back in, or by gracefully entering
sudo shutdown -r now
into your console.