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Sunday, December 13, 2009

How To: Change Resolution on PS3 for Ubuntu Linux (576x384 ps3videomode)

When I first installed Ubuntu Linux on my Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) a few weeks ago (how to guide is here), the first thing I noticed was the video mode and resolution was a really bad 576x384. So bad in fact, that I could not even see to run the various update programs to automatically upgrade the Ubuntu Linux operating system from the 9.04 packaged installation to the 9.10 current distribution for PS3.

After a couple of hours of tinkering, frustration, and looking through several guides -- I finally figured out how to not only detect the resolutions that would work with my Television and the Ubuntu installation on the PS3, but also how to set the resolution so it would take effect in GNOME and whenever the PS3 booted to Linux.

This guide will take you through the process so you can very quickly get your Unbuntu installation running at the right resolution so you can use it the most effectively.

To get started, you first need to realize there are two steps to the process. The first step is that you will need to test out various video modes to figure out which video mode you prefer. Once you have the video mode figured out; we'll then go ahead and put it in your startup commands so you can now use the new resolution and not be stuck with the 576x384 video mode.

Here we go...

1. The first thing you need to do is to enter the full console mode. To do this, just quickly hit Ctrl-Alt-F1. From here you will need to login. If you try the following commands in the terminal screen in the Ubuntu Desktop, you will not see the desire results. You can shift back to the Desktop mode at anytime by using the shortcut Ctrl-Alt-F7.

2. Once you have logged into console mode, we now will get familiar with a new command called "ps3videomode" which is a program that will allow you to test and change the video mode on your Playstation 3. Type "sudo ps3videomode -h" to see the output and options for the command. Here is the output:

sudo ps3videomode -h
ps3-video-mode (ps3-utils) 2.0.2

ps3-video-mode [options]

--help, -h print this message
--video, -v set video mode ID
--full, -f use full screen mode
--color, -c use HDMI full range
--dither,-d use dither ON mode

Video mode ID:
0:auto mode
YUV 60Hz 1:480i 2:480p 3:720p 4:1080i 5:1080p
YUV 50Hz 6:576i 7:576p 8:720p 9:1080i 10:1080p
RGB 60Hz 33:480i 34:480p 35:720p 36:1080i 37:1080p
RGB 50Hz 38:576i 39:576p 40:720p 41:1080i 42:1080p

full screen mode:

3. Having familiarized yourself with the command and options, now it is time to find out where the video mode is currently set to. Simply type "sudo ps3video mode" to see the current setting, the output is likely to be a single number and "1". Just a quick note, if you get the message "error open:-1" when typing the command -- it is most likely because you forgot to type "sudo" in front of your ps3videomode command. Lastly, both "ps3-video-mode" and "ps3videomode" are accepted commands.

4. Now it is time to test out which video modes work best on your computer. I recommend starting with setting "2" and working your way up until you are happy...or encounter an issue. The command to test out video mode 2 which is 480p would be "sudo ps3videomode -v 2", for 720p, "sudo ps3videomode -v 3", and so on until you have full 1080p with "sudo ps3videomode -v 5".

If you encounter any issues during the process; in that the screen will not render properly, you can always try the previous setting by hitting the back arrow once, the up arrow once and hitting enter (assuming you are doing the commands in successive order) or hit Ctrl+Alt+F7 to go back to the desktop mode.

5. Once you have a setting you're happy with you can further tune it by turning on dither mode (adding 2048) or full screen mode (add 128). As an example, video mode 3 with dither and full screen would look like "sudo ps3videomode -v 2179". Now remember the number that you like the best.

6. Now we are going to go into the startup configuration and create the setting that will enable your Ubuntu OS on PS3 to use that mode. We will be using the nano command editor to make the changes. From the command line, type "sudo nano /etc/kboot.conf" which will launch you into the command editor.

7. Find the line that looks like:
linux='/boot/vmlinux initrd=/boot/initrd.img root=UUID=256a61d2-fd0c-449c-8b7f-9ed6effc0c62 quiet'

8. Add the following to the end of the line after quiet (without the quotes) " video=ps3fb:mode:3" where the number 3 represents the video mode you settled on in step 5. The line should look like the following:

linux='/boot/vmlinux initrd=/boot/initrd.img root=UUID=256a61d2-fd0c-449c-8b7f-9ed6effc0c62 quiet video=ps3fb:mode:3'

9. Now hit Ctrl+O to save the file, then Ctrl+X to exit the editor.

10. Finally, type in "sudo reboot" to reboot the Ubuntu system and for the new video mode to be utilized in not only the console, but also the Ubuntu Desktop with you new resolution.

Congratulations, you have not gotten rid of the dreaded 576x384 resolution. Did this solution work for you? If so, let me know with a comment.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!