Change console (tty) resolution on Debian Wheezy

I enjoy using Linux and also the terminal, I don’t have a problem typing all day in front of a wall of text, but I need smaller text so I can see more of it.

Problem: The text is too large on the console.

Solution: Update your TTY config file with a video “mode”.

By console I mean the TTY console (press ctrl-alt-f1 through f6). First, make sure hwinfo is installed:

sudo apt-get install hwinfo

Then run:

hwinfo --framebuffer

This will list a bunch of video modes (resolutions and bit depth, by codes). Find the video resolution you want to use and its code. Mine listed

Mode 0x031b: 1280x1024 (+5120), 24 bits

This looked good to me. Edit the configuration file for the TTY consoles:

sudo nano /etc/default/console-setup

In the field titled “VIDEOMODE”, add the code of the video mode you’d like. I put:


For Nano users, hit Ctrl-x and Y to save changes. Run

sudo update-grub

Then, restart your computer. You should have a higher resolution text display the next time you switch to the TTY console.