Fix low resolution grub and splash screen with Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu 14.04
With the Nvidia official drivers you are able to throttle the performance of the nvidia graphic cards (gpu) to the maximum. However there are small glitches that need to be fixed manually.
After installing and enabling the nvidia proprietory drivers you would notice that the grub screen and the Ubuntu splash screen (called Plymouth at startup and shutdown are displaying in a low resolution graphics mode. It is generally as low as 640x480 px.
The low resolution is caused because the Nvidia graphics drivers are not yet loaded at the point of grub screen and splash screen. At that point the system can display whatever resolution the graphics card supports via the VESA BIOS extensions. 640x480 being the most viable resolution, is used hence.
The splash screen being in low resolution is not likely to cause any problems, but the grub screen should have a better resolution when you need to work at the grub console for example.
So this quick tutorial shows you how to fix the resolution at these screens. Note that this has only been tested on Ubuntu 14.04 and many other users have reported issues with this method either not working or causing a blank screens at different places.
The steps shown here can only change the resolution to a higher (supported) value, but may not provide the native resolution of your lcd monitor.
1. Fix the grub boot menu screen
To fix the grub boot menu screen edit the file /etc/default/grub
$ sudo nano /etc/default/grub
In the file look for the section that has a field named GRUB_GFXMODE declared.
# The resolution used on graphical terminal # note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE # you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo' #GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480
Edit it to look something like this
Now run the following command to regenerate the grub configuration file.
$ sudo update-grub2
Now reboot your system. The grub boot screen should have the resolution 1024x768.
Get a higher resolution
At the Grub boot screen press 'c' key to access the grub console. At the grub console run the following command
It will display all the supported resolutions. If you find a resolution higher than 1024x768 in the list, then you can use it as the value of GRUB_GFXMODE to get better. Make sure to select a resolution that matches the aspect ratio of the native resolution of your monitor.
2. Fix the splash screen
To fix the splash screen create and edit
$ sudo nano /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash
And fill it with the following line
Now run the following command
$ sudo update-initramfs -u
Reboot again and now the startup and shutdown splash screens should have the resolution specified in GRUB_GFXMODE field of the grub configuration file.