SiS 671 or 771 video card in Linux Mint 13, Xubuntu 12.04 and Lubuntu 12.04


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The infamous SiS graphics cards are difficult to tame in Linux, unfortunately. Luckily there's a good solution now for the SiS 671/771 video card, although it requires some manual work.

The most common problem with this card is, that the screen resolution is incorrect. Usually far too low. With this how-to you can solve that.

You have no graphical screen at all? Then do this first.


Only for Linux Mint 13 (and Xubuntu 12.04 and Lubuntu 12.04)

Unfortunately you can't use this solution in Ubuntu 14.04 or Linux Mint 17, because its kernel and X.org are unfit for this particular solution.


This how-to will only work in Linux Mint 13, not in later versions. That's probably no big problem, because this older version is long term supported until April, 2017.

Do you have a newer version now, and do you want to switch? Linux Mint 13 Xfce can be downloaded from this page. Wiping your current Linux and installing Linux Mint 13 is simple.



The how-to (written for Linux Mint 13 Xfce, but applicable in Xubuntu 12.04 and Lubuntu 12.04 as well)

1. Determine the architecture of your system, in order to find out whether it's 32-bit or 64-bit:

Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type:
arch

Press Enter.

If the output is i686, your system is 32 bit. If the output is x86_64, your system is 64 bit.


2. Download the driver:

For 32 bit Linux Mint 13 (the default), get this compressed file. It contains the 32 bit versions of the files sis671_drv.la and sis671_drv.so and a modified xorg.conf, in a compressed state.

The first two files are the actual driver, and the last file contains modified settings.

For 64 bit Linux Mint 13, get this compressed file. It contains the 64 bit versions of the files sis671_drv.la and sis671_drv.so and a modified xorg.conf, in a compressed state.

The first two files are the actual driver, and the last file contains modified settings.


3. Compressed files aren't useful. So unpack the three files in the folder Downloads, like this:

Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Use copy/paste to transfer the following command line to the terminal (it's one line):

cd Downloads && tar xvzf ~/Downloads/sis*.tar.gz

Press Enter.

(continued in the column on the right)


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4. Now you're going to copy the two unpacked files of the actual driver, into a system folder:

Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Use copy/paste to transfer the following command line to the terminal (it's one line):

sudo mv -v ~/Downloads/sis671_drv.* /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers

Press Enter. Your password will remain entirely invisible, not even dots will show, this is normal.


5. Now you're going to place the modified settings file in another system folder, which forces the system to use the new driver:

Use copy/paste to transfer the following command line to the terminal (it's one line):

sudo mv -v ~/Downloads/xorg.conf /etc/X11

Press Enter.


6. Reboot your computer. The screen resolution should be alright now.


With thanks to Antonio J. de Oliveira.

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