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Change Screen Resolution in Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi 3

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There have been issues with the Raspberry Pi and Kali Linux when it comes to screen resolution. More specifically, if you install VNC Viewer on Raspberry Pi with Kali Linux and successfully access the Raspberry Pi remotely you will notice that the screen resolution isn’t the correct size. When accessing your Raspberry Pi remotely it cannot detect the correct screen resolution and the default size is usually too small for larger monitors. We will show you how to change screen resolution in Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi 3 in this tutorial.

If you use a mini LCD screen with your Raspberry Pi it will automatically use the screen resolution of that LCD screen when accessing it remotely from another computer or device. So if you have a 3.5″ LCD monitor plugged into your Raspberry Pi it will detect a screen resolution of 480 X 320. If you are using a monitor with a 1920 X 1080 screen resolution to connect to your Raspberry Pi remotely it won’t utilize the entire screen size because it will be only using the 480 X 320 screen resolution. You will need to change screen resolution in Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi 3.

HOW TO CHANGE SCREEN RESOLUTION IN KALI LINUX ON RASPBERRY PI 3?

In order to manually change screen resolution in Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi 3 you will need to create a file named config.txt. The Raspberry Pi doesn’t have a BIOS like most conventional computers have because it is an embedded platform. Rather than editing system configuration parameters in the BIOS the Raspberry Pi uses a text file named config.txt which is read by the GPU before the ARM CPU and it must be located on the first boot partition of the SD card where you have Kali Linux installed.

Your Kali install has two partitions:

  • /dev/mmcblk0p1 (boot partition)
  • /dev/mmcblk0p2 (normal file system)

To begin you will first need to have Kali booted up and have a terminal session opened. Then you need to navigate to the root file directory by typing:

cd /

When you are in the root directory you will need to create a new directory named fat32. This folder is equivalent to the /boot/ folder, but without a name collision. The directory name doesn’t have to be named fat32 either. The name is arbitrary so you can name it anything you want. To create this directory type the following into your terminal session:

mkdir /fat32

After the directory is created you will need to mount the boot partition by typing the following into your terminal session:

mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /fat32/

When you mount this partition it will automatically create specific files in your fat32 directory. You can view these files by navigating back to the root directory using the “cd /” command and then using the “cd fat32” command to navigate to the fat32 directory. Now that you are in the fat32 directory you can use the “ls” command to view all the files.

Change Screen Resolution in Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi 3 - fat32 directory

CREATING THE CONFIG.TXT FILE

Now that you have the fat32 directory and the boot partition mounted you will need to create the config.txt file in the fat32 directory. Make sure that you are in the fat32 directory before you create the file.  In your terminal type in:

nano config.txt

When the config.txt file is created you need to paste the following into the file:

# For more options and information see
# https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/config-txt.md
# Some settings may impact device functionality. See link above for details

# uncomment if you get no picture on HDMI for a default "safe" mode
#hdmi_safe=1

# uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible
# and your display can output without overscan
disable_overscan=1

# uncomment the following to adjust overscan. Use positive numbers if console
# goes off screen, and negative if there is too much border
#overscan_left=16
#overscan_right=16
#overscan_top=16
#overscan_bottom=16

# uncomment to force a console size. By default it will be display's size minus
# overscan.
framebuffer_width=1920
framebuffer_height=1080
framebuffer_depth=32
framebuffer_ignore_alpha=1

# uncomment if hdmi display is not detected and composite is being output
#hdmi_force_hotplug=1

# uncomment to force a specific HDMI mode (this will force VGA)
#hdmi_group=1
#hdmi_mode=1

# uncomment to force a HDMI mode rather than DVI. This can make audio work in
# DMT (computer monitor) modes
hdmi_drive=2

# uncomment to increase signal to HDMI, if you have interference, blanking, or
# no display
#config_hdmi_boost=4

# uncomment for composite PAL
#sdtv_mode=2

After you have pasted the above text in the config.txt file you need to save it by pressing “Ctrl + x“, then “y“, then “Enter“. You should notice above that the framebuffer_width=1920 and the framebuffer_height=1080. These settings pertain to the resolution. If the resolution of the screen you plan on using is 1920 x 1080 then keep these settings otherwise you will need to change these values to match the resolution of the monitor you plan on using.

UNMOUNTING THE PARTITION

When you have the config.txt file configured you will need to unmount the partition. Navigate back to the root directory by using the command:

cd /

Now unmount the partition by typing in:

umount /fat32

When the partition is unmounted you will need to reboot Kali before you see the changes. You can reboot by using the command:

reboot

CHANGE SCREEN RESOLUTION IN KALI LINUX ON RASPBERRY PI 3 COMPLETE

You should notice that when Kali reboots the screen resolution should be changed to the resolution that you specified in the config.txt file.

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