Using the IBM 9516-A03 TFT on Linux (Xfree86 4)


The 9516-A03 TFT monitor from IBM is a very nice piece of hardware which has some limitations making it difficult to configure it correctly on the Linux Operating System. It only supports resolutions of 640x480 and 1280x1024 both at 60hz refresh rate.

XFree configuration

To use the monitor in X the following monitor-section works:
Section "Monitor"
        Identifier   "TFT"
        VendorName   "IBM"
        HorizSync    30-80
        VertRefresh  59-61
        Option "DPMS"
And the screen-subsection "display" should look like
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       24
        Modes       "1280x1024" "640x480"
        ViewPort    0 0
With these changes made to /etc/X11/XF86config-4, the X-Window-System should start up. You may notice flickering or other distortions. These are cured by running the calibration program.


The calibration program (xcolorbar) displays different coloured bars and a barcode which triggers the auto-setup feature of the display. IBM has included the source in the xcolorbar package for sun which compiles with xmkmf && make.
Here is a precompiled version for linux-x86: xcolorbar-linux.bin If you still have flickering, try changing the Phase. (Push setup-button on the back, push brightness-up...).
My current "perfect" settings are:
PHASE    22
VREF R  138
VREF G  136
VREF B  147
H-POS   171
V-POS    37
Calibration for other platforms and monitor-documentation can be found here.

Debug menu

To enable the debug menu, do the following:
1. Enter the menu (press setup-button on the back)
2. press both brightness-buttons simultaneously
3. press both contrast-buttons simultaneously
4. press the brightness-down button

Michael Gernoth