855patch, 855wrap, 845patch, 865patch

[go straight to the downloads] [supported computers]

UPDATED 2005-07-27: Updated links to related pages.
UPDATED 2005-03-08: Changed links to contributed Debian packages.
UPDATED 2004-09-07: Added 845patch for FreeBSD 5.
UPDATED 2004-08-09: Minor updates, added a possibility to donate money.
UPDATED 2004-05-31: A fix was released to add support for the 1400x1050 resolution on i855GM. [more]

Here you'll find some small hacks to overcome problems exhibited by some computers with Intel 855GM, 845 or 865 embedded graphics (Dell Inspiron 500m, Dell Latitude D400, Dell Inspiron 1100, Dell Optiplex GX270 and others) while running XFree86 and other X-Window implementations (like X.Org) under Linux and other operating systems.

Some of these computers don't allocate enough video memory so that XFree86 is only able to run at low resolutions and/or color depths (e.g. 640x480x16bit). XFree86 can allocate more memory but it can not tell the BIOS it did so, so the BIOS refuses to set higher resolutions.
Here's where the patches come into play: They tell the BIOS the amount of memory XFree86 will allocate so you can use higher resolutions. Note that they do not actually allocate the memory, XFree86 must do that otherwise your system may become unstable because it is using unallocated memory.

Some newer models with 855GM chipset (e.g. Dell Inspiron 510m and Dell Latitude D505) have an updated BIOS which is able to set the memory size by itself, thus making 855patch obsolete on these systems. Unfortunately the BIOS introduces a new bug causing XFree86 to freeze (with a green screen) when using the i810 driver. I wrote a small hack called 855wrap which wraps around the BIOS and prevents the buggy function from being called. It can also be downloaded below.

The functionality of 855patch and 855wrap was added to XFree86 and is included in XFree86 4.4.x and its betas. So if you have got a really new version of XFree86 you may not need 855patch or 855wrap anymore.

System requirements

If you configure XFree86 by editing XF86Config the last two points can be achieved:


Download the appropiate patch for your chipset, extract it, make it and copy the executable (855patch, 855wrap, 845patch or 865patch) to some location in the path, e.g. /usr/bin. Or use one of the contributed packages, if available.


Known bugs


Alain Poirier wrote a program called 855resolution to get the 1400x1050 resolution on i855GM based computers. It has been tested successfully on a lot of computers. Please refer to Alain's web page for more information and for downloading.


855patch, 855wrap, 845patch and 865patch are free to use, distribute or modify. But please mention my name and the names of the respective contributors.
I tried to make the programs as safe as possible but obviously I can't guarantee that they'll work for you. So don't blame me if something bad happens. This might especially be the case if the system requirements aren't met.

Donate money

As I wrote above, 855patch, 855wrap, 845patch and 865patch are free, so you don't have to pay money to anyone to use them. But maybe one of these programs saved your day and you're looking for a way to thank me for the time and effort I put in this software. Then please feel free donating me an amount of your choice via PayPal. 

Downloads (general)

Downloads for older i855GM-based computers: 855patch

Downloads for newer i855GM-based computers: 855wrap

Downloads for i845-based computers

Downloads for i865-based computers

Related links


855patch, 855wrap, 845patch and most of 865patch were written by me, Christian Zietz, czietz@gmx.net. I'm interested in hearing if they work for you. But please understand that my time available for this software is limited, so that I can't guarantee a prompt and detailed response to all of your requests, especially if they are not specific to the software on this page but about general Linux/X issues. If you want to thank me, you can also donate money via PayPal.

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