I work a lot at the console of my Linux systems, I do not have gdm or something like that to start my graphics mode, and usually use startx command to enter in graphics mode.

But I do not want to work at the default resolution of the screen as it is not scrollable and it has too few lines, so I usually change it.

Here is how you can also do that if you also like to work in text mode.

Your first need to edit your /boot/grub/menu.lst file with your favorite text editor, I like vim

sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.lst

Then find the kernel line, the complete block should look like this.

# (0) Arch Linux
title  Arch Linux
root   (hd2,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/1069fde9-8696-49a8-bbec-b8f35458f4d9 ro
initrd /boot/kernel26.img

It is a good idea, to copy this blog with almost no changes a little bit below, so your file will look now like this.

# (0) Arch Linux
title  Arch Linux
root   (hd2,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/1069fde9-8696-49a8-bbec-b8f35458f4d9 ro
initrd /boot/kernel26.img
# (1) Arch Linux 
title  Arch Linux default resolution
root   (hd2,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/1069fde9-8696-49a8-bbec-b8f35458f4d9 ro
initrd /boot/kernel26.img

This is in case you loose the display

Now change the kernel like to look like this.

# (0) Arch Linux
title  Arch Linux
root   (hd2,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/1069fde9-8696-49a8-bbec-b8f35458f4d9 ro vga=795
initrd /boot/kernel26.img
# (1) Arch Linux 
title  Arch Linux default resolution
root   (hd2,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/1069fde9-8696-49a8-bbec-b8f35458f4d9 ro
initrd /boot/kernel26.img

Look at the vga=795 text added to the kernel line, this will make it start in 1280x1024 at 16 bits of color.

Here are the codes for other modes.

640x480 800x600 1024x768 1280x1024
256 0x301 0x303 0x305 0x307
32k 0x310 0x313 0x316 0x319
64k 0x311 0x314 0x317 0x31A
16M 0x312 0x315 0x318 0x31B

Those are in Hex mode, you can use them like that or convert to decimal to use them.

Look here to Convert from Hex to decimal