I feel your pain because I had the same problem but
the solution is pretty easy actually. Here it comes:
If you run xf86config it asks you a number of questions about
your keyboard mouse monitor and video card.
After the video card is chosen you are shown (at least I am!)
a list of video modes your card and monitor are capable of. Right ?
Here you have the option to change the modes for every bit depth.
When you say The modes are OK, continue you will not get a chance
to disable the virtual screen.
So you HAVE TO say: Change the modes...etc
On the next prompt you type in the modes you want to be able to
switch between (via Ctrl-Alt-Num+/Ctrl-Alt-Num-, you know?)
and after hitting Enter you will be asked if you want to have
virtual resolution higher than physical res. Thats the point
where you say NO, which I hope solves your problem.
You can repeat the operation for every bit depth.
Thats it basically.
If you still have problems, feel free to mail me.
Im a Linux newbie myself, but if I can help.....
> One nice feature that we have in our labs at the local college is
> being able to change the resolution of the Win95 screen from
> 800x600 to 1024x768. While this can be done with XFree86, XFfree86
> also adds the virtual screen size which is a big pain in the neck.
> I'm setting up a student lab and want the students to be able to
> switch resolutions without the virtual screen size. This will be
> running under Linux and XFree86 SVGA server.
> Does anyone know of a patch to X that in my opinion fixes this
> rather silly configuration option? Virtual can be good, having
> a choice to turn it off is better. If Windows95 can do it surely
> to god XFree can do it.