Use setcrtmode as noted in the adjacent post to peter bostwick.
I don't know how to get VGA mode before linux gui.
I'm surprised that this did not work as it is accessing the local loop file. I will have to test with my Ubuntu VM and let you know. This won't happen tonight as I'm sick. I built the linux_loop on a FAT PS2 locally, hopefully this is not the only environment that it can be modified under...I have put alot of effort into attempts to resolve the bulk write problem, but no fixes yet.
Is there a way of installing packiges on the loop image under (Ubuntu for example)?
PS2 v9 NTSC, PS2 v12 NTSC, PS2 v15 VESA