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Is there a way to save my monitor settings? I have an external monitor at work, but each morning i have to plug it in, rearrange the windows from being side by side to being on top of each other. Can I just save this?

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Configuration for all your monitors - hot-plugged or not - should be stored in $HOME/.config/monitors.xml by the xrandr plugin for gnome-settings-daemon, which is what actually applies the configuration you make in the Monitors capplet.

Since it seems that this isn't working properly for everyone, there's clearly a bug somewhere. Urgh.

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Yeah, and as maco says, if i shut off the computer and boot it back up, it remembers, just not when it's already on. – Oscar Godson Oct 12 '10 at 16:39

First three steps to connect your external monitor the way you want and 4th is to save the settings.

  1. Connect your external monitor and check its supported resolution:

    xrandr -q
    
  2. Give the following command (This will disable your laptop monitor):

    xrandr --output LVDS1 --off --output TV1 --off --output VGA1 --mode 1280x1024 --pos 0x0 --rotate normal
    
  3. If you want both laptop and external enabled:

    xrandr --output LVDS1 --mode yyyyXzzzz --pos 0x0 --rotate normal --output TV1 --off --output VGA1 --mode 1280x1024 --pos 0x0 --rotate normal
    

    (yyyyXzzzz - your laptop resolution.)

    The above configuration will clone your screen. Play with "--right-of / --left-of" option if you want.

  4. If you need this settings while login, add the checks in /etc/X11/Xsession.d/45custom_xrandr-settings (You might need to create one).

    xrandr |grep VGA1 | grep " connected " | if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then xrandr --output LVDS1 --off --output TV1 --off --output VGA1 --mode 1280x1024 --pos 0x0 --rotate normal  #Change the way u need ; fi
    
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Ubuntu 12.04 remembers hot-plugged monitor settings. But they are only applied when you reopen the System configuration > Displays applet. This is the case for me, at least, and this is definitively a bug.

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No, there's no way to save configurations on hot-plugged monitors. If you plug in before boot, GNOME should remember the configuration on each boot on a per-device basis (ie, connecting to your monitor at work versus the one at home).

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Damn, ok. Is there a third party application than can do this? I know Mac OS X does this, and Windows 7 (from what I've tried with the little experience I have with W7). – Oscar Godson Oct 11 '10 at 21:16
    
The GNOME monitor configuration should save this information for hotplugged monitors, too. It does for me. – RAOF Oct 11 '10 at 23:11
    
RAOF: weird, since discussion on the ubuntu-devel mailing list earlier this week said it doesn't. – maco Oct 11 '10 at 23:31
    
the configuration is actually saved in ~/.config/monitors.xml, but it is not applied at startup – Alessandro Cuttin Jan 4 at 9:04

Long story short (that is: do what Nicolas Bernaerts suggests, but I spare you the details): monitors configuration is actually saved in ~/.config/monitors.xml, but it's not applied at startup/login.

The steps to overcome this are:

Log in with the wrong monitors configuration.

Remove current monitor configuration:

cd .config
mv monitors.xml{,.bak}

Use the Displays application to arrange the monitors as you wish (I have one side monitor rotated counterclockwise). arrange your monitors as you wish

Once you press Apply, a new monitors.xml is created.

Now, download and make executable the script and the launcher that force the monitor configuration based on the newly created config file:

$ sudo wget -O /usr/local/sbin/update-monitor-position https://raw.githubusercontent.com/NicolasBernaerts/ubuntu-scripts/master/ubuntugnome/update-monitor-position
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/local/sbin/update-monitor-position
$ sudo wget -O /usr/share/applications/update-monitor-position.desktop https://raw.githubusercontent.com/NicolasBernaerts/ubuntu-scripts/master/ubuntugnome/update-monitor-position.desktop
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/share/applications/update-monitor-position.desktop

At this point, the monitors' configuration can be fixed by launching the update monitor position application.

If you want this to be automatic, simply add a startup application, with the following entries:

  • Name: Update Monitors Position
  • Command: update-monitor-position 5
  • Comment: Force monitors position 5 seconds after login

enter image description here

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