I have a widescreen monitor that rotates. I'm trying to use it in 'landscape' mode (vertical). This is easy in the GUI.

How do I rotate my display when I am not running an X Server or when I am viewing a Virtual Console / Terminal.


2 Answers 2


You can rotate your virtual framebuffers using fbcon. 0 through 3 to represent the various rotations:

  • 0 - Normal rotation
  • 1 - Rotate clockwise
  • 2 - Rotate upside down
  • 3 - Rotate counter-clockwise

These can be set from the command line by putting a value into the correct system file. Rotate the current framebuffer:

echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/class/graphics/fbcon/rotate

Rotate all virtual framebuffers:

echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/class/graphics/fbcon/rotate_all

If you want this to happen automatically when you start your system, you need to modify your boot loader configuration to give it the correct options. In /etc/default/grub add fbcon=rotate:1 to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line:


(Don't forget to run sudo update-grub after changing this file.)

Sources: Rotate Screen, not running X windows, Rotate console on startup (Debian)

  • 2
    Relies on CONFIG_FRAMEBUFFER_CONSOLE_ROTATION=y May 5, 2018 at 10:38
  • Confirmed this work in virtualbox linux client too!!
    – John Siu
    Jul 18, 2019 at 16:34
  • Does not work in NVIDIA Jetson Nano supplied Ubuntu. /sys/class/graphics/fbcon/rotate content will not change. rotate_all makes access denied even as root. Oct 3, 2019 at 4:27
  • It isn't a real file and it doesn't have contents. You can't read that "file". You can only write to it. Have you tried the command exactly with copy and paste? Oct 3, 2019 at 10:35
  • Works for me in Debian 9 on an Intel IGP. What a joy to have a "portrait mode" full HD console :-)
    – frr
    Dec 11, 2019 at 8:39

You can only rotate your display with some kind of X server. A virtual console as well as framebuffer has no support for rotating.

But maybe you can run some small X window manager like awesome and a terminal in full-screen mode. In this case you would get the rotation feature and it still feels like a console.

  • 3
    Ha! I used to rotate by frame buffer in Linux back when I had CRTs!
    – Caleb
    Jun 1, 2020 at 22:59

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