How can you configure Ubuntu 13.10 to rotate the display globally (for LDM and all users)?

I have an Intel graphics chipset with an x64 processor. lspci shows the following for my graphics chiset, and I do not have any propietary drivers installed:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (primary) (rev 03)

I am using the xorg configuration file below, which worked perfectly in Ubuntu 13.04, where LDM and each user session was rotated 90 degrees.

However, this same configuration file no longer works in Ubuntu 13.10. Per other posts, I've tried placing this file in /etc/X11, I tried placing this file in /usr/share/X11/, and I also tried moving it to /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ where I renamed it to 10-xorg.conf. (I did ensure that permissions were -rw-r--r--).

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "Samsung SyncMaster 171N"
    Modeline    "1280x1024_60.00"  109.00  1280 1368 1496 1712  1024 1027 1034 1063 -hsync +vsync
    Option      "Rotate" "left"
    # Option      "PreferredMode" "1280x1024_60.00"
    # HorizSync   30.0 - 81.0 # kHz
    # VertRefresh 60.0 - 60.0 # Hz

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Intel"
    Driver      "intel"
    Option      "AccelMethod" "sna"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    Monitor     "Samsung SyncMaster 171N"
    Device      "Intel"
    Defaultdepth 24
    SubSection  "Display"
        Modes   "1280x1024_60.00"

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier  "Default Layout"
    Screen      "Default Screen"

This answer is the key. You simply copy the .config/monitors.xml from your account to /var/lib/ligthdm/.config/monitors.xml and lightdm will pick up that configuration.

  • 1
    This worked. I used the Displays dialog window from System Settings to rotate my display, creating the required .config/monitors.xml file. I then copied the file to /var/lib/lightdm/.config/. One drawback to this is, although the Light DM screen was now rotated, and my user account screen was rotated, all of the other user account screens were NOT rotated. I had to copy the .config/monitors.xml file to each existing user account. Honestly, I liked the old way, where you could change the xorg.conf file for the entire system, but this approach at least allows me to use the rotated display. – PJ Singh Jan 12 '14 at 0:30
  • 1
    Agreed, I liked the old way better. – GaryBishop Jan 12 '14 at 10:52
  • I just wanted to add a note for anyone experiencing this issue on 14.04... The approach of copying ~/.config/monitors.xml to /var/lib/ligthdm/.config/ works for 13.10. However, in 14.04, creating /etc/X11/xorg.conf with the desired settings works jut fine. – PJ Singh Jul 3 '14 at 1:42
  • Great! Thanks. Can you share your xorg.conf settings? Perhaps as another answer? I'll upvote it for sure. – GaryBishop Jul 3 '14 at 10:18
  • I just tried it on my 14.04 system and my simple minded approach didn't work. My screens are not rotated without my monitors.xml in place. I used the nvidia configuration tool and saved the result to /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Moved my monitors.xml aside and got no rotation on login. – GaryBishop Jul 3 '14 at 13:06

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