I am starting to work with 2 displays on Ubuntu. One of them is rotateable, so I can use it easily in both landscape and portrait mode. But I world prefer to have ability to change orientation setting (which could be found in System Settings->Desktop) from terminal or script on one display but don't rotate other one.

I am pretty sure it is possible via xrandr!

  • Is your question mainly on how to script it, or how to do it with xrandr? In the last case, you will find it here: askubuntu.com/a/171154/72216, but it can be made changeable / toggle with a key combination of course, but then the scripting is actually the question. Dec 21, 2014 at 9:31
  • @JacobVlijm as I just found answer on my own from man. Thanks. I think that bash script with xrandr command inside will work, won't it? Dec 21, 2014 at 9:38
  • Absolutely. The nicest would be to toggle; make a script read from xrandr what is the current rotation of the second screen, set it to "the other option" under a shortcut key. Dec 21, 2014 at 9:42
  • 1
    @JacobVlijm I did it, using basicly xrandr and grep. Dec 21, 2014 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


Strange, but I found answer first!

You use

$ xrandr --output $monitorName --rotate $direction

where $monitorName can be found in output of

$ xrandr

and $direction is left for counter-clockwise or right for clockwise.

Edit: Using grep, it is possible to write a script like this:



descr=$(xrandr | grep "$screen")
if echo "$descr" | grep disconnected
        echo "No $screen connected"
        exit 1

if echo "$descr" | grep --quiet -P "^[^(]*$alt"
xrandr --output $screen --rotate $rotate 

which actually switches orientation of monitor storaged in $screen variable, and $alt is the alternative orientation.

  • 1
    nice, and it works! Dec 21, 2014 at 18:32

You'll need to use xrandr for that.

xrandr -o $orientation

Where $orientation is left, right, inverted, or normal.

You can select the display you want to rotate with the --display option.

  • --dsplay selects X server, not the monitor, does it? Dec 21, 2014 at 9:28

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