Is it possible when using i3wm to disable my built in screen completely?

I know how to do it in Unity, but I can't google anything that makes sense.

2 Answers 2


You can use xrandr

Issue the following from a terminal to see a list of all your connected displays:


You'll get something like:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1366 x 768, maximum 32767 x 32767
LVDS1 connected 1366x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 277mm x 156mm
   1366x768       60.0*+
   1360x768       59.8     60.0  
   1024x768       60.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        59.9  
VGA1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

You'll probably see your main output under LVDS1 and your secondary connected display under VGA1 or HDMI1.

In this case, to turn off your main display use:

xrandr --output LVDS1 --off

To turn it back on:

xrandr --output LVDS1 --auto

Keep in mind if you turn off your main display when no other is connected, X will just restart on your main display.


Or you can also use arandr - graphical version of xrandr Install it in ubuntu:

aptitude install arandr


apt-get install arandr

Then in terminal type:


The GUI window will pop-up. You will see two rectangles representing your two screens.

  • Choose the one you would like to turn off (probably DP-0),
  • Click right button of your mouse on it. A context menu will show up. In the very top you can see "check" mark next to "Active" option.
  • If you click it, the rectangle symbol of your screen will disappear.
  • Then click "Apply" - button with the big green check icon under the menu.

Before disabling display make sure you will not disable your primary display. It should be located on the left usually. So move arandr gui app window to your primary display.

To enable disabled display

  • Go to Outputs -> DisabledDisplay and make it Active
  • Click, then drug and drop previously disabled screen rectangle to the right
  • Apply settings by clicking green mark button
  • 1
    Describe, how to use it to solve the issue.
    – Gryu
    Feb 19, 2020 at 12:51
  • Thank you for pointing that out. I hope my explanation is understandable. Feb 19, 2020 at 14:43

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