[Techtalk] Switching resolutions when I switch to an external monitor

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Fri Mar 10 11:28:31 EST 2006

Mary writes:
> My laptop is running Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger). It is a Fujitsu S6120
> Lifebook. I quite often hook it up to an external monitor when I'm at a desk
> and would like it to switch resolutions when I press the "switch to external"
> function key rather than doing what it currently does, which is simply take the
> settings for the laptop screen and use them for the external monitor.

You know about ctrl-alt-keypad_plus (and minus) for switching
resolutions in the current X session, right?

Since it sounds like the function key is implemented in hardware
(which is fairly common on laptops) there's probably no way for
the Linux kernel to know you've done it ... but you can use the
above key sequence to switch resolutions immediately before or
after activating the external monitor. Of course, you need to
have those resolutions specified in your X configuration file
in the list of Displays in the Screen section.

(The place where this is documented used to be man XFree86; I
imagine there's an xorg man page somewhere, but I don't seem to
have it installed on my system (Ubuntu dapper) nor do I see any
likely package names to install. So I don't know where to go for
more details if you're using xorg.


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