For some reason Ubuntu regressed a bit in the multiple monitor department between Hardy and Intrepid.  Before upgrading I was able to dock my Thinkpad and easily switch screens using fn-f7 to switch resolutions just like in the Windows World.  After upgrading function f7 usually didn’t work so I had to start just shutting down the computer (or at least control-alt-backspacing to restart x) if I switched between external monitor and the laptop monitor.

I recently discovered “grandr” and its capabilities.  It worked more often than Ubuntu’s Screen Resolution program…but I had to use my mouse and see the screen to do so.  This meant that I had to the lcd before I did a stand by or took the laptop off the dock.

I then discovered the command line “xrandr” program.  It let me set up some scripts to switch the screen resolution.

  • Use open source ATI driver (not fglrx)
  • Set up your terminal to launch with a keyboard shortcut (System–>Preferences–>Keyboard Shortcuts)
  • Figure out what randr calls the lcd and vga video card outputs with just xrandr
  • Create ./lcd.sh and ./vga.sh and set them to be executable with chmod +x

lcd.sh:

/usr/bin/xrandr –screen LVDS –auto

vga.sh:

/usr/bin/xrandr –screen “VGA-0” –auto
/bin/sleep 4
/usr/bin/xrandr –screen LVDS –output LVDS –off

Now after undocking I don’t need to be able to see the screen to turn on the lcd.  I just type Alt-t to bring up the terminal, then ./lcd.sh and the lcd turns on. 🙂  Jaunty is supposed to have improved monitor support, so I’m looking forward to its release.

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