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
/usr/bin/xrandr –screen LVDS –auto
/usr/bin/xrandr –screen “VGA-0” –auto
/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.