Is it possible to force a monitor to stay in the server layout?

Aaron Plattner aplattner at
Fri Dec 21 07:52:08 PST 2012

On 12/21/12 06:29, Sven Berkvens-Matthijsse wrote:
> Hello,
> I can't seem to find an answer to my question anywhere on the web.
> Either my use case is weird, or I'm not searching correctly :-)
> I have server 1.11.3 running on Ubuntu. I'm using the radeon
> driver with a Radeon HD6450. I have three monitors connected to the card
> (all three monitors have a DVI input), and I've set up the server to
> have all three monitors in one large desktop. This works brilliantly!
> Sometimes, I need to connect one of the monitors to another PC or other
> equipment with a HDMI or DVI output. My problem is that if I pull out
> one of the cables that is connected to the HD6450, that the card (and
> the X server) will detect that the monitor has been disconnected from
> the card. Consequently, the desktop size is modified and all my Gnome
> panels will be jumbled. If I reconnect the monitor, it comes back
> online, but the positioning of the windows and panels is not restored to
> what it used to be.

It's the X clients' job to effect that sort of policy.  In your case, 
it's probably gnome-settings-daemon.  You could try killing it as an 
experiment to see if the behavior goes away, or logging into a simpler 
desktop environment like Fluxbox that doesn't have a monitor policy daemon.

I don't know offhand if gnome-settings-daemon has an option to turn off 
automatic reconfiguration of the screens.

> What I would like is to be able to tell the X server that I don't care
> whether monitors are disconnected or not, and that it should keep the
> desktop size fixed, no matter which monitors are connected. My X
> configuration file includes a full server layout section, and also
> contains the resolutions of the monitors. Therefor, it should be
> possible, I guess, I just don't know how. Perhaps the current software
> is not able to handle this specific situation. I can live with it if the
> monitors need to be connected at the time that the X server starts. As
> long as I can disconnect them later on without the server layout and
> desktop size changing.

The nvidia driver has a "UseHotplugEvents" option you can use to 
suppress the RandR events that clients like gnome-settings-daemon listen 
for, to work around this sort of problem.  Maybe the radeon driver has 
something similar?


> I realize that most people want the behavior that the X server exhibits
> currently, because in their case it will probably be an external monitor
> that is connected to a laptop on occasion. So I probably want something
> odd :-)
> Any help or pointers will be greatly appreciated. If the software is
> currently not capable of what I've attempted to describe, I'd also like
> to know, of course.

This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain
confidential information.  Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution
is prohibited.  If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by
reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

More information about the xorg mailing list