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Automatically select a display configuration based on connected devices

Branch information

This is a compatible Python rewrite of wertarbyte/autorandr. Contributions for bash-completion, fd.o/XDG autostart, Nitrogen, pm-utils, and systemd can be found under contrib.

The original wertarbyte/autorandr tree is unmaintained, with lots of open pull requests and issues. I forked it and merged what I thought were the most important changes. If you are searching for that version, see the legacy branch. Note that the Python version is better suited for non-standard configurations, like if you use --transform or --reflect. If you use auto-disper, you have to use the bash version, as there is no disper support in the Python version (yet). Both versions use a compatible configuration file format, so you can, to some extent, switch between them. I will maintain the legacy branch until @wertarbyte finds the time to maintain his branch again.

If you are interested in why there are two versions around, see #7, #8 and especially #12 if you are unhappy with this version and would like to contribute to the bash version.

License information and authors

autorandr is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (version 3).

Contributors to this version of autorandr are:

  • Adrián López
  • andersonjacob
  • Alexander Wirt
  • Brice Waegeneire
  • Chris Dunder
  • Christoph Gysin
  • Christophe-Marie Duquesne
  • Daniel Hahler
  • Maciej Sitarz
  • Mathias Svensson
  • Matthew R Johnson
  • Nazar Mokrynskyi
  • Phillip Berndt
  • Rasmus Wriedt Larsen
  • Simon Wydooghe
  • Stefan Tomanek
  • stormc
  • tachylatus
  • Timo Bingmann
  • Timo Kaufmann
  • Tomasz Bogdal
  • Victor Häggqvist
  • Jan-Oliver Kaiser


You can use the script as a stand-alone binary. If you'd like to install it as a system-wide application, there is a Makefile included that also places some configuration files in appropriate directories such that autorandr is invoked automatically when a monitor is connected or removed, the system wakes up from suspend, or a user logs into an X11 session. Run make install as root to install it.

If you prefer to have a system wide install managed by your package manager, you can

We appreciate packaging scripts for other distributions, please file a pull request if you write one.

If you prefer pip over your package manager, you can install autorandr with:

sudo pip install "git+"

or simply

sudo pip install autorandr

if you prefer to use a stable version.

How to use

Save your current display configuration and setup with:

autorandr --save mobile

Connect an additional display, configure your setup and save it:

autorandr --save docked

Now autorandr can detect which hardware setup is active:

$ autorandr
  docked (detected)

To automatically reload your setup:

$ autorandr --change

To manually load a profile:

$ autorandr --load <profile>

or simply:

$ autorandr <profile>

autorandr tries to avoid reloading an identical configuration. To force the (re)configuration:

$ autorandr --load <profile> --force

To prevent a profile from being loaded, place a script call block in its directory. The script is evaluated before the screen setup is inspected, and in case of it returning a value of 0 the profile is skipped. This can be used to query the status of a docking station you are about to leave.

If no suitable profile can be identified, the current configuration is kept. To change this behaviour and switch to a fallback configuration, specify --default <profile>. The system-wide installation of autorandr by default calls autorandr with a parameter --default default. There are three special, virtual configurations called horizontal, vertical and common. They automatically generate a configuration that incorporates all screens connected to the computer. You can symlink default to one of these names in your configuration directory to have autorandr use any of them as the default configuration without you having to change the system-wide configuration.

You can store default values for any option in an INI-file in ~/.config/autorandr/settings.ini in a section config. The most useful candidate for doing that is skip-options, if you need it.

Advanced usage

Hook scripts

Three more scripts can be placed in the configuration directory (as defined by the XDG spec, usually ~/.config/autorandr or ~/.autorandr if you have an old installation for user configuration and /etc/xdg/autorandr for system wide configuration):

  • postswitch is executed after a mode switch has taken place. This can be used to notify window managers or other applications about the switch.
  • preswitch is executed before a mode switch takes place.
  • postsave is executed after a profile was stored or altered.
  • predetect is executed before autorandr attempts to run xrandr.

These scripts must be executable and can be placed directly in the configuration directory, where they will always be executed, or in the profile subdirectories, where they will only be executed on changes regarding that specific profile.

Instead (or in addition) to these scripts, you can also place as many executable files as you like in subdirectories called script_name.d (e.g. postswitch.d).

If a script with the same name occurs multiple times, user configuration takes precedence over system configuration (as specified by the XDG spec) and profile configuration over general configuration.

As a concrete example, suppose you have the files

  • /etc/xdg/autorandr/postswitch
  • ~/.config/autorandr/postswitch
  • ~/.config/autorandr/postswitch.d/notify-herbstluftwm
  • ~/.config/autorandr/docked/postswitch

and switch from mobile to docked. Then ~/.config/autorandr/docked/postswitch is executed, since the profile specific configuration takes precedence, and ~/.config/autorandr/postswitch.d/notify-herbstluftwm is executed, since it has a unique name.

If you switch back from docked to mobile, ~/.config/autorandr/postswitch is executed instead of the docked specific postswitch.

If you experience issues with xrandr being executed too early after connecting a new monitor, then you can use a predetect script to delay the execution. Write e.g. sleep 1 into that file to make autorandr wait a second before running xrandr.


Some of autorandr's state is exposed as environment variables prefixed with AUTORANDR_, such as:


with the intention that they can be used within the hook scripts.

For instance, you might display which profile has just been activated by including the following in a postswitch script:

notify-send -i display "Display profile" "$AUTORANDR_CURRENT_PROFILE"

The one kink is that during preswitch, AUTORANDR_CURRENT_PROFILE is reporting the upcoming profile rather than the current one.

Wildcard EDID matching

The EDID strings in the ~/.config/autorandr/*/setup files may contain an asterisk to enable wildcard matching: Such EDIDs are matched against connected monitors using the usual file name globbing rules. This can be used to create profiles matching multiple (or any) monitors.

udev triggers with NVidia cards

In order for udev to detect drm events from the native NVidia driver, the kernel parameter nvidia-drm.modeset must be set to 1. For example, add a file /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-drm-modeset.conf:

options nvidia_drm modeset=1


autorandr 1.11

  • 2020-05-23 Handle empty sys.executable
  • 2020-06-08 Fix Python 2 compatibility
  • 2020-10-06 Set group membership of users in batch mode

autorandr 1.10.1

  • 2020-05-04 Revert making the launcher the default (fixes #195)

autorandr 1.10

  • 2020-04-23 Fix hook script execution order to match description from readme
  • 2020-04-11 Handle negative gamma values (fixes #188)
  • 2020-04-11 Sort approximate matches in detected profiles by quality of match
  • 2020-01-31 Handle non-ASCII environment variables (fixes #180)
  • 2019-12-31 Fix output positioning if the top-left output is not the first
  • 2019-12-31 Accept negative gamma values (and interpret them as 0)
  • 2019-12-31 Prefer the X11 launcher over systemd/udev configuration

autorandr 1.9

  • 2019-11-10 Count closed lids as disconnected outputs
  • 2019-10-05 Do not overwrite existing configurations without --force
  • 2019-08-16 Accept modes that don't match the WWWxHHH pattern
  • 2019-03-22 Improve bash autocompletion
  • 2019-03-21 Store CRTC values in configurations
  • 2019-03-24 Fix handling of recently disconnected outputs (See #128 and #143)

autorandr 1.8.1

  • 2019-03-18 Removed mandb call from Makefile

autorandr 1.8

  • 2019-02-17 Add an X11 daemon that runs autorandr when a display connects (by @rliou92, #127)
  • 2019-02-17 Replace width=0 check with disconnected to detect disconnected monitors (by @joseph-jones, #139)
  • 2019-02-17 Fix handling of empty padding (by @jschwab, #138)
  • 2019-02-17 Add a man page (by @somers-all-the-time, #133)

autorandr 1.7

  • 2018-09-25 Fix FB size computation with rotated screens (by @Janno, #117)

autorandr 1.6

  • 2018-04-19 Bugfix: Do not load default profile unless --change is set
  • 2018-04-30 Added a AUTORANDR_MONITORS variable to hooks (by @bricewge, #106)
  • 2018-06-29 Fix detection of current configuration if extra monitors are active
  • 2018-07-11 Bugfix in the latest change: Correctly handle "off" minitors when comparing
  • 2018-07-19 Do not kill spawned user processes from systemd unit
  • 2018-07-20 Correctly handle "off" monitors when comparing -- fixup for another bug.

autorandr 1.5

  • 2018-01-03 Add --version
  • 2018-01-04 Fixed vertical/horizontal/clone-largest virtual profiles
  • 2018-03-07 Output all non-error messages to stdout instead of stderr
  • 2018-03-25 Add --detected and --current to filter the profile list output
  • 2018-03-25 Allow wildcard matching in EDIDs

autorandr 1.4

  • 2017-12-22 Fixed broken virtual profile support
  • 2017-12-14 Added support for a settings file
  • 2017-12-14 Added a virtual profile off, which disables all screens

autorandr 1.3

  • 2017-11-15 Add an option to make all xrandr changes in one go (See #88)
  • 2017-11-13 Add a short form for --load
  • 2017-11-21 Fix environment stealing in --batch mode (See #87)

autorandr 1.2

  • 2017-07-16 Skip --panning unless it is required (See #72)
  • 2017-10-13 Add clone-largest virtual profile

autorandr 1.1

  • 2017-06-07 Call systemctl with --no-block from udev rule (See #61)
  • 2017-01-20 New script hook, predetect
  • 2017-01-18 Accept comments (lines starting with #) in config/setup files

autorandr 1.0

  • 2016-12-07 Tag the current code as version 1.0.0; see github issue #54
  • 2016-10-03 Install a desktop file to /etc/xdg/autostart by default