Effectively setup multiple monitor layout at startup

copyright (C) qingfeng Xia 2011-2020 CC-BY-NC 4.0

This belongs to Research Software Engineering on Linux series

Super+P shortcut key can bring up a menu to switch between mirror, single, multiple modes.

keep Super key (windows key) pressed on, while P key can be released, use arrow key to select the display mode.

If primary display has turned off, Super+P shortcut key can save you from running the command gnome-control-center display to bring up setup GUI.

If you want to a script to auto detect external monitor and set up the screen extension at start up. here is an example

#!/bin/bash
# this script will change default multiple monitor layout at startup
# by Qingfeng Xia, UKAEA 2020
# tested on Ubuntu 18.04, but it should work for Xwindows of all Linux distro

# see also https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xrandr#Configuration

# config for your purpose, 
# xrandr will print current minotor settings: minitor names, resolutions, positions etc
# --pos <xpos>x<ypos>, unit pixel, Y axis increase downward
# two monitor must be set in one command line
# xrandr --help  to get all relative position

# installation
## add `bash this_script` to user start up application, not system start up /etc/rc.local

BUILTIN_MINOTOR='eDP-1'
EXTERNAL_MINOTOR='HDMI-1'
EXTERNAL_MINOTOR_STATUS=$(xrandr |grep "$EXTERNAL_MINOTOR")
# only shift primary minotor position if external minotor is connected
# because, xrandr will not detect cable connected but the minitor is turned off condition

# substring finding by wildcard matching
if [[ "$EXTERNAL_MINOTOR_STATUS" == *'disconnected'* ]]; then
# use only single monitor
xrandr --output $BUILTIN_MINOTOR --mode 1920x1080 --pos 0x0 --primary --auto --output $EXTERNAL_MINOTOR --off;
else
# default monitor join is left and right extension layout, here the command for vertical extension
xrandr --output $BUILTIN_MINOTOR --mode 1920x1080 --pos 0x1080 --primary  --auto  --below  $EXTERNAL_MINOTOR --output $EXTERNAL_MINOTOR --mode 1920x1080 --pos 0x0  --auto;
fi


# Super+P shortcut key, to bring up a menu to switch between mirror, single, multiple
# keep Super key (windows key) pressed on, while P key can be released, using arrow key to select the display

# if primary display has turned off, Super+P shortcut key
# run the command `gnome-control-center display` for setup in GUI


CC-BY-NC 4.0 licensed free for non-commercial usage
Author: Qingfeng XIA
copyright (C) 2011-2020
http://www.iesensor.com
please keep the original link in your reference.
http://www.iesensor.com/blog/2020/04/15/effectively-setup-multiple-monitor-layout-at-startup/
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