I am trying to change this xorg.conf file that I used to modify under Ubuntu 9.04, so it can have the higher resolutions of my monitor. Under 9.04, the monitor was unknown, and I had to key in all resolutions in the file, and although it is found under 9.10, 9.10 does not have the highest resolution that my monitor can sustain.

How can I change such a setting? Is xorg.conf moved, or replaced?


xorg.conf will not be present unless it is explicitly required.

Wikipedia on xorg.conf:

For a long time, editing xorg.conf was necessary for advanced input devices and multiple monitor output to work correctly. This was regarded to be a major usability obstacle. In modern systems this is seldom necessary, thanks to input hotplugging and the XRandR extension integrated into new X.org releases. It is still needed for devices from some manufacturers, notably NVIDIA and Wacom, whose drivers fail to provide support for those technologies.

You should investigate if you can use the RandR extension to change the display characteristics. xrandr provides the command-line interface to this extension. From the man page:

Xrandr  is  used  to set the size, orientation and/or reflection of the
outputs for a screen. It can also set the screen size.

If invoked without any option, it will dump the state of  the  outputs,
showing  the existing modes for each of them, with a ’+’ after the pre‐
ferred mode and a ’*’ after the current mode.

The new X server doesn't need an xorg.conf file anymore. Rather, it is gathering the devices with D-Bus and may be installed without it on Jaunty. You can still build your own though if you need to add something.

Source: Where is my xorg.conf file??


If you use "sudo Xorg -configure" you'll generate the file, which was your original question. I suppose I can spare you the diatribe on how things are supposed to work, since other people have gently provided some.


As Joe and nagul mentioned, xorg.conf is not used by default. If you're having a problem setting resolutions and have an Nvidia card, the blog post (How to) Tackling Screen Resolution Problems in Linux provides information on adding custom resolutions.

  • good link, but god that looks like a headache :) – quack quixote Oct 5 '09 at 20:57
  • It can be :) thankfully I never had to resort to this :) – Sathyajith Bhat Oct 6 '09 at 5:43
  • There's got to be a simpler way than doing that...if all you need is the resolution. – teeks99 Nov 10 '09 at 16:35

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