Harry R. Schwartz

Software engineer, nominal scientist, gentleman of the internet. Member, ←Hotline Webring→.

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Just a Reminder That arandr Exists

Published 12 Jun 2018. Tags: computer-science, unix.

I was at a functional programming conference a few years back, watching a series of lightning talks, and I happened to be sitting right behind the queue of upcoming presenters. I’m pretty nosy, so I looked over their shoulders and checked out their screens. Most of the speakers were using Macs, but several of ‘em were using the minimal window manager xmonad.

The next presenter was one of these. As the current speaker solicited questions and the time drew near for him to plug his laptop into the projector, I noticed that he was browsing, with increasing panic, through the xrandr man page. I can feel no deeper sympathy.

I’ve been there, and that’s no fun. Which is why I was so delighted to learn about arandr! It’s a simple window-manager-independent drag-and-drop GUI for positioning monitors.

Aside from being a great interface, arandr also provides an export mechanism. Once you’ve found a monitor configuration you like, you can export it into a shell script (containing a well-crafted invocation of xrandr).