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Every time I run xrandr --query my screen freezes very briefly. It's enough to be jarring if I'm watching an animation or a video -- which sucks, because I have a script querying xrandr every 3 seconds to check if it should reconfigure the monitors.

To demonstrate, here's a fairly smooth GIF (the spinning dancer illusion): https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Left_spinning_dancer.gif

Run xrandr --query while the image is displayed and you should see it hiccup briefly just as you run the command. Running a different command does not produce this effect.

I'm running Debian Wheezy (7.8) and uname -a produces Linux bc-timmc 3.2.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.2.65-1+deb7u1 x86_64 GNU/Linux.

I suppose I'm both asking "why" and "how can I avoid this".

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As to the second part of your question (not in the header)

Use xdpyinfo instead, if you want to read something like screen resolution. It doesn't cause that brief freeze.

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