I need to update my configuration through the nvidia tool, if I am to enable a triple headed desktop. I would like to make sure where is my current xorg configuration if at all I already have one. This is Ubuntu 14.04.

I think it is not anywhere listed at http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/man5/xorg.conf.5.html but would like to have a definite way for confirming whether any config file is used or not, as well as to know how can I activate a new/modified configuration, and revert/recover from a potentially bad one in case of need, so that I am not left headless.

Thanks in advance!

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  • Xorg loads files with a ".conf" suffix in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ and /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/. You can look there.
    – undostres
    Oct 7, 2015 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Xorg doesn't need a configuration file as it now is perfectly able to guess the hardware it runs on. If you want to store a configuration file, just make sure directory /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d exists. It most likely doesn't, which is normal, then just create it. It should be made writeable to root only and readable to everyone (i.e. mode 755). Store your configuration file there – you will have to save it from your current session and copy the file with root or sudo.

Optionally you might want to keep only the relevant sections, i.e. Device, Screen and Monitor. If you're happy with how Xorg detects your input devices, you may safely omit the Serverlayout along with the InputDevice sections.

I think the nvidia driver is smart enough to not leave Xorg headless in case something goes wrong – it just never happened to me hence my assumption. Otherwise you just need to rm your file from the system configuration directory.

After your configuration file is changed all you need to do is restart Xorg by logging off and then on again. Most of the time it's enough. Otherwise reboot your machine.

Note: I could have described how to restart Xorg but there are too many variations to take into account. Most of the time logging off and on will do.

  • 1
    Thanks. The context of this has actually been trying to accomplish unix.stackexchange.com/questions/234519/…, which the xorg.conf produced by the nvidia utility GUI clearly doesn't get right...
    – Matan
    Oct 7, 2015 at 15:55
  • Can you add about updating the system after the configuration was changed?
    – Matan
    Oct 7, 2015 at 16:01
  • 1
    Yup. See my edit.
    – user86969
    Oct 7, 2015 at 16:07

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