Using nvidia-settings I am able to get my external monitor correctly positioned to the right of my laptop just as I like. However, when I reboot, restart X, and login I find I am back to where I started with the two monitors mirroring each other (rather than the display extending from laptop to the external monitor on my right).

I have read that the correct solution is to invoke the command nvidia-settings --load-config-only in one's .xinitrc file. I tried putting this command there, and in my global /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc file, and neither approach worked for me.

I suspected that perhaps the global /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc file, as well as $HOME/.xinitrc were not being read in. So, I decided to test the action of nvidia-settings -load-config-only in isolation.

Here's what I did (which didn't work, and I am wondering:why oh why?) :

Start state: external monitor on right / not mirrored

  1. rm ~/.nvidia-settings-rc

  2. invoke 'nvidia-settings' and then, via 'X Server Display Configuration', deliberately change monitor configuration from 'extend to right' to 'mirrored'.

    [ I change the position of external monitor to 'Same As' laptop monitor, and that gets it to work as if it is mirroring ]

  3. Hit Apply then, hit OK.

  4. To cover all bases, I also select 'Save to X Configuration File' [ /etc/X11/xorg.conf ]

  5. Still nothing in ~/.nvidia-settings-rc, so I click on nvidia-settings Configuration on bottom of left panel, and then select 'Save Current Configuration'

  6. Now, I see stuff in ~/.nvidia-settings-rc

  7. Restart nvidia-settings and change configuration so that laptop monitor is extended to the right of my external monitor. Hit apply and verify the changes took effect (I am now in my desired state).

  8. Now, Quit nvidia-settings GUI configuration session

  9. run nvidia-settings --load-config-only

  10. Expected result would be that I see my monitors being mirrored, since that is the configuration I saved. But that does NOT occur.
    It seems that the configuration is not being loaded, or maybe it got incorrectly saved to begin with.

Any advice on what might be happening? Maybe someone could tell me what to look for in my ~/.nvidia-settings-rc file? There didn't seem to be anything related to monitor placement there.

Just for completeness, I am copying the contents of that file below.

PS: I am using xfce window manager.

# /home/chris/.nvidia-settings-rc
# Configuration file for nvidia-settings - the NVIDIA X Server Settings utility
# Generated on Sun Oct 18 17:43:09 2015

# ConfigProperties:

RcFileLocale = C
ToolTips = Yes
DisplayStatusBar = Yes
SliderTextEntries = Yes
IncludeDisplayNameInConfigFile = No
ShowQuitDialog = Yes
UpdateRulesOnProfileNameChange = Yes
Timer = PowerMizer_Monitor_(GPU_0),Yes,1000
Timer = Thermal_Monitor_(GPU_0),Yes,1000
Timer = Memory_Used_(GPU_0),Yes,3000

# Attributes:


System is running RHEL7; Desktop Environment is XFCE

  • What Desktop Environment are you using? What Linux distribution? Your question is long-winded, yet not specific. – ILMostro_7 Oct 19 '15 at 3:42
  • distro: redhat 7 desktop: xfce – Chris Bedford Oct 19 '15 at 6:50
  • You have to make the changes in ~/.config/monitors.xml – ILMostro_7 Oct 19 '15 at 6:58


At first run xrandr and look for "… connected" lines to find out the names of your displays. Then run

xrandr --output VGA1 --auto --same-as LVDS1

To make the display VGA1 a mirror or LVDS1. "--same-as" is the parameter for setting up mirroring. If you want flipping or scaling, see the other parameters of xrandr.


To make the configuration persistent, permanently, within the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, add

Option "MetaModeOrientation" "SamePositionAs"

to the pertinent Monitor/Screen/Display Section/SubSection. Take a look at /usr/share/doc/nvidia-x11-drv-... for documentation files for the nvidia xorg driver.

Option "MetaModeOrientation" "string"

Controls the default relationship between display devices when using
multiple display devices on a single X screen. Takes one of the following
values: "RightOf" "LeftOf" "Above" "Below" "SamePositionAs". For backwards
compatibility, "TwinViewOrientation" is a synonym for
"MetaModeOrientation", and "Clone" is a synonym for "SamePositionAs". See
Chapter 12 for details. Default: string is NULL.
  • 1
    Thanks.. for some reason xorg.conf approach didn't work.. but i just run your suggested 'xrandr' command as needed when the settings get fouled up.. which is not too often. i created a little icon in xfce to run it, and it takes less than 2 seconds. So.. I'm very happy now ! appreciate the advice. – Chris Bedford Oct 19 '15 at 20:53

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