I am attempting to use Fedora on a laptop with a broken screen connected to an external monitor. At what I assume is the login screen, I only see a solid grey screen. I am unable to log in because the computer is displaying the login box on the broken screen. Strangely, Fedora automatically mirrored the screens when I was booting from a live disk. Is there anyway I can change the monitor settings without logging in?

Extra information: Fedora 18 GNOME, lenovo ideapad U350.

1 Answer 1


Runtime Solution

One solution is to drop to a tty console (ctrlaltF2) and run xrandr to change the display settings to clone mode. Run the command once with no options to find the names of the connections. Look for a line that looks like

eDP1 connected 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 282mm x 165mm

Here the connection is named eDP1. Set the working monitor to display the same content as the broken one with something like

xrandr --output eDP1 --auto --output VGA --auto --same-as eDP1

Then you can switch back to the graphical mode (ctrlaltF1) and the display should be cloned.

Persistent Solution

You can achieve a persistent solution by creating an xorg.conf file with the clone option set. Write the following lines to file and move it to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-clone-mode.conf

Section "ServerLayout"
        Option "Clone" "On"

I haven't tested it, but if this configuration is complete, the monitors should be cloned the next time you boot.

  • I tried the first solution, and xrandr gave the message "can't open display." When I rebooted after trying the second one, the monitor shows nothing, and ctrl-alt-F2 does nothing.
    – Na'im
    Commented Jun 22, 2013 at 14:14
  • I see. I should have tried running xrandr outside of an X session; I can see now why that doesn't work. The behavior for the second solution is strange--even if something is wrong in 20-clone-mode.conf, you should still be able to access a console with ctrl-alt-F2.
    – drs
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 0:27
  • You can still gain access to your system by changing the boot target from the GRUB2 menu that shows right when you turn on your computer. See this answer unix.stackexchange.com/a/74088/34796. Once you boot into "multi-user" mode, you can delete the 20-clone-mode.conf file and you should be able to boot like you were before. If you're feeling ambitious, you can check the X logs in /var/log/Xorg.0.log.old for lines that near the end that are errors (containing (EE)) and we can try to figure out what was wrong with the configuration file.
    – drs
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 0:35

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