Profile based screen manager for X
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Screen profiles manager for

randrctl remembers your screen configurations (position of displays, rotation, scaling, etc.) and switches between them automatically as displays are connected or manually, when necessary:

randrctl switch-to home
randrctl switch-to office


randrctl depends on xrandr utility and won't work without it. Please install it first.


$ randrctl setup config > ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/randrctl/config.yaml


# pip install randrctl

# randrctl setup udev > /etc/udev/rules.d/99-randrctl.rules
# randrctl setup completion > /usr/share/bash-completion/completions/randrctl

$ randrctl setup config > ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/randrctl/config.yaml

Manually from sources

$ git clone
$ cd randrctl

# python install

# randrctl setup udev > /etc/udev/rules.d/99-randrctl.rules
# randrctl setup completion > /usr/share/bash-completion/completions/randrctl

$ randrctl setup config > ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/randrctl/config.yaml


Usage is very simple:

  1. Setup your screen to suit your needs (randrctl does not handle that)

  2. Dump settings with randrctl to a named profile

randrctl dump -e home

  1. Re-apply those settings, whenever you need them

randrctl switch-to home

  1. ... or let randrctl to inspect currently connected displays and choose profile that fits them best

randrctl auto

Auto-switching will also happen automatically if provided udev rules are installed to the system.

  1. For more info on usage refer to help

randrctl --help


randrctl can associate profile with currently connected displays and switch to this profile automatically whenever same (or similar) set of displays is connected.

Profile is matched to the set of connected displays by evaluating one or more of the following rules for every connected display:

  • list of supported modes of connected display includes the current mode

    randrctl dump -m profile1

    You can use this to create profile that is activated whenever connected display supports the mode that is currently set for that output.

  • preferred mode of connected display is the current mode

    randrctl dump -p profile2

    Display can support wide range of modes from 640x480 to 1920x1200, but prefer only one of those. When dumped this way, profile is considered a match if connected display prefers the mode, that is currently set for it.

  • unique identifier of connected display is exactly tha same

    randrctl dump -e profile3

    Unique identifier (edid) of every display is dumped with the profile, so it matches, only if exactly same displays are connected.

Naturally, the more specific the rule, the bigger weight it has, so in case if you invoked those 3 dump commands above with the same displays connected, profile3 will be chosen as the best (i.e. the most specific) match.

It is possible to specify any combination of -m -p -e keys to dump command. In this case randrctl will try to match all the rules combining them with logical AND (for example, display must support and at the same time prefer the mode). Although such combination of rules might seem redundant (because if the more specific rule matches, the more generic will do too), it might have sense if rule is edited manually.

If randrctl dump is invoked without additional options, it dumps only screen setup, so profile won't be considered during auto-switching.

Prior/Post hooks

randrctl can execute custom commands (hooks) before and after switching to profile or if switching fails. Hooks are specified in config file $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/randrctl/config.yaml

    prior_switch: /usr/bin/killall -SIGSTOP i3
    post_switch: /usr/bin/killall -SIGCONT i3 && /usr/bin/notify-send -u low "randrctl" "switched to $randr_profile"
    post_fail: /usr/bin/killall -SIGCONT i3 && /usr/bin/notify-send -u critical "randrctl error" "$randr_error"

The typical use-case of this is displaying desktop notification with libnotify.

I also use it to pause i3 window manager as it was known to crash sometimes during the switch.

Profile format

Profile is a simple text file in YAML format. It can be edited manually, however it is rarely required in practice because randrctl dump handles most common cases.

    LVDS1: {}
        prefers: 1920x1080
        mode: 1366x768
        panning: 1366x1080
        mode: 1920x1080
        pos: 1366x0
        rotate: inverted
primary: DP1

Profile is required to contain 2 sections (outputs and primary). That is what dumped when randrctl dump is invoked without additional options.

The match section is optional and is dumped only when one of the auto-switching rules is specified.


Each property of outputs section references output as seen in xrandr (i.e. DP1, HDMI2, etc.). Meaning of the properties is the same as in the xrandr utility.

mode is mandatory, the others may be omitted.

    mode: 1920x1200
    panning: 2496x1560+1920+0
    pos: 1920x0
    rate: 60
    rotate: normal
    scale: 1.3x1.3


Name of the primary output as seen in xrandr.

primary: eDP1


Set of rules for auto-switching.

The minimum rule is

HDMI1: {}

which means, that something must be connected to that output.

Rule corresponding to randrctl dump -m would be

    supports: 1920x1080

randrctl dump -p is

    prefers: 1920x1080

and randrctl dump -e is

    edid: efdbca373951c898c5775e1c9d26c77f

edid is md5 hash of actual display's edid. To obtain that value, use randrctl show.

As was mentioned, prefers, supports and edid can be combined in the same rule, so it is possible to manually create a more sophisticated rule

    LVDS1: {}
        prefers: 1600x1200
        supports: 800x600


When more than one profile matches current output configuration priority can be used to highlight preferred profile.

priority: 100

Default priority is 100. To set profile priority use -P <priority> with dump command. Like this: randrctl dump -e default -P 50


Run tests

$ python test