[ubuntu-x] A comment about gnome-display-properties

Bryce Harrington bryce at canonical.com
Thu Apr 3 02:28:49 BST 2008

On Wed, Apr 02, 2008 at 12:29:53PM +0200, Miguel Martinez wrote:
> Dear all,
> I'm not sure if I should have filled a bug first but I thought that 
> commenting an issue I found yesterday was worthy of this list. After 
> playing a game using fglrx, I decided to switch to radeon so I could rotate 
> the screen and read a pdf more comfortably. I am guilty of not purging 
> fglrx of my system, but this is what I did:
> 1) Stop X
> 2) modprobe -r fglrx (successful)
> 3) Change xorg.conf to suit radeon
> 4) modprobe radeon (successful)
> 5) start X and login into gnome (successful)
> After that, I thought that, instead of using the console, I might give 
> gnome-display-properties (xrandr-gui?) a go, and probably report bugs on 
> the way. I then selected a rotated screen (I don't remember if it was left 
> or right, sorry) and as soon as I hit apply I was greeted by a fully black 
> screen.

Yes, I've run into this as well.  Am I interpreting correctly that
rotating using xrandr worked correctly?  What was your command line?

> It didn't revert. It did nothing. Well, it responded to keyboard 
> input, but nothing more. Killing X gave me a working gdm, but after logging 
> in the screen got black pretty soon (before loading the background).
> I had a very hard time figuring out how to fix my system (it was past 
> midnight), and rebooting and doing all that didn't help. The only two 
> things that could help were switching agian to fglrx (because it doesn't 
> support xrandr 1.2) and (fortunately) deleting my personal config. I 
> finally fixed it by


> 1) back up .gnome* and .gconf*
> 2) delete them

Really only ~/.gnome2/monitors.xml needs removed.

> 3) log in
> 4) restore backed up config
> 5) go to system->preferences->screen-resolution and, after fiddling a bit 
> with it, make sure you hit "Apply" with the desired resolution and with 
> "Normal" orientation.
> Obviously, logging into gnome before doing 5) will result in a black screen 
> again. I don't know if having internet and being able to access the machine 
> via ssh would have helped.
> Would it be possible, to avoid cases like these, to make 
> gnome-display-properties ask for confirmation after maybe 15 seconds before 
> commiting the definitive change? Another question I have is where in the 
> filesystem is the gconf key (or similar) that stores these preferences.

Way ahead of you:
> Please note that, as it is a particular setting, a reinstall won't help if 
> you have a separate home.
> Thanks for bearing with me during such a verbose e-mail. Regards,
> Miguel
> PS: I suppose this is a bug candidate, right? I'll fill one against 
> gnome-control-center.

I'm curious if the xrandr command line allows rotation but the gui does
not.  That would be worth a bug (file against gnome-desktop).  OTOH, if
the xrandr cmdline tool causes lockup on rotation as well, file against


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