How To Output Display To Projector/External Monitor In Ubuntu?

In my Windows Vista setup, I can just press fn-F5 on my laptop to toggle screen display and output to a projector or external monitor.

After I switched to Ubuntu, the hot key is no longer working.

With a little research, I found that the problem lies with my xorg.conf file. It is configured to have only one output device.

I decided to test out a bit and “clone” the laptop screen to the VGA port and it works!

Here is what I did:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Look for the section
Section “Device”
Identifier “Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller”
Driver “i810”
BusID “PCI:0:2:0”

Insert the code:

Option “MonitorLayout” “CRT,LFP”
Option “Clone” “true”
Option “DevicePresence” “true

before the EndSection

Save the file and exit.

Press “Ctrl + Alt + Backspace” to restart Xorg.conf

That’s it! You can now see your screen on the projector or external monitor.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Section “Device”
    Identifier “Configured Video Device”
    Driver “nvidia”
    Option “NoLogo” “True”
    Option “MonitorLayout” “CRT,LFP”
    Option “Clone” “true”
    Option “DevicePresence” “true”

    This does not work in my laptor. sadly

    Any idea?


  2. You have to read your video driver man page to see if the options are available with your specific driver. This method should work with newer versions of the intel driver anyway.
    See the section at the bottom of the intel man page for laptop specific options.

    Again, not all options work the way you might expect from reading the manual.
    Both the distro’s default xserver configuration and the entries in the xorg.conf file allow or disallow subdrivers and options to load.

    See Xorg.0.log to see if your xorg.conf entries were accepted or not.

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