X11

Hooray for XRandR

For years, it's been a major failing of Linux (and X11 in general) that it's not been possible just to plug in a new monitor and be able to extend your desktop on the fly. This is just about OK for desktop machines, which don't tend to change their configuration very often. It really, really sucks for laptops, though. It's really quite painful (and potentially quite embarrassing) to have to kill X and restart it before you can plug your laptop into a data projector at a conference.

But... X now has a thing called XRandR, that allows you to reconfigure your X display on the fly without restarting anything. I've got a couple of talks coming up shortly, so I thought I'd have a play.