xorg.conf(5) File Formats Manual xorg.conf(5)
xorg.conf - configuration File for Xorg X server
Xorg supports several mechanisms for supplying/obtaining configuration and run-time parameters: command line options, environment vari-
ables, the xorg.conf configuration file, auto-detection, and fallback defaults. When the same information is supplied in more than one
way, the highest precedence mechanism is used. The list of mechanisms is ordered from highest precedence to lowest. Note that not all
parameters can be supplied via all methods. The available command line options and environment variables (and some defaults) are described
in the Xserver(1) and Xorg(1) manual pages. Most configuration file parameters, with their defaults, are described below. Driver and mod-
ule specific configuration parameters are described in the relevant driver or module manual page.
Xorg uses a configuration file called xorg.conf for its initial setup. This configuration file is searched for in the following places
when the server is started as a normal user:
where <cmdline> is a relative path (with no ".." components) specified with the -config command line option, $XORGCONFIG is the relative
path (with no ".." components) specified by that environment variable, and <hostname> is the machine's hostname as reported by gethost-
When the Xorg server is started by the "root" user, the config file search locations are as follows:
where <cmdline> is the path specified with the -config command line option (which may be absolute or relative), $XORGCONFIG is the path
specified by that environment variable (absolute or relative), $HOME is the path specified by that environment variable (usually the home
directory), and <hostname> is the machine's hostname as reported by gethostname(3).
The xorg.conf file is composed of a number of sections which may be present in any order. Each section has the form:
The section names are:
Files File pathnames
ServerFlags Server flags
Module Dynamic module loading
Extensions Extension enabling
InputDevice Input device description
Device Graphics device description
VideoAdaptor Xv video adaptor description
Monitor Monitor description
Modes Video modes descriptions
Screen Screen configuration
ServerLayout Overall layout
DRI DRI-specific configuration
Vendor Vendor-specific configuration
The following obsolete section names are still recognised for compatibility purposes. In new config files, the InputDevice section should
be used instead.
Keyboard Keyboard configuration
Pointer Pointer/mouse configuration
The old XInput section is no longer recognised.
The ServerLayout sections are at the highest level. They bind together the input and output devices that will be used in a session. The
input devices are described in the InputDevice sections. Output devices usually consist of multiple independent components (e.g., a graph-
ics board and a monitor). These multiple components are bound together in the Screen sections, and it is these that are referenced by the
ServerLayout section. Each Screen section binds together a graphics board and a monitor. The graphics boards are described in the Device
sections, and the monitors are described in the Monitor sections.
Config file keywords are case-insensitive, and "_" characters are ignored. Most strings (including Option names) are also case-insensi-
tive, and insensitive to white space and "_" characters.
Each config file entry usually takes up a single line in the file. They consist of a keyword, which is possibly followed by one or more
arguments, with the number and types of the arguments depending on the keyword. The argument types are:
Integer an integer number in decimal, hex or octal
Real a floating point number
String a string enclosed in double quote marks (")
Note: hex integer values must be prefixed with "0x", and octal values with "0".
A special keyword called Option may be used to provide free-form data to various components of the server. The Option keyword takes either
one or two string arguments. The first is the option name, and the optional second argument is the option value. Some commonly used
option value types include:
Integer an integer number in decimal, hex or octal
Real a floating point number
String a sequence of characters
Boolean a boolean value (see below)
Frequency a frequency value (see below)
Note that all Option values, not just strings, must be enclosed in quotes.
Boolean options may optionally have a value specified. When no value is specified, the option's value is TRUE. The following boolean
option values are recognised as TRUE:
1, on, true, yes
and the following boolean option values are recognised as FALSE:
0, off, false, no
If an option name is prefixed with "No", then the option value is negated.
Example: the following option entries are equivalent:
Option "Accel" "Off"
Option "NoAccel" "On"
Option "Accel" "false"
Option "Accel" "no"
Frequency option values consist of a real number that is optionally followed by one of the following frequency units:
Hz, k, kHz, M, MHz
When the unit name is omitted, the correct units will be determined from the value and the expectations of the appropriate range of the
value. It is recommended that the units always be specified when using frequency option values to avoid any errors in determining the
The Files section is used to specify some path names required by the server. Some of these paths can also be set from the command line
(see Xserver(1) and Xorg(1)). The command line settings override the values specified in the config file. The Files section is optional,
as are all of the entries that may appear in it.
The entries that can appear in this section are:
sets the search path for fonts. This path is a comma separated list of font path elements which the Xorg server searches for font
databases. Multiple FontPath entries may be specified, and they will be concatenated to build up the fontpath used by the server.
Font path elements can be absolute directory paths, catalogue directories or a font server identifier. The formats of the later two
are explained below:
Catalogue directories can be specified using the prefix catalogue: before the directory name. The directory can then be popu-
lated with symlinks pointing to the real font directories, using the following syntax in the symlink name:
where <identifier> is an alphanumeric identifier, [attribute] is an attribute which will be passed to the underlying FPE and
<priority> is a number used to order the fontfile FPEs. Examples:
75dpi:unscaled:pri=20 -> /usr/share/X11/fonts/75dpi
gscript:pri=60 -> /usr/share/fonts/default/ghostscript
misc:unscaled:pri=10 -> /usr/share/X11/fonts/misc
Font server identifiers:
Font server identifiers have the form:
where <trans> is the transport type to use to connect to the font server (e.g., unix for UNIX-domain sockets or tcp for a TCP/IP
connection), <hostname> is the hostname of the machine running the font server, and <port-number> is the port number that the
font server is listening on (usually 7100).
When this entry is not specified in the config file, the server falls back to the compiled-in default font path, which contains the
following font path elements (which can be set inside a catalogue directory):
The recommended font path contains the following font path elements:
Font path elements that are found to be invalid are removed from the font path when the server starts up.
sets the search path for loadable Xorg server modules. This path is a comma separated list of directories which the Xorg server
searches for loadable modules loading in the order specified. Multiple ModulePath entries may be specified, and they will be con-
catenated to build the module search path used by the server.
In addition to options specific to this section (described below), the ServerFlags section is used to specify some global Xorg server
options. All of the entries in this section are Options, although for compatibility purposes some of the old style entries are still
recognised. Those old style entries are not documented here, and using them is discouraged. The ServerFlags section is optional, as are
the entries that may be specified in it.
Options specified in this section (with the exception of the "DefaultServerLayout" Option) may be overridden by Options specified in the
active ServerLayout section. Options with command line equivalents are overridden when their command line equivalent is used. The options
recognised by this section are:
Option "DefaultServerLayout" "layout-id"
This specifies the default ServerLayout section to use in the absence of the -layout command line option.
Option "NoTrapSignals" "boolean"
This prevents the Xorg server from trapping a range of unexpected fatal signals and exiting cleanly. Instead, the Xorg server will
die and drop core where the fault occurred. The default behaviour is for the Xorg server to exit cleanly, but still drop a core
file. In general you never want to use this option unless you are debugging an Xorg server problem and know how to deal with the
Option "DontVTSwitch" "boolean"
This disallows the use of the Ctrl+Alt+Fn sequence (where Fn refers to one of the numbered function keys). That sequence is nor-
mally used to switch to another "virtual terminal" on operating systems that have this feature. When this option is enabled, that
key sequence has no special meaning and is passed to clients. Default: off.
Option "DontZap" "boolean"
This disallows the use of the Ctrl+Alt+Backspace sequence. That sequence is normally used to terminate the Xorg server. When this
option is enabled (as per default), that key sequence has no special meaning. Default: on.
Option "DontZoom" "boolean"
This disallows the use of the Ctrl+Alt+Keypad-Plus and Ctrl+Alt+Keypad-Minus sequences. These sequences allows you to switch
between video modes. When this option is enabled, those key sequences have no special meaning and are passed to clients. Default:
Option "DisableVidModeExtension" "boolean"
This disables the parts of the VidMode extension used by the xvidtune client that can be used to change the video modes. Default:
the VidMode extension is enabled.
Option "AllowNonLocalXvidtune" "boolean"
This allows the xvidtune client (and other clients that use the VidMode extension) to connect from another host. Default: off.
Option "AllowMouseOpenFail" "boolean"
This allows the server to start up even if the mouse device can't be opened/initialised. Default: false.
Option "VTSysReq" "boolean"
enables the SYSV-style VT switch sequence for non-SYSV systems which support VT switching. This sequence is Alt-SysRq followed by a
function key (Fn). This prevents the Xorg server trapping the keys used for the default VT switch sequence, which means that
clients can access them. Default: off.
Option "XkbDisable" "boolean"
disable/enable the XKEYBOARD extension. The -kb command line option overrides this config file option. Default: XKB is enabled.
Option "BlankTime" "time"
sets the inactivity timeout for the blank phase of the screensaver. time is in minutes. This is equivalent to the Xorg server's -s
flag, and the value can be changed at run-time with xset(1). Default: 10 minutes.
Option "StandbyTime" "time"
sets the inactivity timeout for the standby phase of DPMS mode. time is in minutes, and the value can be changed at run-time with
xset(1). Default: 20 minutes. This is only suitable for VESA DPMS compatible monitors, and may not be supported by all video driv-
ers. It is only enabled for screens that have the "DPMS" option set (see the MONITOR section below).
Option "SuspendTime" "time"
sets the inactivity timeout for the suspend phase of DPMS mode. time is in minutes, and the value can be changed at run-time with
xset(1). Default: 30 minutes. This is only suitable for VESA DPMS compatible monitors, and may not be supported by all video driv-
ers. It is only enabled for screens that have the "DPMS" option set (see the MONITOR section below).
Option "OffTime" "time"
sets the inactivity timeout for the off phase of DPMS mode. time is in minutes, and the value can be changed at run-time with
xset(1). Default: 40 minutes. This is only suitable for VESA DPMS compatible monitors, and may not be supported by all video driv-
ers. It is only enabled for screens that have the "DPMS" option set (see the MONITOR section below).
Option "Pixmap" "bpp"
This sets the pixmap format to use for depth 24. Allowed values for bpp are 24 and 32. Default: 32 unless driver constraints don't
allow this (which is rare). Note: some clients don't behave well when this value is set to 24.
Option "PC98" "boolean"
Specify that the machine is a Japanese PC-98 machine. This should not be enabled for anything other than the Japanese-specific
PC-98 architecture. Default: auto-detected.
Option "NoPM" "boolean"
Disables something to do with power management events. Default: PM enabled on platforms that support it.
Option "Xinerama" "boolean"
enable or disable XINERAMA extension. Default is disabled.
Option "HandleSpecialKeys" "when"
This option controls when the server uses the builtin handler to process special key combinations (such as Ctrl+Alt+Backspace).
Normally the XKEYBOARD extension keymaps will provide mappings for each of the special key combinations, so the builtin handler is
not needed unless the XKEYBOARD extension is disabled. The value of when can be Always, Never, or WhenNeeded. Default: Use the
builtin handler only if needed. The server will scan the keymap for a mapping to the Terminate action and, if found, use XKEYBOARD
for processing actions, otherwise the builtin handler will be used.
Option "AIGLX" "boolean"
enable or disable AIGLX. AIGLX is enabled by default.
Option "GlxVisuals" "string"
This option controls how many GLX visuals the GLX modules sets up. The default value is typical, which will setup up a typical sub-
set of the GLXFBConfigs provided by the driver as GLX visuals. Other options are minimal, which will set up the minimal set allowed
by the GLX specification and all which will setup GLX visuals for all GLXFBConfigs.
Option "UseDefaultFontPath" "boolean"
Include the default font path even if other paths are specified in xorg.conf. If enabled, other font paths are included as well.
Enabled by default.
Option "IgnoreABI" "boolean"
Allow modules built for a different, potentially incompatible version of the X server to load. Disabled by default.
Option "AllowEmptyInput" "boolean"
If enabled, don't add the standard keyboard and mouse drivers, if there are no input devices in the config file. Enabled by default
if AutoAddDevices and AutoEnableDevices is enabled, otherwise disabled. If AllowEmptyInput is on, devices using the kbd, mouse or
vmmouse driver are ignored.
Option "AutoAddDevices" "boolean"
If this option is disabled, then no devices will be added from HAL events. Enabled by default.
Option "AutoEnableDevices" "boolean"
If this option is disabled, then the devices will be added (and the DevicePresenceNotify event sent), but not enabled, thus leaving
policy up to the client. Enabled by default.
Option "Log" "string"
This option controls whether the log is flushed and/or synced to disk after each message. Possible values are flush or sync. Unset
The Module section is used to specify which Xorg server modules should be loaded. This section is ignored when the Xorg server is built in
static form. The types of modules normally loaded in this section are Xorg server extension modules, and font rasteriser modules. Most
other module types are loaded automatically when they are needed via other mechanisms. The Module section is optional, as are all of the
entries that may be specified in it.
Entries in this section may be in two forms. The first and most commonly used form is an entry that uses the Load keyword, as described
This instructs the server to load the module called modulename. The module name given should be the module's standard name, not the
module file name. The standard name is case-sensitive, and does not include the "lib" prefix, or the ".a", ".o", or ".so" suffixes.
Example: the FreeType font rasteriser can be loaded with the following entry:
This instructs the server to not load the module called modulename. Some modules are loaded by default in the server, and this
overrides that default. If a Load instruction is given for the same module, it overrides the Disable instruction and the module is
loaded. The module name given should be the module's standard name, not the module file name. As with the Load instruction, the
standard name is case-sensitive, and does not include the "lib" prefix, or the ".a", ".o", or ".so" suffixes.
The second form of entry is a SubSection, with the subsection name being the module name, and the contents of the SubSection being Options
that are passed to the module when it is loaded.
Example: the extmod module (which contains a miscellaneous group of server extensions) can be loaded, with the XFree86-DGA extension dis-
abled by using the following entry:
Option "omit XFree86-DGA"
Modules are searched for in each directory specified in the ModulePath search path, and in the drivers, input, extensions, fonts, and
internal subdirectories of each of those directories. In addition to this, operating system specific subdirectories of all the above are
searched first if they exist.
To see what font and extension modules are available, check the contents of the following directories:
The "extmod", "dbe", "glx", and "dri" extension modules are loaded automatically, unless disabled with "Disable" entries. It is recom-
mended that at very least the "extmod" extension module be loaded. If it isn't, some commonly used server extensions (like the SHAPE
extension) will not be available.
The Extensions section is used to specify which X11 protocol extensions should be enabled or disabled. The Extensions section is optional,
as are all of the entries that may be specified in it.
Entries in this section are listed as Option statements with the name of the extension as the first argument, and a boolean value as the
second. The extension name is case-sensitive, and matches the form shown in the output of "Xorg -extension ?".
Example: the MIT-SHM extension can be disabled with the following entry:
Option "MIT-SHM" "Disable"
The config file may have multiple InputDevice sections. There will normally be at least two: one for the core (primary) keyboard, and one
of the core pointer. If either of these two is missing, a default configuration for the missing ones will be used. Currently the default
configuration may not work as expected on all platforms.
InputDevice sections have the following format:
The Identifier and Driver entries are required in all InputDevice sections. All other entries are optional.
The Identifier entry specifies the unique name for this input device. The Driver entry specifies the name of the driver to use for this
input device. When using the loadable server, the input driver module "inputdriver" will be loaded for each active InputDevice section.
An InputDevice section is considered active if it is referenced by an active ServerLayout section, if it is referenced by the -keyboard or
-pointer command line options, or if it is selected implicitly as the core pointer or keyboard device in the absence of such explicit ref-
erences. The most commonly used input drivers are evdev(4) on Linux systems, and kbd(4) and mouse(4) on other platforms.
In the absence of an explicitly specified core input device, the first InputDevice marked as CorePointer (or CoreKeyboard) is used. If
there is no match there, the first InputDevice that uses the "mouse" (or "kbd") driver is used. The final fallback is to use built-in
InputDevice sections recognise some driver-independent Options, which are described here. See the individual input driver manual pages for
a description of the device-specific options.
When this is set, the input device is installed as the core (primary) pointer device. There must be exactly one core pointer. If
this option is not set here, or in the ServerLayout section, or from the -pointer command line option, then the first input device
that is capable of being used as a core pointer will be selected as the core pointer. This option is implicitly set when the obso-
lete Pointer section is used.
When this is set, the input device is to be installed as the core (primary) keyboard device. There must be exactly one core key-
board. If this option is not set here, in the ServerLayout section, or from the -keyboard command line option, then the first input
device that is capable of being used as a core keyboard will be selected as the core keyboard. This option is implicitly set when
the obsolete Keyboard section is used.
Option "AlwaysCore" "boolean"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "boolean"
Both of these options are equivalent, and when enabled cause the input device to always report core events. This can be used, for
example, to allow an additional pointer device to generate core pointer events (like moving the cursor, etc).
Option "HistorySize" "number"
Sets the motion history size. Default: 0.
Option "SendDragEvents" "boolean"
The config file may have multiple Device sections. There must be at least one, for the video card being used.
Device sections have the following format:
The Identifier and Driver entries are required in all Device sections. All other entries are optional.
The Identifier entry specifies the unique name for this graphics device. The Driver entry specifies the name of the driver to use for this
graphics device. When using the loadable server, the driver module "driver" will be loaded for each active Device section. A Device sec-
tion is considered active if it is referenced by an active Screen section.
Device sections recognise some driver-independent entries and Options, which are described here. Not all drivers make use of these
driver-independent entries, and many of those that do don't require them to be specified because the information is auto-detected. See the
individual graphics driver manual pages for further information about this, and for a description of the device-specific options. Note
that most of the Options listed here (but not the other entries) may be specified in the Screen section instead of here in the Device sec-
This specifies the bus location of the graphics card. For PCI/AGP cards, the bus-id string has the form PCI:bus:device:function
(e.g., "PCI:1:0:0" might be appropriate for an AGP card). This field is usually optional in single-head configurations when using
the primary graphics card. In multi-head configurations, or when using a secondary graphics card in a single-head configuration,
this entry is mandatory. Its main purpose is to make an unambiguous connection between the device section and the hardware it is
representing. This information can usually be found by running the pciaccess tool scanpci.
This option is mandatory for cards where a single PCI entity can drive more than one display (i.e., multiple CRTCs sharing a single
graphics accelerator and video memory). One Device section is required for each head, and this parameter determines which head each
of the Device sections applies to. The legal values of number range from 0 to one less than the total number of heads per entity.
Most drivers require that the primary screen (0) be present.
This usually optional entry specifies the chipset used on the graphics board. In most cases this entry is not required because the
drivers will probe the hardware to determine the chipset type. Don't specify it unless the driver-specific documentation recommends
that you do.
This optional entry specifies the type of RAMDAC used on the graphics board. This is only used by a few of the drivers, and in most
cases it is not required because the drivers will probe the hardware to determine the RAMDAC type where possible. Don't specify it
unless the driver-specific documentation recommends that you do.
DacSpeed speed-8 speed-16 speed-24 speed-32
This optional entry specifies the RAMDAC speed rating (which is usually printed on the RAMDAC chip). The speed is in MHz. When one
value is given, it applies to all framebuffer pixel sizes. When multiple values are given, they apply to the framebuffer pixel
sizes 8, 16, 24 and 32 respectively. This is not used by many drivers, and only needs to be specified when the speed rating of the
RAMDAC is different from the defaults built in to driver, or when the driver can't auto-detect the correct defaults. Don't specify
it unless the driver-specific documentation recommends that you do.
Clocks clock ...
specifies the pixel that are on your graphics board. The clocks are in MHz, and may be specified as a floating point number. The
value is stored internally to the nearest kHz. The ordering of the clocks is important. It must match the order in which they are
selected on the graphics board. Multiple Clocks lines may be specified, and each is concatenated to form the list. Most drivers do
not use this entry, and it is only required for some older boards with non-programmable clocks. Don't specify this entry unless the
driver-specific documentation explicitly recommends that you do.
This optional entry is used to specify the clock chip type on graphics boards which have a programmable clock generator. Only a few
Xorg drivers support programmable clock chips. For details, see the appropriate driver manual page.
This optional entry specifies the amount of video ram that is installed on the graphics board. This is measured in kBytes. In most
cases this is not required because the Xorg server probes the graphics board to determine this quantity. The driver-specific docu-
mentation should indicate when it might be needed.
This optional entry specifies the base address of the video BIOS for the VGA board. This address is normally auto-detected, and
should only be specified if the driver-specific documentation recommends it.
This optional entry specifies the memory base address of a graphics board's linear frame buffer. This entry is not used by many
drivers, and it should only be specified if the driver-specific documentation recommends it.
This optional entry specifies the IO base address. This entry is not used by many drivers, and it should only be specified if the
driver-specific documentation recommends it.
This optional entry specifies a numerical ID representing the chip type. For PCI cards, it is usually the device ID. This can be
used to override the auto-detection, but that should only be done when the driver-specific documentation recommends it.
This optional entry specifies the chip revision number. This can be used to override the auto-detection, but that should only be
done when the driver-specific documentation recommends it.
This optional entry specifies the pixel clock frequency that is used for the regular text mode. The frequency is specified in MHz.
This is rarely used.
Option "ModeDebug" "boolean"
Enable printing of additional debugging information about modesetting to the server log.
Option flags may be specified in the Device sections. These include driver-specific options and driver-independent options. The
former are described in the driver-specific documentation. Some of the latter are described below in the section about the Screen
section, and they may also be included here.
Nobody wants to say how this works. Maybe nobody knows ...
The config file may have multiple Monitor sections. There should normally be at least one, for the monitor being used, but a default con-
figuration will be created when one isn't specified.
Monitor sections have the following format:
The only mandatory entry in a Monitor section is the Identifier entry.
The Identifier entry specifies the unique name for this monitor. The Monitor section may be used to provide information about the specifi-
cations of the monitor, monitor-specific Options, and information about the video modes to use with the monitor.
With RandR 1.2-enabled drivers, monitor sections may be tied to specific outputs of the video card. Using the name of the output defined
by the video driver plus the identifier of a monitor section, one associates a monitor section with an output by adding an option to the
Device section in the following format:
Option "Monitor-outputname" "monitorsection"
(for example, Option "Monitor-VGA" "VGA monitor" for a VGA output)
In the absence of specific association of monitor sections to outputs, if a monitor section is present the server will associate it with an
output to preserve compatibility for previous single-head configurations.
Specifying video modes is optional because the server will use the DDC or other information provided by the monitor to automatically con-
figure the list of modes available. When modes are specified explicitly in the Monitor section (with the Modes, ModeLine, or UseModes key-
words), built-in modes with the same names are not included. Built-in modes with different names are, however, still implicitly included,
when they meet the requirements of the monitor.
The entries that may be used in Monitor sections are described below.
This optional entry specifies the monitor's manufacturer.
This optional entry specifies the monitor's model.
gives the range(s) of horizontal sync frequencies supported by the monitor. horizsync-range may be a comma separated list of either
discrete values or ranges of values. A range of values is two values separated by a dash. By default the values are in units of
kHz. They may be specified in MHz or Hz if MHz or Hz is added to the end of the line. The data given here is used by the Xorg
server to determine if video modes are within the specifications of the monitor. This information should be available in the moni-
tor's handbook. If this entry is omitted, a default range of 28-33kHz is used.
gives the range(s) of vertical refresh frequencies supported by the monitor. vertrefresh-range may be a comma separated list of
either discrete values or ranges of values. A range of values is two values separated by a dash. By default the values are in
units of Hz. They may be specified in MHz or kHz if MHz or kHz is added to the end of the line. The data given here is used by the
Xorg server to determine if video modes are within the specifications of the monitor. This information should be available in the
monitor's handbook. If this entry is omitted, a default range of 43-72Hz is used.
DisplaySize width height
This optional entry gives the width and height, in millimetres, of the picture area of the monitor. If given this is used to calcu-
late the horizontal and vertical pitch (DPI) of the screen.
Gamma red-gamma green-gamma blue-gamma
This is an optional entry that can be used to specify the gamma correction for the monitor. It may be specified as either a single
value or as three separate RGB values. The values should be in the range 0.1 to 10.0, and the default is 1.0. Not all drivers are
capable of using this information.
Include the set of modes listed in the Modes section called modesection-id. This makes all of the modes defined in that section
available for use by this monitor.
This is an optional multi-line entry that can be used to provide definitions for video modes for the monitor. In most cases this
isn't necessary because the built-in set of VESA standard modes will be sufficient. The Mode keyword indicates the start of a
multi-line video mode description. The mode description is terminated with the EndMode keyword. The mode description consists of
the following entries:
is the dot (pixel) clock rate to be used for the mode.
HTimings hdisp hsyncstart hsyncend htotal
specifies the horizontal timings for the mode.
VTimings vdisp vsyncstart vsyncend vtotal
specifies the vertical timings for the mode.
Flags "flag" ...
specifies an optional set of mode flags, each of which is a separate string in double quotes. "Interlace" indicates that the
mode is interlaced. "DoubleScan" indicates a mode where each scanline is doubled. "+HSync" and "-HSync" can be used to select
the polarity of the HSync signal. "+VSync" and "-VSync" can be used to select the polarity of the VSync signal. "Composite"
can be used to specify composite sync on hardware where this is supported. Additionally, on some hardware, "+CSync" and
"-CSync" may be used to select the composite sync polarity.
specifies the number of pixels (towards the right edge of the screen) by which the display enable signal is to be skewed. Not
all drivers use this information. This option might become necessary to override the default value supplied by the server (if
any). "Roving" horizontal lines indicate this value needs to be increased. If the last few pixels on a scan line appear on the
left of the screen, this value should be decreased.
specifies the number of times each scanline is painted on the screen. Not all drivers use this information. Values less than 1
are treated as 1, which is the default. Generally, the "DoubleScan" Flag mentioned above doubles this value.
ModeLine "name" mode-description
This entry is a more compact version of the Mode entry, and it also can be used to specify video modes for the monitor. is a single
line format for specifying video modes. In most cases this isn't necessary because the built-in set of VESA standard modes will be
The mode-description is in four sections, the first three of which are mandatory. The first is the dot (pixel) clock. This is a
single number specifying the pixel clock rate for the mode in MHz. The second section is a list of four numbers specifying the hor-
izontal timings. These numbers are the hdisp, hsyncstart, hsyncend, and htotal values. The third section is a list of four numbers
specifying the vertical timings. These numbers are the vdisp, vsyncstart, vsyncend, and vtotal values. The final section is a list
of flags specifying other characteristics of the mode. Interlace indicates that the mode is interlaced. DoubleScan indicates a
mode where each scanline is doubled. +HSync and -HSync can be used to select the polarity of the HSync signal. +VSync and -VSync
can be used to select the polarity of the VSync signal. Composite can be used to specify composite sync on hardware where this is
supported. Additionally, on some hardware, +CSync and -CSync may be used to select the composite sync polarity. The HSkew and
VScan options mentioned above in the Modes entry description can also be used here.
Option "DPMS" "bool"
This option controls whether the server should enable the DPMS extension for power management for this screen. The default is to
enable the extension.
Option "SyncOnGreen" "bool"
This option controls whether the video card should drive the sync signal on the green color pin. Not all cards support this option,
and most monitors do not require it. The default is off.
Option "TargetRefresh" "rate"
This optional entry specifies the vertical refresh rate that the server should aim for when selecting video modes. Without this
option, the default is to prefer modes with higher refresh rates.
Option "PreferredMode" "string"
This optional entry specifies a mode to be marked as the preferred initial mode of the monitor. (RandR 1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "Position" "x y"
This optional entry specifies the position of the monitor within the X screen. (RandR 1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "LeftOf" "output"
This optional entry specifies that the monitor should be positioned to the left of the output (not monitor) of the given name.
(RandR 1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "RightOf" "output"
This optional entry specifies that the monitor should be positioned to the right of the output (not monitor) of the given name.
(RandR 1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "Above" "output"
This optional entry specifies that the monitor should be positioned above the output (not monitor) of the given name. (RandR
1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "Below" "output"
This optional entry specifies that the monitor should be positioned below the output (not monitor) of the given name. (RandR
1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "Enable" "bool"
This optional entry specifies whether the monitor should be turned on at startup. By default, the server will attempt to enable all
connected monitors. (RandR 1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "MinClock" "frequency"
This optional entry specifies the minimum dot clock, in kHz, that is supported by the monitor.
Option "MaxClock" "frequency"
This optional entry specifies the maximum dot clock, in kHz, that is supported by the monitor.
Option "Ignore" "bool"
This optional entry specifies that the monitor should be ignored entirely, and not reported through RandR. This is useful if the
hardware reports the presence of outputs that don't exist. (RandR 1.2-supporting drivers only)
Option "Rotate" "rotation"
This optional entry specifies the initial rotation of the given monitor. Valid values for rotation are "normal", "left", "right",
and "inverted". (RandR 1.2-supporting drivers only)
The config file may have multiple Modes sections, or none. These sections provide a way of defining sets of video modes independently of
the Monitor sections. Monitor sections may include the definitions provided in these sections by using the UseModes keyword. In most
cases the Modes sections are not necessary because the built-in set of VESA standard modes will be sufficient.
Modes sections have the following format:
The Identifier entry specifies the unique name for this set of mode descriptions. The other entries permitted in Modes sections are the
Mode and ModeLine entries that are described above in the Monitor section.
The config file may have multiple Screen sections. There must be at least one, for the "screen" being used. A "screen" represents the
binding of a graphics device (Device section) and a monitor (Monitor section). A Screen section is considered "active" if it is referenced
by an active ServerLayout section or by the -screen command line option. If neither of those is present, the first Screen section found in
the config file is considered the active one.
Screen sections have the following format:
The Identifier and Device entries are mandatory. All others are optional.
The Identifier entry specifies the unique name for this screen. The Screen section provides information specific to the whole screen,
including screen-specific Options. In multi-head configurations, there will be multiple active Screen sections, one for each head. The
entries available for this section are:
This mandatory entry specifies the Device section to be used for this screen. This is what ties a specific graphics card to a
screen. The device-id must match the Identifier of a Device section in the config file.
specifies which monitor description is to be used for this screen. If a Monitor name is not specified, a default configuration is
used. Currently the default configuration may not function as expected on all platforms.
specifies an optional Xv video adaptor description to be used with this screen.
specifies which color depth the server should use by default. The -depth command line option can be used to override this. If nei-
ther is specified, the default depth is driver-specific, but in most cases is 8.
specifies which framebuffer layout to use by default. The -fbbpp command line option can be used to override this. In most cases
the driver will chose the best default value for this. The only case where there is even a choice in this value is for depth 24,
where some hardware supports both a packed 24 bit framebuffer layout and a sparse 32 bit framebuffer layout.
Various Option flags may be specified in the Screen section. Some are driver-specific and are described in the driver documenta-
tion. Others are driver-independent, and will eventually be described here.
Enables XAA (X Acceleration Architecture), a mechanism that makes video cards' 2D hardware acceleration available to the Xorg
server. This option is on by default, but it may be necessary to turn it off if there are bugs in the driver. There are many
options to disable specific accelerated operations, listed below. Note that disabling an operation will have no effect if the oper-
ation is not accelerated (whether due to lack of support in the hardware or in the driver).
Option "InitPrimary" "boolean"
Use the Int10 module to initialize the primary graphics card. Normally, only secondary cards are soft-booted using the Int10 mod-
ule, as the primary card has already been initialized by the BIOS at boot time. Default: false.
Option "NoInt10" "boolean"
Disables the Int10 module, a module that uses the int10 call to the BIOS of the graphics card to initialize it. Default: false.
Disables MTRR (Memory Type Range Register) support, a feature of modern processors which can improve video performance by a factor
of up to 2.5. Some hardware has buggy MTRR support, and some video drivers have been known to exhibit problems when MTRR's are
Disables accelerated rectangular expansion blits from source patterns stored in system memory (using a memory-mapped aperture).
Disables accelerated fills of a rectangular region with a full-color pattern.
Disables accelerated fills of a trapezoidal region with a full-color pattern.
Disables accelerated dashed Bresenham line draws.
Disables accelerated dashed line draws between two arbitrary points.
Disables accelerated transfers of full-color rectangular patterns from system memory to video memory (using a memory-mapped aper-
Disables accelerated fills of a rectangular region with a monochrome pattern.
Disables accelerated fills of a trapezoidal region with a monochrome pattern.
Disables accelerated draws into pixmaps stored in offscreen video memory.
Disables caching of patterns in offscreen video memory.
Disables accelerated rectangular expansion blits from source patterns stored in system memory (one scan line at a time).
Disables accelerated transfers of full-color rectangular patterns from system memory to video memory (one scan line at a time).
Disables accelerated rectangular expansion blits from source patterns stored in offscreen video memory.
Disables accelerated copies of rectangular regions from one part of video memory to another part of video memory.
Disables accelerated solid Bresenham line draws.
Disables accelerated solid-color fills of rectangles.
Disables accelerated solid-color fills of Bresenham trapezoids.
Disables accelerated solid horizontal and vertical line draws.
Disables accelerated solid line draws between two arbitrary points.
Each Screen section may optionally contain one or more Display subsections. Those subsections provide depth/fbbpp specific configuration
information, and the one chosen depends on the depth and/or fbbpp that is being used for the screen. The Display subsection format is
described in the section below.
Each Screen section may have multiple Display subsections. The "active" Display subsection is the first that matches the depth and/or
fbbpp values being used, or failing that, the first that has neither a depth or fbbpp value specified. The Display subsections are
optional. When there isn't one that matches the depth and/or fbbpp values being used, all the parameters that can be specified here fall
back to their defaults.
Display subsections have the following format:
This entry specifies what colour depth the Display subsection is to be used for. This entry is usually specified, but it may be
omitted to create a match-all Display subsection or when wishing to match only against the FbBpp parameter. The range of depth val-
ues that are allowed depends on the driver. Most drivers support 8, 15, 16 and 24. Some also support 1 and/or 4, and some may sup-
port other values (like 30). Note: depth means the number of bits in a pixel that are actually used to determine the pixel colour.
32 is not a valid depth value. Most hardware that uses 32 bits per pixel only uses 24 of them to hold the colour information, which
means that the colour depth is 24, not 32.
This entry specifies the framebuffer format this Display subsection is to be used for. This entry is only needed when providing
depth 24 configurations that allow a choice between a 24 bpp packed framebuffer format and a 32bpp sparse framebuffer format. In
most cases this entry should not be used.
Weight red-weight green-weight blue-weight
This optional entry specifies the relative RGB weighting to be used for a screen is being used at depth 16 for drivers that allow
multiple formats. This may also be specified from the command line with the -weight option (see Xorg(1)).
Virtual xdim ydim
This optional entry specifies the virtual screen resolution to be used. xdim must be a multiple of either 8 or 16 for most drivers,
and a multiple of 32 when running in monochrome mode. The given value will be rounded down if this is not the case. Video modes
which are too large for the specified virtual size will be rejected. If this entry is not present, the virtual screen resolution
will be set to accommodate all the valid video modes given in the Modes entry. Some drivers/hardware combinations do not support
virtual screens. Refer to the appropriate driver-specific documentation for details.
ViewPort x0 y0
This optional entry sets the upper left corner of the initial display. This is only relevant when the virtual screen resolution is
different from the resolution of the initial video mode. If this entry is not given, then the initial display will be centered in
the virtual display area.
Modes "mode-name" ...
This optional entry specifies the list of video modes to use. Each mode-name specified must be in double quotes. They must corre-
spond to those specified or referenced in the appropriate Monitor section (including implicitly referenced built-in VESA standard
modes). The server will delete modes from this list which don't satisfy various requirements. The first valid mode in this list
will be the default display mode for startup. The list of valid modes is converted internally into a circular list. It is possible
to switch to the next mode with Ctrl+Alt+Keypad-Plus and to the previous mode with Ctrl+Alt+Keypad-Minus. When this entry is omit-
ted, the valid modes referenced by the appropriate Monitor section will be used. If the Monitor section contains no modes, then the
selection will be taken from the built-in VESA standard modes.
This optional entry sets the default root visual type. This may also be specified from the command line (see the Xserver(1) man
page). The visual types available for depth 8 are (default is PseudoColor):
The visual type available for the depths 15, 16 and 24 are (default is TrueColor):
Not all drivers support DirectColor at these depths.
The visual types available for the depth 4 are (default is StaticColor):
The visual type available for the depth 1 (monochrome) is StaticGray.
Black red green blue
This optional entry allows the "black" colour to be specified. This is only supported at depth 1. The default is black.
White red green blue
This optional entry allows the "white" colour to be specified. This is only supported at depth 1. The default is white.
Option flags may be specified in the Display subsections. These may include driver-specific options and driver-independent options.
The former are described in the driver-specific documentation. Some of the latter are described above in the section about the
Screen section, and they may also be included here.
The config file may have multiple ServerLayout sections. A "server layout" represents the binding of one or more screens (Screen sections)
and one or more input devices (InputDevice sections) to form a complete configuration. In multi-head configurations, it also specifies the
relative layout of the heads. A ServerLayout section is considered "active" if it is referenced by the -layout command line option or by
an Option "DefaultServerLayout" entry in the ServerFlags section (the former takes precedence over the latter). If those options are not
used, the first ServerLayout section found in the config file is considered the active one. If no ServerLayout sections are present, the
single active screen and two active (core) input devices are selected as described in the relevant sections above.
ServerLayout sections have the following format:
Each ServerLayout section must have an Identifier entry and at least one Screen entry.
The Identifier entry specifies the unique name for this server layout. The ServerLayout section provides information specific to the whole
session, including session-specific Options. The ServerFlags options (described above) may be specified here, and ones given here override
those given in the ServerFlags section.
The entries that may be used in this section are described here.
Screen screen-num "screen-id" position-information
One of these entries must be given for each screen being used in a session. The screen-id field is mandatory, and specifies the
Screen section being referenced. The screen-num field is optional, and may be used to specify the screen number in multi-head con-
figurations. When this field is omitted, the screens will be numbered in the order that they are listed in. The numbering starts
from 0, and must be consecutive. The position-information field describes the way multiple screens are positioned. There are a
number of different ways that this information can be provided:
Absolute x y
These both specify that the upper left corner's coordinates are (x,y). The Absolute keyword is optional. Some older versions
of XFree86 (4.2 and earlier) don't recognise the Absolute keyword, so it's safest to just specify the coordinates without it.
Relative "screen-id" x y
These give the screen's location relative to another screen. The first four position the screen immediately to the right, left,
above or below the other screen. When positioning to the right or left, the top edges are aligned. When positioning above or
below, the left edges are aligned. The Relative form specifies the offset of the screen's origin (upper left corner) relative
to the origin of another screen.
InputDevice "idev-id" "option" ...
One of these entries should be given for each input device being used in a session. Normally at least two are required, one each
for the core pointer and keyboard devices. If either of those is missing, suitable InputDevice entries are searched for using the
method described above in the INPUTDEVICE section. The idev-id field is mandatory, and specifies the name of the InputDevice sec-
tion being referenced. Multiple option fields may be specified, each in double quotes. The options permitted here are any that may
also be given in the InputDevice sections. Normally only session-specific input device options would be used here. The most com-
monly used options are:
and the first two should normally be used to indicate the core pointer and core keyboard devices respectively.
In addition to the following, any option permitted in the ServerFlags section may also be specified here. When the same option
appears in both places, the value given here overrides the one given in the ServerFlags section.
Option "IsolateDevice" "bus-id"
Restrict device resets to the specified bus-id. See the BusID option (described in DEVICE SECTION, above) for the format of the
bus-id parameter. This option overrides SingleCard, if specified. At present, only PCI devices can be isolated in this manner.
Option "SingleCard" "boolean"
As IsolateDevice, except that the bus ID of the first device in the layout is used.
Here is an example of a ServerLayout section for a dual headed configuration with two mice:
Identifier "Layout 1"
Screen "MGA 1"
Screen "MGA 2" RightOf "MGA 1"
InputDevice "Keyboard 1" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "Mouse 1" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Mouse 2" "SendCoreEvents"
Option "BlankTime" "5"
This optional section is used to provide some information for the Direct Rendering Infrastructure. Details about the format of this sec-
tion can be found in the README.DRI document, which is also available on-line at <http://dri.freedesktop.org/>.
The optional Vendor section may be used to provide vendor-specific configuration information. Multiple Vendor sections may be present, and
they may contain an Identifier entry and multiple Option flags. The data therein is not used in this release.
General: X(7), Xserver(1), Xorg(1), cvt(1), gtf(1).
Not all modules or interfaces are available on all platforms.
Display drivers: apm(4), ati(4), chips(4), cirrus(4), cyrix(4), fbdev(4), glide(4), glint(4), i128(4), i740(4), imstt(4), intel(4), mga(4),
neomagic(4), nv(4), openchrome(4), r128(4), radeon(4), rendition(4), savage(4), s3virge(4), siliconmotion(4), sis(4), sisusb(4), sunbw2(4),
suncg14(4), suncg3(4), suncg6(4), sunffb(4), sunleo(4), suntcx(4), tdfx(4), trident(4), tseng(4), vesa(4), vmware(4), voodoo(4), wsfb(4),
Input drivers: acecad(4), calcomp(4), citron(4), dmc(4), dynapro(4), elographics(4), evdev(4), fpit(4), js_x(4), joystick(4), kbd(4), mag-
ictouch(4), microtouch(4), mousedrv(4), mutouch(4), palmax(4), penmount(4), synaptics(4), tek4957(4), ur98(4), vmmouse(4), void(4),
Other modules and interfaces: exa(4), fbdevhw(4), v4l(4).
This manual page was largely rewritten by David Dawes <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
X Version 11 xorg-server 1.6.0 xorg.conf(5)