How to manage monitor resolutions on Linux

Managing monitor resolutions on Linux is different, depending on the desktop environment you’re using. As a result, many Linux users get frustrated and don’t understand how they can tweak and change their monitor resolutions.

In this guide, we’ll go over the major Linux desktops and show you how to quickly and effectively tweak resolutions on each of these with ease. Let’s get started!

Gnome Shell/Budgie

Those on Gnome Shell, Budgie, and any other desktop environment that uses Gnome as a base for the desktop can configure the monitor resolution within the Gnome Settings application.

If you’re on Gnome, you can quickly access the display settings in two ways. To access these settings, you’ll need to press Win on the keyboard. Then, type in “Settings.” Double-click on the settings app to open up the main settings area. Alternatively, type in “displays” and click on the monitor icon.

In the display area for Gnome Shell, locate the “Resolution” section. From there, click on the default resolution that your PC is using to reveal a menu of different menu resolutions. Using the menu, click on the resolution that works for you.

Aside from switching through different monitor resolutions, the Gnome Displays area also lets users swap out the orientation of the display. So, if you dislike landscape mode, click on “Landscape” to choose a different mode.

KDE Plasma

To access the Display settings for KDE Plasma 5, you need to go to the Plasma system settings area. To get to this area, press the Win key on the keyboard and type in “System Settings” into the search box. Then, select the app in the search results with that name.

With the KDE Plasma System Settings app open, look to the left-hand side of the application. Scroll through the left-hand side till you get to the “Hardware” section. Under “Hardware,” click on “Displays” to open up KDE Plasma’s monitor configuration section.

To change the resolution of your monitor on KDE Plasma 5, look to the “Resolution” menu, and click on the drop-down menu to choose a new resolution size. To swap the layout of the display, find the “Orientation” menu. For the refresh rate, click on the menu next to “Refresh rate.”


In XFCE4, you can access the display settings by opening up your app menu and opening up the system settings app.

Note: can’t find the system settings app? Press Alt + F2 on the keyboard to open up the quick-launcher. With the launcher open, type “xfce4-settings-manager” and press Enter to open up settings.

Inside the settings application for XFCE4, there are a lot of different areas. Sort through them and click on the “Display” icon to immediately launch the monitor tweak app.

Upon clicking on Display, a monitor configuration window will appear, with various settings, such as “Resolution,” “Refresh rate,” “Rotation,” and “Reflection.”

To change up the monitor’s resolution, click the menu under “Resolution.” To change your refresh rate, click the menu under “Refresh rate,” etc.


Using the Mate desktop environment and need to know how to change up your display resolution? On the Mate desktop, open up the Control Center app by searching for it in your app’s menu.

Note: can’t find the Control Center in the menu? Press Alt + F2 to open up the quick launcher. Then, write “mate-control-center” in to start it up.

With the Control Center application open on your Mate desktop, look through it, and make your way to the “Hardware” section. Then, under “Hardware,” click on the “Displays” icon to launch the monitor configuration app.

In the Mate monitor configuration area, there are various options, such as “Resolution,” “Refresh rate,” and Rotation.”

To change the resolution for your monitor, click on the drop-down menu under “Resolution,” and select an option from the list. For the refresh rate, click on the menu next to that, and so on.

When you’ve made your changes to the resolution, click “Apply system-wide” to instantly change the resolution.


Though Cinnamon is based on Gnome Shell, it has a different settings system for monitors. To access your monitor settings on Cinnamon, press the Win key so that you can access the app menu. Once in the app menu, click on the wrench icon at the top to go to the settings area of Cinnamon.

Inside of the Cinnamon settings area, scroll down and look for the “Hardware” section. Then, locate the “Display” icon and click on it to access your monitor settings.

In the Cinnamon “Display” application, look for the “Resolution,” menu and click the drop-down menu to choose a new monitor resolution. Or, if you’d like to change the rotation, click on the menu next to “Rotation.”

To apply the new changes you’ve made in the app, click “Apply.”

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