In this article, we will discuss how to change the refresh rate for a specific monitor in Ubuntu. The refresh rate is the number of times your monitor updates with new images each second. For instance, a refresh rate of 60 Hz means the display refreshes 60 times per second. A higher refresh rate results in a smoother picture.
To change the refresh rate for a specific monitor on Ubuntu, you can use the command-line tool
xrandr or edit the
monitors.xml file. Using
xrandr, you can identify the monitor and set the desired refresh rate. Editing the
monitors.xml file allows you to change the refresh rate directly. Remember to ensure that your monitor supports the desired refresh rate to avoid damage.
Why Change the Refresh Rate?
Changing the refresh rate can enhance your viewing experience, especially while gaming or watching high-definition videos. However, it’s essential to ensure your monitor supports the refresh rate you want to set. Setting a refresh rate higher than what your monitor supports can damage the monitor.
Before we begin, ensure that you have administrative rights on your Ubuntu system, as the changes we are about to make require superuser permissions.
Method 1: Using xrandr
xrandr is a command-line tool used to set the size, orientation, and reflection of the outputs for a screen.
Step 1: Identify the Monitor
Open a terminal and run the command
xrandr. This command will display the available monitors and their supported refresh rates.
Step 2: Change the Refresh Rate
Once you have identified the name of the monitor for which you want to change the refresh rate, you can use the following command to change the refresh rate:
xrandr --output HDMI1 --rate 75
In this command,
--output specifies the output to configure (in this case, HDMI1), and
--rate sets the refresh rate (75 Hz in this case). Replace
HDMI1 with the name of your monitor and
75 with your desired refresh rate.
If you also want to set the resolution, you can use the following command:
xrandr --output HDMI1 --mode 1280x1024 --rate 75
--mode parameter sets the resolution (1280×1024 in this case). Again, replace
75 with your monitor’s name and desired refresh rate, respectively, and
1280x1024 with your preferred resolution.
Method 2: Editing monitors.xml
monitors.xml file in Ubuntu contains the configuration for all your monitors. You can edit this file to change the refresh rate.
Step 1: Open monitors.xml
monitors.xml file located at
~/.config/monitors.xml using your favorite text editor. For instance, if you’re using nano, the command would be:
Step 2: Edit the Refresh Rate
Look for the monitor you want to change the refresh rate for and locate the line
<rate>60</rate>. Replace the current refresh rate (60) with the desired refresh rate (e.g., 75).
Step 3: Save and Reboot
Save the file and reboot your system for the changes to take effect.
Changing the refresh rate in Ubuntu is a straightforward process, whether you prefer using the command line with
xrandr or editing the
monitors.xml file. However, always ensure that your monitor supports the refresh rate you want to set to avoid damaging your monitor.
Remember, if you prefer a graphical interface, you can install
lxrandr, which provides an intuitive GUI for changing refresh rates and resolutions. For more information on
lxrandr, visit the official LXDE website.
By understanding how to change the refresh rate, you can optimize your monitor for a smoother and better viewing experience.
The default refresh rate in Ubuntu is typically 60 Hz.
You can use the
xrandr command in the terminal to check the current refresh rate. Simply run
xrandr and look for the refresh rate listed next to your monitor.
It is not recommended to set a refresh rate higher than what your monitor supports, as it can potentially damage the monitor. Always ensure that your monitor supports the desired refresh rate before making any changes.
To revert back to the default refresh rate, you can either set it using the
xrandr command or edit the
monitors.xml file and replace the desired refresh rate with the default value. Save the changes and reboot your system for the default refresh rate to take effect.
Yes, you can change the refresh rate for each monitor individually using the
xrandr command or by editing the
monitors.xml file. Simply specify the output or monitor name along with the desired refresh rate when making the changes.
If you set a refresh rate that is not supported by your monitor, the screen may go blank or display an "Out of Range" message. In some cases, it can potentially damage your monitor. Always ensure that your monitor supports the refresh rate before making any changes.