Ubuntu 11.10 – Automatic HDMI Toggle (with audio!)

This took me forever (well, three days)! I didn’t really know what I was doing for the most part – I never heard of or used xrandr, xbacklight, and udev rules. After hours of googling and through trial and error, I somehow managed to get this script together and working.

A few notes though:

  • I made this for my laptop and specifically for a HDMI connection. Haven’t tested anything else like VGA (but I put it there in my script as an option just in case I ever wanted to try it out).
  • This only toggles between one display. So if more than one external monitor connection is present (such as HDMI or VGA), according to the order of if/then statements in the script, only the HDMI connection is used.
  • Most of my googling brought up solutions for external/dedicated graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia. HOWEVER, this script has only been tested on my laptop which has integrated graphics (Intel HD 3000).
  • This was tested on Ubuntu 11.10 on an HP-DM4-2191US laptop.

Thanks to this wiki, I learned how to create a udev rule.
SUBSYSTEM=="drm", ACTION=="change", RUN+="/usr/local/bin/MToggle-udev"

Here’s my script (may need to adjust some stuff such as paths and the index/name of the audio profile):
# Charles Cruz
# Monitor Toggle
# The following script toggles between the internal monitor and an external monitor.
# Version 1.3
# Export Xauthority and display
USER="$(who | grep :0\) | cut -f 1 -d ' ')"
export XAUTHORITY=/home/$USER/.Xauthority
export DISPLAY=:0
########### Settings ###########
# Use 'xrandr' to find these
# Check /sys/class/drm for the exact location
DP_STATUS="$(cat /sys/class/drm/card0-DP-1/status)"
VGA_STATUS="$(cat /sys/class/drm/card0-VGA-1/status)"
HDMI_STATUS="$(cat /sys/class/drm/card0-HDMI-A-1/status)"
# Backlight settings
# Do no change!
# Check to see if the external display is connected
if [ "${DP_STATUS}" = connected ]; then
if [ "${VGA_STATUS}" = connected ]; then
if [ "${HDMI_STATUS}" = connected ]; then
# The external display is connected
if [ "$EXTERNAL_DISPLAY" != "" ]; then
# Set the display settings
xrandr --output $INTERNAL_DISPLAY --off        # Turn off internal display
xrandr --output $EXTERNAL_DISPLAY --auto     # Turn on external display
# If connected via HDMI, change the sound profile to output HDMI audio
sudo -u $USER pactl set-card-profile 0 output:hdmi-surround
# The external display is not connected
# Restore internal display
xrandr --output $EXTERNAL_DISPLAY --off        # Turn off internal display
xrandr --output $INTERNAL_DISPLAY --auto
# Restore default battery/power brightness
cat /proc/acpi/ac_adapter/AC/state | grep "on-line"
if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
xbacklight -set    $BACKLIGHT_AC        # Power cable is connected
xbacklight -set    $BACKLIGHT_BATTERY    # Power cable is not connected
# Restore laptop sound profile
sudo -u $USER pactl set-card-profile 0 output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo
exit 0

Afterwards, in a terminal I made sure the script was executable and that I update the udev rules:
sudo udevadm control --reload-rules
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/MToggle-udev

and done! Now it should work!


6 thoughts on “Ubuntu 11.10 – Automatic HDMI Toggle (with audio!)

  1. great! it changes the screen automatically! it doesn’t work out of the box for the sound in my case, but for me the most iportant thing was the switching of screens because with the wotkey it was a nightmare! for sure is just some path that I have to edit, when I have more time I’ll try.

    Thank you so much!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s