GUI For Changing Monitor Refresh Rate / Better Settings Retention

I’ve just watched a person who is new to Linux spend about an hour trying to solve one simple problem in Ubuntu:

They have a 144Hz monitor and they wanted to wanted Ubuntu to use 144Hz refresh rate for that monitor.

For some reason, Ubuntu repeatedly resets itself back to 60Hz every reboot, and there’s also for some reason no GUI option at all in Ubuntu to change the monitor refresh rate.

I don’t know where else to put this suggestion, but it would be really great if Ubuntu devs could add a GUI option for refresh rate to the display settings, with some rock solid code to ensure the settings are remembered. It would vastly improve the UX experience for new users.

So far a Linux expert has tried to help them with solutions involving installing tweak tools, nano, editing config files and more. There has to be a better way of doing this?

Ubuntu 19.4? GNOME? Xorg or Wayland?

I believe that this was a bug fixed by @vanvugt for Disco and is in preparation to be backported to Cosmic:

They are using Ubuntu 18.04.2, GNOME and Xorg. They were able to fix the issue, the Linux expert helping them was able to make some kind of .desktop file created with Budgie and added it to their autostart list to correct the issue. So if that bug was fixed in 19.4 then either it was a regression or new bug?

See the link above. I think that it was a long standing Mutter bug dating back to Bionic or probably much earlier. If it is the same bug as yours.

You’re probably right, that’s probably what the bug is. But still, there isn’t a GUI for changing monitor refresh rate in Ubuntu right? That’s something we could really do with.

There is a GUI for this in 18.04 and later. It’s just well hidden, so I would say badly designed…

You need to change the screen resolution in Settings (gnome-control-center) and then it will show you refresh rate options for that resolution. Confusingly, if there is only one refresh rate for a given resolution then it will hide the refresh rate menu. So for some resolutions the GUI will never tell you what the refresh rate is. I think this needs a bug report ASAP so please log it with the Gnome developers here.

To see the full list of refresh rates, log into a Xorg session (“Ubuntu”), open a Terminal window and run xrandr.


Ah I see, alright then. But yes I agree, I think the GUI for this could be made a little more clear. I’m going to create that bug report in Gnome and reference back to this thread as well.

GNOME issue created, please feel free to add to anything I said if you think of something I forgot to mention. Thanks for the tip Vanvugt!

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