potrait monitorsSam, our backend web hamster, makes occasional use of a portrait monitor. He says it makes reading long terminal sessions easier. 

I say it makes him weird.

I digress; I know he’s not the only person who uses a monitor in portrait mode on occasion; i.e., not all the time.

Getting Ubuntu to rotate 90 degrees to fill the screen correctly (when you need it to) isn’t exactly hard, but it’s also not as easy as it can be, either.

You have to open System Settings > Display, go to ‘Rotation’, click the correct rotation, confirm, and all that clickbait.

There are easier ways to rotate the display on Ubuntu.

Sam, for example, uses custom keyboard shortcuts that trigger xrandr commands when used. Very nifty, and very efficient.

But I think we can go even better.

Rotate Screen Indicator Applet

rotate screen indicator applet

ScreenRotator is a small indicator applet for Unity that (as you might have guessed) lets you rotate or flip your Ubuntu desktop. A quick click is all it takes to change Ubuntu desktop orientation.

The applet also has brightness controls (not sure why).

Install ScreenRotator on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

ScreenRotator requires python3-gi to work, so you’ll need to install that before going any further. This can be done using the Terminal and the following command:

sudo apt install python3-gi

Download the indicator from the indicator’s project page on GitHub:

Download ScreenRotator (.zip)

Extract the folder, cd inside and run ./ScreenRotator.py to launch the app.

Apps indicator-applets indicator-feature rotate screen