Re: Using dual-monitor setup with 2 independent screens


On Fri, 2009-10-09 at 10:06 +0200, Nico De Ranter wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm not sure whether this is the right list to send my question to. If
> it isn't please direct me in the right direction :-)

This list doesn't see much traffic for some reason. I'm sure your
question is fine.

> I have a dual-monitor setup with both screens setup as independent x
> displays (so no twinview or xinerama).  Apparently this type of setup
> isn't used much however I like it very much as it allows me to keep my
> mail or a web browser open on 1 screen while working and switching
> viewports independently on the other screen.  

I use a similar configuration on FreeBSD using TwinView with a single
graphics card.

> Unfortunately with this
> setup it is not possible to drag windows from one display to the other,
> however I don't mind as long as there is a reliable way to start
> applications on the display where I want them to be.  Now there is the
> rub: depending on the Linux distribution and even the version of the
> distribution, starting applications from the Gnome menu bars or the menu
> I get when right-clicking the desktop background will start applications
> on the screen where I'm clicking or more likely always on the first
> display (making it impossible to work as I can't drag them to the other
> display).  For instance in Ubuntu 9.04 most applications I start from
> the top menu bar will insist on appearing on the first display (not all
> of them however?). 

I also saw this behaviour. I don't have a reliable record but it's
possible that it started after upgrading gnome to 2.26.1. I didn't get
around to investigating whether a fix was available. Upgrading to 2.26.3
seems to have fixed it.

> Most notably it is now impossible for me to start an
> xterm on my second display (I know I can force this by manually starting
> the application with the '--display ' option but that's not easy to work
> with as my wife also uses my pc so the display number will change
> depending on who logged in first). 

I was able to launch gnome-terminal and other apps on screen 1 simply by
launching them via the "Run Application" menu (Alt-F2) executed with
screen 1 active - and subsequently also by launching apps from the
command line in a gnome-terminal session opened on screen 1.

> Note that Ubuntu 8.10 did not have
> this problem.  I already asked this question in the Ubuntu forum but
> there I mainly got blank stares. I'm assuming this behaviour has
> something to do with the Gnome version being used which is why I'm
> trying my luck here now.
> So, is there a way to change this behaviour so applications started from
> the menu bars at the top and bottom of the screen will always start on
> that specific display?
> Or otherwise how can I change the menu I get when I right-click on the
> desktop background? Whatever I start from this menu seems to appear on
> the correct display. Unfortunately there isn't much useful in this menu
> on Ubuntu.  The information I found on the Gnome website regarding
> changing menus seems to be mostly about chaning the menus for the top
> and bottom menu bars.

There seems to be a utility called nautilus-actions however I've never
used it. It also seems that some people consider it worthwhile to use
compiz-fusion to take advantage of its ability to configure desktop
menus. Googling on something like "gnome desktop right-click menu"
should bring up some useful pages.


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