How To Use Multiple Monitors In Xubuntu / Xfce (Extended Display Instead Of Mirror)

xubuntu dual screenIn multi monitors setups, Xubuntu / Xfce clones (mirrors) instead of expanding the display to the external monitor. So here are two ways of getting proper multi monitor support in Xfce / Xubuntu.

I. Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 only: use the Xfce 4.12 PPA to get proper multi-monitor support
Xfce 4.11 (Xubuntu 12.10 uses Xfce 4.10 by default) has implemented support for extended desktop mode, so using the Xfce 4.12 PPA in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04 (this is a development PPA which provides some development packages), which you might have added already to install Thunar 1.5.x with tabs support, you’ll get proper multi-monitor support by default.

Using this PPA, in the Xfce Settings Manager, under “Display”, you can select the position of each monitor (left of, right of, below, above or the same), and if you want to mirror the displays or not:
Xubuntu multi monitor display settings
The PPA currently provides Thunar 1.5.x, Xfce4 Settings and Axo development builds. To add the PPA and upgrade these packages in Xubuntu 12.10 or 12.04, use the commands below:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Once the packages have been successfully upgraded, open the Settins Manager, and under “Display”, uncheck the “Mirror displays” option to extend your display to the external monitor(s), then select the displays position, etc.

There’s also a minimal display dialog (thanks to Simon Steinbeiss for the tip!) you can use once you’ve added the above PPA, in case you need to quickly change monitor settings, which you can run using the following command (you can create a shortcut for it if you often change your monitor layout, .e.g. when using a laptop with external monitors):xfce4-display-settings -m
Here’s what you’ll get:

Xfce mini display settings

II. Any Xubuntu / Xfce version: Use Arandr to extend the display instead of cloning (mirror) it
1. Install Arandr, a simple GUI for XRandR:
sudo apt-get install arandr

2. Then, open Arandr and move the monitors to the desired position using drag and drop:

By default, the monitors might be displayed one above the other, so drag the first one to be able to see both of them.

When you’re done, select Layout > Apply.

3. The changes are not saved and will be lost once you logout / restart the computer so to make them permanent, from the Arandr menu select Layout > Save As, enter a name for this layout and save it.
This creates a script under ~/.screenlayout using the name you’ve used above (unless you’ve selected a different path).

4. Add this script to your startup items: Session and Startup > Applications Autostart – click “Add”, under “Name” enter whatever you want and under “Command”, enter the exact path to the script created under step 3 and you’re done:

Your Xubuntu computer’s display should now be extended to the external monitor(s), instead of using the default clone (mirror) option, each time you log in.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

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Ubuntu Multi-Monitor Tweaks (Full Screen Flash Fixes, Span Wallpaper Across Monitors, More)

If you are using a multi-monitor setup in Ubuntu, here are a few tips which should help you fix some annoyances, like:
get full screen flash videos to be displayed on any monitorget flash videos to remain full screen while working in the other desktopa tweak to move windows to a different display using keyboard shortcutshow to extend the wallpaper across monitors or use a different wallpaper for each monitor

Move window to a specific display using a keyboard shortcut
Ubuntu (with Compiz/Unity) lets you move a window to a specific virtual desktop using keyboard shortcuts, but by default, this doesn’t work if you want to move a window to a specific monitor.
There is, however, an easy way of easily moving windows to a specific display using keyboard shortcuts so here’s what you must do.
Firstly, install CCSM if it’s not already installed:sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Then open CompizConfig Settings Manager, search for the “Put” plugin (it’s under Window Management) and enable it. Then, click the plugin so we can change some of its settings.
ccsm put plugin
On the “Bindings” tab, click on “Disabled” next to the “Put to Next Output” keyboard shortcut, check the “Enabled” box and then assign it a key combination that’s not already in use. I’ve used Ctrl + Tab (click on “Grab key combination” to set a keyboard shortcut). Then click ok and you’re done.
Now, focus a window and press the keyboard combination you’ve used above: the window should move to the other workspace. If you only have to monitors, this should be enough, as it moves any window from one monitor to the other. If you have more than 2 monitors, you can assign keyboard shortcuts for “Viewport Left” and “Viewport Right” and so on, under “Put to adjacent viewport”.

Get full screen flash videos to work on any monitor
In some cases (or maybe always?), full screen Flash videos show up on the primary monitor, even if you’ve clicked the full screen button while using some other monitor. The above solution works with these full screen Adobe Flash videos too: click a video, then press the key combination you’ve set up and the video should move to the other display.
So there you have it, now you can move the full screen flash videos on any monitor you want.

Get Flash videos to remain full screen when working (clicking) in the other desktop
The above solution fixes full screen Flash video showing up on the wrong display, but there’s another annoying issue with Flash: if you’re watching a full screen video on one monitor and want to work on another monitor, the flash video exists full screen. Basically, unless the full-screen flash video is focused, it exists full-screen.
There are some fixes and workarounds for this full screen Flash exiting when it’s unfocused too:
1. The first one is using an extension which resizes Flash videos to fill the whole browser window and you can then set the browser to full screen by pressing F11 or selecting View > Full screen:for Google Chrome / Chromium: MaximizeFlashfor Firefox: Flash Game Maximizer (the button to resize video to fit the whole browser window is on the addon bar so to show it, select View > Toolbars > Addon Bar). This extension doesn’t work properly with YouTube though but you can set YouTube to use HTML5 by going to flash full windowAfter getting the video to fill the whole browser window, hit F11 or select View > Full screen

2. Below is another solution for this issue, that fixes Adobe Flash for any browser, except Google Chrome.
The reason flash videos exit full screen when clicking anywhere on the other monitor is because that’s the behaviour wanted by Adobe. Adobe Flash is not open source, but we can still modify its code using a tools such as GHex.
To install GHex in Ubuntu, use the following command:sudo apt-get install ghex
Now, find out where your Flash plugin is installed using the following commands:sudo updatedb
The “locate” command above should return the full path to Copy it because you’ll need it for the next command:gksu ghex /path/to/
Where “/path/to/” is the path to you’ve copied above (usually it should be /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/ or /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin/

Now, editing a binary with GHex is tricky, so read everything carefully.

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Get Ubuntu NotifyOSD Notifications To Show Up On Active Monitor In Multi-Screen Environments [Quick Tip]

notifyosd notificationBy default, the Ubuntu NotifyOSD notification bubbles are displayed on only one monitor in multi-monitor setups, which might be useful in some situations, but it doesn’t make sense in most cases.
For instance, if you’re working on something on one monitor and get a notification on the other one, you’re almost never going to see it and… maybe it’s an important notification and you don’t want to miss it. So here’s a quick tip on how to set the NotifyOSD notifications to follow the mouse in multi-screen environments so they show up on the display which contains the active window.
Firstly, if you don’t have dconf-tools already, install it using the command below:sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
dconf notifyosd
Then run dconf-editor, navigate to apps > notifyosd and change the “multihead-mode” value from “dont-focus-follow” to “focus-follow”.

That’s it, the notification bubbles should now show up on the monitor you’re currently working on (has the active window).

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

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