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2 Displays and 2 Workspaces With Linux and X?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the anything-you-set-your-mind-to dept.

Displays 460

Borov writes "I'm planning to buy a second monitor in near future and I was searching for ways to configure it under Linux. It seems there are two main ways: 1) to have one 'big' desktop, which means I have single workspace — changing virtual desktop switches both monitors or 2) to have separate X sessions for each display — which means I have separate workspaces, but I can't move applications between them. I need something in the middle — a separate workspace for each screen, so that I can have independent virtual desktops on each screen, but still have the ability to move applications between monitors (no need to strech one app across both of them). I've read that some tiling window managers can do this kind of thing, but I'd rather go with 'classical' window managers, like Openbox/Gnome/KDE or similar."

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Gentoo? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940060)

I use Gentoo; how does this affect me?

Re:Gentoo? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940126)

We won't know until you finish compiling.

Re:Gentoo? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940430)

Fuck you, AC. Always saying shit we don't want to hear. ALWAYS NAYSAYING!

re: (0, Offtopic)

Mitsoid (837831) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940082)

Good question, I would like to know the answer as well.. Windows 7's easy dual-monitor setup has me addicted now!

Re: (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940210)

Good question, I would like to know the answer as well.. Windows 7's easy dual-monitor setup has me addicted now!

Get a Mac. It's damn easy to use multiple monitors with it. Don't even bother under Linux unless you have an nVidia card.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940306)

rofl epic troll is epic

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940834)

Yeah that's what he'll do. He'll sell all his gear, re-evaluate his needs, and get a Mac. Just like that.

Anti-Slashdot answer (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940350)

I need something in the middle — a separate workspace for each screen, so that I can have independent virtual desktops on each screen, but still have the ability to move applications between monitors

Use windows. Seriously. It solves all of the problems you are discussing. There is really no reason not to. blahblahblahblahblah

Sounds like every response to every article that poses a windows problem and someone says "why arent you using linux?"

Re:Anti-Slashdot answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940402)

Only there are legitimate reasons to use Windows over Linux.

Re:Anti-Slashdot answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940848)

Since when?

Re:Anti-Slashdot answer (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940428)

No, it doesn't. Windows doesn't have virtual desktops at all, so the set-up the OP wants (separate virtual desktops on each display) is completely impossible.

Re:Anti-Slashdot answer (2, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940674)

Actually there is a powertoy that gives you virtual desktops, called desktops. There are some limitations, such as you can't move stuff between desktops, and some apps get pissy about launching; once you learn to live with the limitations its a great app to have.

Re:Anti-Slashdot answer (2, Funny)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30941008)

Is that the same one that can easily be made to crash the kernel? Or is it a new one?

Re:Anti-Slashdot answer (2, Informative)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940762)

There are any number of utilities that will give you multiple virtual desktops on Windows, while retaining Windows' native multi-display features.

In fact, one comes from Sysinternals, which is now part of Microsoft itself. It's called Desktops. It only does 4 virtual desktops though, so if that's not enough, you'll have to look elsewhere.

--Jeremy

Re:Anti-Slashdot answer (2, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940996)

Virtual Workspace addons for Windows? They're all crap. That goes triple for the "powertoy" one.

Car analogy for Windows users (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940492)

You didn't understand the question.

Here's a simple car analogy: a Linux user asking for tips on advanced uses of virtual desktops is like an off-road rally racer asking for tips on configuring the differentials on a 4x4. Your answer is "use a Ford Taurus".

Go away, TROLL! (2, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940366)

Windows 7's easy dual-monitor setup has me addicted now!

So, Mr. Ballmer, would you please elucidate us on which is better, to have one big desktop where changing workspaces switches both monitors at once, or having one X session for each display?

I'm curious to know your opinion, since both alternatives have their own advantages and disadvantages and, since configuring Linux for dual monitors is so easy, using any of those two alternatives presents no problems.

BTW, I'm curious by what you say about how easy it is to set up Windows 7. Installing putty to run an X session on *any* older version of Windows is a royal PITA, so if, as you say, Windows 7 now supports Xwindow natively, then I'm really interested in Windows 7!

   

Re:Go away, TROLL! (2, Insightful)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940684)

The two setups the OP is talking about have disadvantages. With the one large desktop when you maximize a window it fills both monitors and things might size oddly if your monitors aren't the same size/resolution. If you run two xsessions you can't move applications between the separate monitors since they are different sessions.

In Windows 7 multiple monitors were made extremely easy to setup, and a simple press of win-p will pop up a display which allows the mode to switch which makes connecting your laptop to a project so much easier than the old way of pressing the func-f(x) which didn't always work correctly. Windows multiple monitors also supports having separate monitors where you can maximize a window on a single display, but you can move windows between the monitors or even span multiple monitors. Is this setup possible to do under Linux? If it is you should point the OP to some information on getting it setup as it's the answer to their question.

Finally how do you have putty run an x session? You can use it to do an ssh tunnel, but you'll need something else to handle connection to the xserver.

Re:Go away, TROLL! (4, Informative)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940828)

With the one large desktop when you maximize a window it fills both monitors

No it doesn't. Most window managers have handled multihead the way you saw Windows 7 does for some years now (five or six, I think).

Re:dual monitor (3, Informative)

Peter Nikolic (1093513) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940584)

not tested it yet but i believe xmonad may be of use to you as i say not tested it yet . but the mailing list seems to be very active .

if you are running a Nvidia card.... (-1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940092)

http://www.thecrumb.com/2008/01/22/ubuntu-nvidia-and-two-monitors/ [thecrumb.com]

This worked for me. Unsure if it's the answer you were looking for

Re:if you are running a Nvidia card.... (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940624)

That link just describes the two alternatives mentioned in the OP. It doesn't even address the question posed by the OP.

In other words, your link describes two monitors sharing a workspace. OP wants two monitors with separate workspaces, while still being able to drag windows between them.

Very good question. (1)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940112)

I have seen a picture on the net awhile ago of a key-commanded window manager that someone had spread across 6+ different monitors. Does anyone know of this?

Re:Very good question. (3, Interesting)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940446)

You're probably talking about Awesome WM. It does both tiling and floating.

Re:Very good question. (5, Informative)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940628)

Ah! This might be it, I just Google'd it and it looks very promising: http://awesome.naquadah.org/ [naquadah.org]

Re:Very good question. (4, Informative)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30941032)

yes. probably Awesome WM. There is such a picture on the Awesome homepage (http://awesome.naquadah.org/). It's often advertised as a tiling manager and Julien Danjou seems to have been so upset about that that the 3.4 release now defaults to floating layout on all tags (you can default any tag to tiling or floating, and in the case of multiple monitors, you can have a tilingbehaviour on one monitor, and a floating one on the other monitor, and move windows and applications back and forth).

Awesome is indeed awesome, if you don't mind some manual editing of the lua configuration file.It should fit the OP's requirement nicely. Additionally, it's a blast on netbooks

Re:Very good question. (2, Informative)

mellon85 (1723140) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940480)

xmonad is one of those WM

Re:Very good question. (2, Informative)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940696)

This one looks promising too! (Just did a Google search for it, http://xmonad.org/ [xmonad.org] Guess I'll have to try them both...

xinerama and xrandr (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940116)

xinerama and xrandr.
fucking christ, it's the twenty first century, use google.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (1, Insightful)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940156)

Offensive, but he's right. A simple google search would have revealed this.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940526)

And what string did you search on such that those solutions popped up?

Re:xinerama and xrandr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940664)

"linux desktop multiple displays how-to"
first link is for windows. don't know how google failed that hard. second one is meh. third one is gold. wiki is 5th which gives you everything you need.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940710)

"What are xinerama and xrandr for?"

Re:xinerama and xrandr (1, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940716)

"linux dual head [google.com] "
The first three mention either xrandr or xinerama. Didn't check beyond that.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (3, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940730)

Probably "xinerama and xrandr"

When searching for an answer, it helps to know the answer.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (5, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940736)

Strings used: "xinerama vs xrandr", "xinerama", "xrandr"
Gosh, isn't it obvious?! Fucking christ, it's the 201st decade, use clairvoyance.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940974)

I'm going to steal that comment the next time my friend asks me to find something he can't find with google.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (2, Insightful)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940878)

He's not really right, AFAICS. A solution might include Xinerama and xrandr but they're not a solution in themselves. Most window managers will switch desktops on all displays simultaneously if you use Xinerama, whereas he wants desktop switching independently on different monitors. You also can't do it easily with separate X screens because it's apparently not possible to move windows between them, which he also would like to do.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (1)

Jetrel (514839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940278)

Why did I waste my mod points earlier.... +1 Insightful!

Re:xinerama and xrandr (4, Insightful)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940658)

I don't think that actually answers the OPs question. Xinerama or XRandR allow you to set up dual head (which the OP presumably already knows about - he talks about having "one big desktop," which is what Xinerama and XRandR give you), but virtual desktops are handled by the window manager, not by Xinerama or XRandR. A Xinerama or XRandR aware window manager could do what the OP wants, giving separate virtual desktops on each monitor, but simply using Xinerama or XRandR won't get that effect unless you use a specific window manager which offers that option.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940670)

I looked in to this a few years ago, wouldn't work back then so I'm glad some one asked because I'm not in the habit of constantly asking Google the same question everyday and getting the same result.
I'm not insane, not yet anyway. Plus if you don't have a good search string then you're not going to find good answers. Some of the people here get mad for people asking dumb questions but give the guy a break. At least when (s)he's asking /. they can use real English to describe the problem and have people interpret it.

And as far as I know even in the previous release of Suse and the 8.04 Ubuntu this was the way to do it but it was a known issue not to work.

Re:xinerama and xrandr (5, Informative)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940734)

xinerama + xrandr does not solve the question posed by the OP. Xinerama allows the two alternatives mentioned in the OP as the undesired options (i.e. either two monitors as one screen sharing a workspace, or a separate screen on each monitor which does not allow moving windows between screens).

OP wants two monitors with their own separate workspaces, while still being able to drag windows between them.

In other words, OP wants to be able to transfer running applications between separate X screens, which to my knowledge is not currently possible (or, if it's possible, the functionality is not exposed in Gnome or KDE).

This isn't "+1 Insightful", it's "-1 Didn't bother reading the OP" (or "-1 Doesn't really know what xinerama+xrandr does").

Re:xinerama and xrandr (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940908)

Not a solution in themselves - using Xinerama makes it possible to have a big desktop spread across multiple monitors AFAIK, which is not what the Asker needs. He wants separate virtual desktop switching on each monitor, which most WMs don't do under Xinerama, though as he notes there are some tiling WMs that do something like this.

tiling (2, Informative)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940148)

I know you don't want a tiling manager, but for anyone wondering, I can speak from experience that dwm works wonderfully with two monitors. I run an external 1920x1200 display, and an internal 1024x600 from my netbook.

Re:tiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940434)

Tiling window managers are really great. The poster should really at least try one for a few weeks. I personaly use Awesome [naquadah.org] . It really is one of the best ways to exploit large/multiple screens.

Re:tiling (0)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940546)

Tiling window managers do not manage windows. Welcome to 1970.

Re:tiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940754)

Tiling window managers do not manage windows. Welcome to 1970.

Please exlain for us born after 1970.

Awesome (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940170)

Not a 'classical" window manager but the only one that can do this afaik.
http://awesome.naquadah.org/

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940420)

Awesome is the best, hands down.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940438)

Xmonad and dwm can do it too.

4 Screens (5, Informative)

spribyl (175893) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940202)

I have 4 screen using 2 nvida 9500 cards and KDE.
I have one X session. By not using Xinerama my maximize button is limited to the size of the two screens on one card. I can stretch the window to full size using all 4 screens.
I also use multiple desktops to manage windows.

Right now each screen gets its own window. When I need to look and wide things(log files) I maximize to two screens. For really big things I can stretch the window to all four screens.

Re:4 Screens (4, Informative)

cephalien (529516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940246)

Last I checked, KDE + NVIDIA is the way to go; GNOME doesn't really support multiple monitors in anything but a combined mode.

gnome is just fine. (2, Informative)

chibiace (898665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940208)

gnome with two screens is just fine. you can maximize on either side and even use the window list say one panel per screen to show what windows are open on each display.
most distros dont even need configuring for dualscreen now.

Just adjust your usage (1)

keithpreston (865880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940220)

It's is going to be more work finding something that works as opposed to just adjusting your usage. Sad, but true... Plus the more monitors you have the less workspaces you will use. I currently have a 6 monitor setup (4 linux, 2 windows) and from just setting up 4 on linux, I would go with whatever works first. I'm just glad maximize works to maximize the window to a single monitor.

Gnome + Twinview (1, Informative)

nleaf (953206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940224)

I'm using Twinview on a standard Ubuntu 9.10 install. While it's one big desktop stretching across two screens, you can set up metamodes in xorg.conf that allows windows to comfortably use a whole monitor (i.e. maximizing makes a window take up one monitor, not stretch across). If you're using an Nvidia card, the nvidia-setttings utility will even set this up for you. Both monitors are of course set to the same workspace, though. As far as I know, separate X servers are the only way to have each monitor on a different workspace.

Google (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940242)

30 seconds with Google points me to

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xpra [wikipedia.org]
xpra or X Persistent Remote Applications is a tool which allows you to run X programs usually on a remote host and then direct their display to your local machine without losing any state. It differs from standard X forwarding in that it allows disconnection and reconnection without disrupting the forwarded application

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmove [wikipedia.org]
xmove is a computer program that allows the movement of X Window System applications between different displays and the persistence of X applications across X server restarts[3]. It solves a problem in the design of X, where an X client (an X application) is tied to the X server (X display) it was started on for its lifetime. Also, if the X server is shut down, the client application is forced to stop running.

Have you investigated any of these before 'asking /.'?

I'd fire up a second X session on your machine - you can run multiple instances of X with a single monitor after all, and try moving apps between your sessions. Get that to work and everything should be (mostly) trivial after you get your new monitor.

Re:Google (5, Insightful)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940358)

You know what? I'm glad that the submitter did not investigate any of these before asking /.. If he had, then I wouldn't have had the opportunity to read his question, ponder the answer myself, and then read your informative (but surly) response.

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940498)

And I'm glad GP wrote his post without reading the summary.

Re:Google (2, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940662)

Which part of the summary do you believe I missed?

He wants separate x sessions - both of these solutions are designed for such an instance. Most folk would use them on separate machines but I see no indication they won't work on a local box with multiple X sessions running.

He would prefer a classical window manager. He can run whatever window manager he likes - these apps allow the move of an X application from one X server to another.

Re:Google (1)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940766)

Sorry AC, you're completely off base. GP clearly read the summary. He also clearly gave some useful information.

Re:Google (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940692)

Yes, I should have been less surly, but it would be nice to have seen an I've tried x and y and they won't work because...

That way folk are going to be better able to help.

Re:Google (1)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30941006)

I know where you're coming from. I was reacting more to a perceived hostility than a real one. I just hate it when people jump on "ask /." question submitters.

I do appreciate the information. I may go try some of those solutions even though I've never myself had the problem in question.

Re:Google (4, Informative)

Chryana (708485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940542)

I tried xpra to hold the mail/news/calendar (Kontact) application in KDE, and it crashed after about a day... So I wouldn't recommend it personally, or at least not yet. As for xmove, the xpra FAQ states it has been without maintenance since 1997.

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940876)

+1 Snarky Asshole

Xpra and Xmove are both deprecated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940896)

Both Xpra and Xmove were removed from Debian due to being dead upstream. Didn't you use Google before making the suggestions? (Kettle, meet Pot.)

Re:Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940904)

From your first link: xpra is written in Python (ick -- really?), and it was initially released on Feb 20, 2008 (even worse).
From your other link: xmove is an older app written in C (yay), but is currently in Beta for its 2.0 release (boo).

Maybe he wanted something more mature? You know like the kind of maturity that comes from 10+ years of proven reliability.

Use a specialized Window Manager (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940248)

The standard Window Managers (kwin, metacity) just don't cut it with many displays.

I recommend trying out Awsome [naquadah.org]

It's a bit difficult to get used to a first. But it really is the best WM for multiple monitors I have ever used.

Synergy (3, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940256)

It's designed to share mice/keyboards/buffers across computers, but perhaps you could use it to share across X sessions on the same machine.

http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Synergy (2, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940406)

Crap, I can't read. It doesn't let your render apps on other screens, and running 2 x sessions would already let you copy buffers, but not apps either.

Re:Synergy (1)

sujit (657307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940630)

Synergy+ http://code.google.com/p/synergy-plus/ [google.com] [Google Code] Synergy2 hasn't seen an update in more than 3 years now.

Re:Synergy (2, Informative)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940830)

You don't need synergy for that. Xinerama lets you do that natively. What the OP wants to do is be able to move windows between X screens.

xinerama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940276)

are you sure you can't just use xinerama? That should allow you to have each display (or pair of displays) as its own workspace but still allow windows to move between them.

Re:xinerama (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940884)

No, xinerama does not allow that. Near as I can tell, it's due to a fundament design... flaw... of X - that is, windows are tied to the X screen on which they were created.

You can set up multiple monitors such that each montior is its own X screen with its own set of workspaces. However, this prevents you from moving windows from one monitor to the other, which is what the OP wants to do, because each monitor is a separate X screen.

On the other hand, Xinerama lets you share one screen across multiple monitors. However, you only get one set of workspaces.

OP wants the best of both worlds.

This is even sicker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940282)

...than that guy who did 2 displays, 1 workspace.

You want to stay away from that, I can assure you.

Smash one of your monitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940298)

Now you only have one to deal with.

Xinerama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940304)

Xinerama is meant exactly for this. You have one big X screen, but Xinerama aware applications (pretty much all window managers, even the smaller ones, support this) can tell you actually have two displays. Windows will maximize to the correct displays, you can drag windows across, you'll be able to have different virtual desktops per xinerama screen (if your window manager supports this).

For NVIDIA cards the usual way is TwinView + Xinerama.

neither mirrored nor spanned (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940308)

Most people want mirrored or spanned. What you're looking for lies somewhere in between. The trick being to enable spaces control on individual displays, while still allowing drag between displays.

Good luck, haven't seen it. What you want is sufficiently unusual that there may not be anything that provides it. I suggest looking for someone else that's made their own variation of spaces support themselves, that offers the option to switch spaces per-display, as the odds of finding someone that's hacked an existing spaces to be per-monitor is probably going to be low.

The other route would be to find a different variation on spanning, such that the separate monitors aren't necessarily spanned, but are simply adjacent, and if you try to drag a window, it can't exist partly on one display and partly on the other, but you can still drag a window from one display to the other. That may still allow you individual spaces control perhaps? I think that's the reason you're having problems, is that most spanning allows a window to overlap off one display onto another, so for one display to change space it requires the others to change also. If you look at it that way I think you'll realize what you're initially asking for doesn't make sense. (if the displays are truly spanned (attached) and not simply adjacent)

4 monitors - one desktop - here's how (2, Interesting)

rcpitt (711863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940328)

I've been running multiple monitors for a lot of years under Linux - currently have 4 monitors on 2 cards with another card in there but no monitors on it (yet)

I run one big desktop with 12 virtual desktops - then for the applications I want to stay available when I move from one desktop to another I simply right-click on the icon in the upper-left corner (of most windows - Chrome beta doesn't have one for some reason) and select "Always on Visible Workspace" - then it sticks there no matter which workspace I'm on.

Otherwise you could set up the VNC X-server and use VNC-viewer to log back in to the local system and use that window as your second, separate desktop.

Enlightenment (5, Informative)

illogict (889976) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940338)

Enlightenment DR17 (http://www.enlightenment.org) lets you do that: virtual desktops are managed on a per-screen basis, and still you can move windows between screens. Don't worry it is not "officially" released, it's really stable, I've not seen a crash or anything for months.

Re:Enlightenment (2, Informative)

silent_artichoke (973182) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940448)

I was pretty sure someone was going to mention this before me. I just started playing with e17 this Monday. I got a shock when I realized it worked this way. Looks great too!

Re:Enlightenment +1 (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940484)

it's really stable, I've not seen a crash or anything for months.

More importantly: I've only ever seen the window manager crash, but it has never brought down X with it. When it crashes, it gives you a very helpful (and ugly) dialog which allows you to restart the window manager. In the 3 years of using e17, I have never had a single application crash or data loss. And the last e17 crash is from 2008, I think.

Oh, and: mod parent up.

My setup (3, Informative)

morgandelra (448341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940344)

I use nvidia twinview on the monitors with Gnome. I also have 3 virtual desktops that I access via edge flipping on the vertical axis. I find this workas alot better than arranging the flipping on the sides with 2 large monitors.

Win7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940348)

Install Windows 7, run Linux in a VM.

Re:Win7 (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940668)

Install Windows 7, run Linux in a VM.

Still doesn't solve the problem of Linux window management, though, does it? :)

Re:Win7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940786)

Funny, I installed Linux and run windows 7 in a VM on my second monitor. Only because work makes me have a windows desktop though.

Me Too Post (1)

steve_thatguy (690298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940442)

I've wanted this for as long as I've had dual-monitors. I wound up settling for an nVidia TwinView setup, but if I could find a way for each of these to be their own separate workspace that would really be terrific. I'm surprised this is so hard to set up--it seems like it shouldn't be that difficult with X.

recommending: Awesome WM (1)

kingair_six (1482795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940522)

presuming you have some linux experience (else you might not find your way around it), awesome windows manager is a great solution and can definetely do what you want. it features 9 "tags" - virtual desktops basically, but is completely configurable via a lua script. each monitor will automatically be controlled without difficult setup and it worked "out of the box" for me - except for the laborious install process;)

Ask Slashdot? (3, Insightful)

Admiralbumblebee (996792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940634)

Has anyone noticed the OP never actually asked a question?

X is a four letter word (0, Troll)

Dell Brandstone (127568) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940698)

Windows 2000 did this flawlessly in 1999. My powerbook did it flawlessly in 2002.

My Ubuntu 9.10 and Gnome XFCE desktops still cannot do this properly today.

X is needed for many things in enterprise... SPECTRUM, polling, whatever. Great. Run X when you need it, use something that isn't a terrible piece of junk the rest of the time.

It's time to bin X.

-db

Enlightenment 17 (1)

jimduchek (13246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940768)

Enlightenment 17 is the only WM (aside from, I think, a tiling one called 'Awesome') that lets you change desktops on a per-monitor basis while having TwinView or Xinerama active (so you can drag windows between). Compiz ought to be able to do it, but for some reason does not. Expect some stability issues with E17, though. I ended up going back to seperate screens, as I don't drag between monitors often and E17 crashes too much.

xinerama + e17 (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940850)

Enlightenment e17 handles this brilliantly. Each screen gets its own set of virtual desktops. Switching VTs on one does not change the current VT on the other.

With Xinerama you can drag windows from one screen to the other.

Xinerama + duplicate panels (1)

slinches (1540051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940910)

I use one big Gnome desktop across two monitors with some of the panels duplicated on the second monitor. The two monitors behave almost like independent workspaces, windows can be maximized on an individual monitor and only show up in the taskbar for the monitor they're displayed on. The only thing I can't do is switch workspaces on the monitors independently, but I haven't run into many cases where I've had a need to.

what (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940962)

why not just put some windows on one screen and some windows on another screen? it doesn't matter if the window manager considers it "one workspace", it'll still be 2 workspaces because they'll be on different physicals screens in real life.

Xmonad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30940964)

Xmonad + regular xinerama. It's really great to be able to swap whole workspaces on and off screens... hit a key and what was on the left screen is now on the center. I don't know how I'd live without it.

And also, what about other operating systems? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940978)

Is it possible to do the same thing in Windows? OSX? Neither relies primarily on an X server, so I can see how it might make things more difficult. I know I would certainly like to be able to use screen zooming separately on the separate monitors (on OSX, which doesn't handle screen zoom very well if you're using dual: it zooms the combined desktop, and depending on settings, re-centers the screen if you perform an action like clicking a link)

Have You Actually Tried It? (3, Informative)

pz (113803) | more than 4 years ago | (#30940992)

I have had a computer running Linux (Fedora of one flavor or another) with two displays for getting on to be most of a decade. Wouldn't work seriously any other way. I have 12 desktops (one for each Fn key on standard keyboards), which are linked so that both monitors switch at the same time.

If you haven't TRIED this sort of setup yet (and it sounds very much like you have not), then I would encourage you to try it first. What problem are you trying to solve with being able to switch monitors individually? WIndows can be trivially moved between virtual desktops under Linux, and with single keystroke desktop switching (remember those Fn keys?) I find that I rarely, if ever, need to move applications from one desktop to another. To promote efficiency, I have adopted, over the years, a standard pattern of where given windows are. The details are good for me, but not necessarily anyone else, so I won't go through the particulars, but, just as one example, when I want to use a browser, I hit F6, and BOOM, there are two browser windows at full screen. When I need an editor, another single keystroke (F3, if you care), and BOOM, emacs on the left, and, usually, an xterm on the right. Fully maximized. Moving windows around and resizing them is a waste of time and screen area. Twelve desktops maps nicely to the Fn keys -- which, again, is why I have 12, and, again is why switching between applications is 1-keystroke-instantaneous -- and I cannot recall running out of room, ever.

If the reason you want to switch workspaces individually is that you don't have enough flexibility in your workspaces (like you only have four per monitor), then you're solving the wrong problem. Increase the number of workspaces you have. Also, stop putting the task bar on the long dimension of the monitor -- that's the one where you have the least distance to play with. And if you're doing any document-based work, then it's a MUST to use portrait orientation.

Or were you just going to dick around, switching the left workspace, then the right one, then the left, then the right?

When people join my lab, they universally comment on how efficient my work setup is ... and usually leave using a very similar setup themselves.

Take it easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30941028)

Yes, there are multiple solutions to the problem. Yes, Borov probably could have found this on his/her own by doing some more Google searches. Yes, we need to be nicer to those new to Linux and try not to alienate newcomers. People wouldn't be flocking to Apple's Genius Bar for help they were greeted with 'What the heck is wrong with you - didn't you check Google first?!?'. We need to take it easy on those new to Linux.

Frankly, there are a lot of options available to get this working and they are all a bit confusing at first glance - options which other OSes do not provide. There is tons of old information out there that can be misleading and can lead to a more complicated set of setup procedures than is really necessary with newer versions of the OS.

I've got a dual monitor setup working great with the nVidia setup as well. With Fedora 12, dual monitor support works pretty well. You can try out various configurations and see what works best for you.

here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30941034)

# nvidia-settings: X configuration file generated by nvidia-settings
# nvidia-settings: version 1.0 (buildmeister@builder63) Tue Oct 20 21:01:12 PDT 2009

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier "Layout0"
        Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
        Screen 1 "Screen1" 1280 0
        Screen 2 "Screen2" 2560 0
        InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
        InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
        Option "Xinerama" "1"
EndSection

Section "Files"
        FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/default/Type1"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
        # generated from default
        Identifier "Mouse0"
        Driver "mouse"
        Option "Protocol" "auto"
        Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
        Option "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
        Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
        # generated from data in "/etc/sysconfig/keyboard"
        Identifier "Keyboard0"
        Driver "kbd"
        Option "XkbLayout" "us"
        Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
        # HorizSync source: edid, VertRefresh source: edid
        Identifier "Monitor0"
        VendorName "Unknown"
        ModelName "SceptreX9G-NagaV"
        HorizSync 30.0 - 81.0
        VertRefresh 40.0 - 76.0
        Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
        # HorizSync source: edid, VertRefresh source: edid
        Identifier "Monitor1"
        VendorName "Unknown"
        ModelName "SceptreX9G-NagaV"
        HorizSync 30.0 - 81.0
        VertRefresh 40.0 - 76.0
        Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
        # HorizSync source: edid, VertRefresh source: edid
        Identifier "Monitor2"
        VendorName "Unknown"
        ModelName "Acer X193W"
        HorizSync 31.0 - 80.0
        VertRefresh 56.0 - 76.0
        Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier "Device0"
        Driver "nvidia"
        VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
        BoardName "GeForce 6200 LE"
        BusID "PCI:2:0:0"
        Screen 0
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier "Device1"
        Driver "nvidia"
        VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
        BoardName "GeForce 6200 LE"
        BusID "PCI:2:0:0"
        Screen 1
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier "Device2"
        Driver "nvidia"
        VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
        BoardName "GeForce 6150SE nForce 430"
        BusID "PCI:0:13:0"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier "Screen0"
        Device "Device0"
        Monitor "Monitor0"
        DefaultDepth 24
        Option "TwinView" "0"
        Option "TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder" "CRT-0"
        Option "metamodes" "CRT: 1280x1024 +0+0"
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth 24
        EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier "Screen1"
        Device "Device1"
        Monitor "Monitor1"
        DefaultDepth 24
        Option "TwinView" "0"
        Option "metamodes" "DFP: 1280x1024 +0+0"
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth 24
        EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier "Screen2"
        Device "Device2"
        Monitor "Monitor2"
        DefaultDepth 24
        Option "TwinView" "0"
        Option "TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder" "CRT-0"
        Option "metamodes" "1440x900 +0+0"
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth 24
        EndSubSection
EndSection

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