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KDE Multi-Monitor Control Getting An Overhaul

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the the-gnus-smiled-upon-us-this-day dept.

KDE 144

Multi-monitor support on Free systems has always been a pain (even after RANDR made it a lot less of a pain). GNOME2 had a great feature: you only had to configure a given pair of displays once and it would do-the-right-thing and remember their configuration. But if you wanted to mirror displays of different resolutions, you were out of luck. KDE handled the latter case, but infuriatingly enough doesn't remember or restore configurations like GNOME2 did, and worse yet requires manual intervention before disconnecting a display. But, now that's all changing: "As some of you might have noticed, display management in KDE is not really something we could be proud of. It does not work as expected, it lacks some features and it’s not really maintained. Time to change it, don’t you think? ... Alex has written the libkscreen library that provides information about available/connected/enabled outputs and notifications about their changes. He also intends to write a KDED daemon that would listen for these events and depending on connected monitors (every monitor can be uniquely identified by it’s EDID) it would load specific configuration. For example, docking your notebook into a docking station at work would automatically turn on a second monitor and place it left of the notebook screen (or whatever you configure the first time you do it). Undocking the notebook and connecting a data projector in a meeting room would automatically set clone mode etc. etc." Additionally, the dock applet and monitor configuration UI have been overhauled allowing for quickly setting common configurations ("extend display to the {right,left,top,bottom}" / "clone") directly from the desktop, and direct manipulation of the monitor positions if you do end up needing to use the configuration program (article has a video and screenshots).

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Day late and... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481397)

A day late and a dollar short. Thanks, but no thanks.

In Other News (4, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#41481437)

In other news, readers demand to know when Slashdot is getting getting an editor.

Re:In Other News (1)

stonecutter2 (940299) | about 2 years ago | (#41481455)

I see what you're getting getting at, there.

Re:In Other News (1)

G3E9 (2740699) | about 2 years ago | (#41481561)

"KDE Multi-Monitor Control Getting" can be complicated application.

Window maker had it years ago (0)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about 2 years ago | (#41481447)

True story.

Finally! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481461)

Finally! I use KDE at work every day and this is the one major thing that makes me hesitate always when I need to disconnect my computer from a dock. Especially when there are three use cases that are always encountered: desktop monitor, projector, and just the plain laptop screen without any external monitors.

Re:Finally! (2)

anomaly256 (1243020) | about 2 years ago | (#41482845)

I know your pain, I feel it too when moving my laptop around between meetings and my desk frequently. Can't use Gnome any more, fluxbox is of course awesome but sometimes a little too minimal. KDE is great, except for this multi-monitor config issue. Sorry someone modded this 'flamebait' (seriously?)

It's not that hard (2)

eyegone (644831) | about 2 years ago | (#41483823)

man xrandr

Re:Finally! (2)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#41484009)

I don't understand. When I plug in an extra monitor on my Fedora with KDE it is automatically recognised and configured, even when the monitors are different resolutions. All I have to do is to choose to extend my desktop onto it and chase up wallpaper for it.

Of course unplugging a monitor without first moving all windows defaults away from it can cause problems that can be hard to resolve. Yeah, I begin to see the problem, but this certainly isn't just a KDE issue.I remember the same problems with another much more popular and rather less gracious OS back when I used to use Microsoft's offering.

Getting Getting (0)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 years ago | (#41481527)

Is the medi medi cation cation taking effect effect yet yet?

I agree agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481541)

Honestly.

But this is Linux (5, Funny)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 2 years ago | (#41481545)

You're supposed to know how to hack your xconfig with vi. Setting up two displays is supposed to hurt.

Re:But this is Linux (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#41482681)

Obviously you're being sarcastic, but the correct response would be to tell people to use xrandr by hand. Editing the config file requires you to (a) have one and (b) restart X.

I use arandr these days. It does a good enough job.

Vanilla version please.... (3, Interesting)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 2 years ago | (#41481557)

I'd like to see more vanilla versions of this software. Open Source Software has become almost as bad as the commercial counter parts in wanting to wrap everything up as one big GUI package. I don't want a bunch of bologna to download and run to configure dual monitors if I want to use a very lightweight window manager, or setup an embedded solution such as a kiosk.

One of the original and cool ideas of open source was to allow hackers to dive into the utilities and do really cool things with them that they aren't meant to achieve. A multi monitor control system that is tied into a blob of libraries doesn't sound appealing to me. I'll take a 32KB application that has an /optional/ GUI front end over this junk any day.

Re:Vanilla version please.... (2)

jonnythan (79727) | about 2 years ago | (#41481651)

Here's the other side of open source: "write it yourself."

Re:Vanilla version please.... (1)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#41481773)

Boy, you don't know how good you have it these days, to complain about that. Now you have dbus/hald standardizing things. Back when I was walking to school uphill both ways, we were lucky to have an EDID versus probing ID0-4 pins directly, and you'd be editing XConfig to set your VGA MMIO window base.

Anyway, while I agree the "yet another library" thing gets old, it is my impression that the display system configuration gets pretty intimate with the desktop suite, and any generic library for configuring the display system would just spawn the need for another such library in which to specify the proper behaviors the desktop system should engage in during changes. As such be glad it's a library, and not just hand edited into a monolithic codebase.

Re:Vanilla version please.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481851)

Anyway, while I agree the "yet another library" thing gets old, it is my impression that the display system configuration gets pretty intimate with the desktop suite, and any generic library for configuring the display system would just spawn the need for another such library in which to specify the proper behaviors the desktop system should engage in during changes. As such be glad it's a library, and not just hand edited into a monolithic codebase.

XRANDR. It's all you need -- a daemon watching EDIDs and speaking XRANDR.

Re:Vanilla version please.... (4, Funny)

drainbramage (588291) | about 2 years ago | (#41483075)

XRANDR. It's all you need -- a daemon watching EDIDs and speaking XRANDR.
And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.
Ah, amongst the things you need.....

Re:Vanilla version please.... (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#41482749)

I'd like to see more vanilla versions of this software.

Well sure.

Here's the protocol extension: http://www.x.org/releases/X11R7.5/doc/randrproto/randrproto.txt [x.org]

Here's the xlib API:
http://xcb.freedesktop.org/manual/group__XCB__RandR__API.html [freedesktop.org]

Here's the command line tool:
http://linux.die.net/man/1/xrandr [die.net]

And here are a bunch of GUI wrappers:
http://christian.amsuess.com/tools/arandr/ [amsuess.com]
http://wiki.lxde.org/en/LXRandR [lxde.org]

Which would you like?

Open Source Software has become almost as bad as the commercial counter parts in wanting to wrap everything up as one big GUI package. I don't want a bunch of bologna to download and run to configure dual monitors if I want to use a very lightweight window manager, or setup an embedded solution such as a kiosk.

Some times yes, but this isn't one of those cases. It's one of the nice really well designed parts, and not only that but any of those tools will work with any system. They modify the monitor layout, X sends a RANDR XEvent to the window manager and everything just works.

Just Free Systems (0)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 2 years ago | (#41481563)

I don't think Windows handles multiple monitors very well either. It's not just free operating systems, it's all operating systems. 3rd party utilities are the only thing that come close to making multiple monitors behave well.

Re:Just Free Systems (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#41481623)

Windows XP did multi-monitors fairly well. Windows 7 handles it excellently. I have five monitors and when replacing one of the video cards, I changed which monitors were plugged into which card. As soon as Windows 7 booted, it automatically corrected for switching the cables around so that the monitors were all exactly as they were when I powered down the system in spite of every monitor being plugged into a different card and port.

Not to say Win7 isn't lacking some features, but nothing free or cheap software like Ultramon doesn't fix (IE: fine-tuning relative positions, multi-monitor wallpaper, taskbar across all monitors), but the essential parts of multi-monitors are handled very well.

Re:Just Free Systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481701)

Try doing it with a laptop with the laptop's screen closed. All kinds of fun can occur. My favorite time was a dual monitor display with the right screen being on both monitors. When you click to change monitor settings it would appear on the left monitor (which wasn't displayed).

Re:Just Free Systems (0, Redundant)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41481911)

I use a dock with my Win7 laptop and connect to an external monitor. It works perfectly for me, I don't even have to do anything other than connect the laptop to the dock.

Re:Just Free Systems (2)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 2 years ago | (#41481967)

Windows XP did multi-monitors fairly well. Windows 7 handles it excellently. I have five monitors and when replacing one of the video cards, I changed which monitors were plugged into which card. As soon as Windows 7 booted, it automatically corrected for switching the cables around so that the monitors were all exactly as they were when I powered down the system in spite of every monitor being plugged into a different card and port.

Not to say Win7 isn't lacking some features, but nothing free or cheap software like Ultramon doesn't fix (IE: fine-tuning relative positions, multi-monitor wallpaper, taskbar across all monitors), but the essential parts of multi-monitors are handled very well.

How well Windows supported it was largely up to how well the video card drivers supported it. Some systems required rebooting in order to get it to recognize the additional monitor; others would work without a problem. It was typically consistent for any given driver, but very hit-and-miss between video cards/driver versions.

Re:Just Free Systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483187)

Indeed. One frustrating issue I have with Windows 7 is that my second monitor is connected to a KVM switch and when I switch to my Linux box and back to W7 only one monitor is active. I have to manually detect displays in W7 for it to go back to normal.

year of the linux! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481571)

geez, someone remind me why linux hasn't taken off yet? oh yeah, because every bit of setup and configuration is a pain in the ass.

Re:year of the linux! (2)

Scutter (18425) | about 2 years ago | (#41481833)

I was confused by the whole "refuses to remember or restore configurations" thing. WTF? This is 2012. EVERYONE has multiple monitors. How is it in any way acceptable that the OS refuses to remember your monitor config?

Re:year of the linux! (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#41481965)

I was confused by the whole 'multiple monitors are a pain' thing. I've been running KDE for close to a decade and for the past couple years multi-monitor support has never been a problem. Of course, I'll admit, mostly when I'm using multiple monitors I'm cloning the display to watch a movie or something...but I plug it in, it mirrors. I unplug it, it disconnects. What's so hard there?

Re:year of the linux! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483661)

This is 2012 and yet a lot of the free software refuse to handle the space character in the file name and/or path.
I am not talking about small one developer jobs. See Eclipse projects for example. On Windows, the main program directories have space and these free software sticks out like a sore thumb on their own at the root level.

If they failed for something as simple as string handling, multiple monitors are beyond them.

Win 7 (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#41481579)

And here Windows 7 handles five monitors using three different resolutions flawlessly. Thanks to Ultramon, they line up seamlessly in spite of also being different sizes and being at different physical elevations. It's one of the more major things that has kept me on Windows - I look forward to Linux being able to do the same.

Re:Win 7 (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41481621)

heh, XP handled it pretty well too though not as automatic

Re:Win 7 (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about 2 years ago | (#41482755)

Hell, Win 98 SE handled it pretty well, though again not as automatic. I used 3rd party software to get more transparancy effects on 98, but didn't bother with it for multiple monitor configuration. Admittedly, I was only running 3 monitors and never tested it to see if it could really handle the promised 9.

Re:Win 7 (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41483161)

yea I used to run 3 on 98 as well, my then brand new 21 inch LCD, and 2 15 inch crt's on either side ... I was into digital video editing at that point

Re:Win 7 (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41481677)

Linux had multi-monitor support years before Windows did.

Re:Win 7 (4, Insightful)

checho4 (1149601) | about 2 years ago | (#41481757)

It doesn't matter what had it first. I just want to use whatever currently has it best.

Re:Win 7 (1)

Scutter (18425) | about 2 years ago | (#41481855)

According to the OP, it has multi-monitor support, but things like actually remembering the configuration you apply is inexplicably beyond its capabilities.

Re:Win 7 (4, Interesting)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 2 years ago | (#41482013)

According to the OP, it has multi-monitor support, but things like actually remembering the configuration you apply is inexplicably beyond its capabilities.

It remembers the configuration until you change the configuration. That is, with a desktop where you have several monitors connected all the time it won't be an issue. But with a laptop where you may have an external monitor part of the time then it is an issue whenever you switch between laptop only mode, and laptop plus external monitor mode. What's most annoying is when you have the external display as the primary; when you disconnect it the multi-monitor dialog prompting on to reconfigure shows up on the external monitor, not the only remaining monitor - so you're kind of screwed. Currently I make it a point to reconfigure to clone mode before undocking my laptop.

Re:Win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482091)

XP here at work and I have exactly this issue. Well, my docked configuration is two external monitors, but yeah, it keeps putting the right one on the left side and vise-versa. As such I tend to just not undock my computer unless I really need to.

Re:Win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482429)

I've never had a problem with 7, but whenever XP booted up the wrong way, I'd end up swapping the monitor cables which would work a few more months until XP decided to change them again.

X's support for multiple monitors is actually awesome but that power requires wading knee deep into the X configuration file and hoping you live to tell the tale. Utilities like this will definitely help in the desktop world.

Re:Win 7 (3)

dlenmn (145080) | about 2 years ago | (#41482721)

It remembers the configuration until you restart.

FTFY [kde.org]

Re:Win 7 (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41481919)

Linux had multi-monitor support years before Windows did.

MacOS had it before Linux I believe...

Supposedly it dates back to the Macintosh II which supported multiple monitors.

Then again, DOS might be the very first use...

Re:Win 7 (4, Informative)

washu_k (1628007) | about 2 years ago | (#41482355)

Then again, DOS might be the very first use...

DOS did have multi monitor support from day 1, but not in the way we think of it today. You could combine a CGA card (or later EGA, VGA, etc) with an MDA (monochrome, text only) card. The idea was to use the MDA for high resolution (at the time) text and the CGA for low res graphics. Software had to be specifically written for it, but it was possible. Later, some DOS debuggers could use the MDA as a debug output separate from the main screen.

If I remember my Inside Macintosh well... (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#41482427)

...the original Mac had the basis for this designed in from the beginning. The Mac had a graphics region (65k x 65k pixels) larger than the display region. The window was a display port on this region.

Re:If I remember my Inside Macintosh well... (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 years ago | (#41482791)

And it still puts the menu for every window at the top of one monitor... often a long distance from the window itself.
Why don't they fix this? Now that Steve has gone, can we challenge some of his idiosyncrasies?

Re:If I remember my Inside Macintosh well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483253)

Now that Steve has gone

O ye of little faith!

Re:If I remember my Inside Macintosh well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483499)

Might make sense for a side-by-side configuration (and there are, or have been, third-party haxies to facilitate this).
But if you've got one monitor below the other (eg a laptop in front of an external display), a strip of menu bar in the middle of a contiguous desktop doesn't make sense (and is a pretty tough target to hit).

As for why the menu bar is at the top of the screen instead of the top of each window, that was absolutely the right decision.
If you don't believe me, look up Fitts's Law.

Re:Win 7 (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41482507)

My 86 mac SE came had a external monitor port and a radius card installed when I rescued it from the recyclers, so yea, its been around on Mac's for a while

Re:Win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482595)

Sorry to nitpick, but the Mac SE was released in 1987. I believe the first external display for the Mac was the Radius Full Page Display, which was introduced in '86 and used some sort of daughtercard arrangement (the Plus didn't have an expansion slot).

Re:Win 7 (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#41482319)

This is technically true. However, I haven't forgotten the hours it took me to hand-edit my XFree86.conf long after it had become unnecessary to do so for single-monitor configurations.

When I finally got a configuration I was happy with, I found that I had to be very careful to keep hold of that configuration file no matter what else I did - whether it was upgrading or moving to a different distribution altogether. It was the only way to be sure I could get it to work again.

It was having to go through this same dance every time I wanted to use a new peripheral that drove me away from desktop linux. Granted, most of those issues have long since evaporated - but it's disappointing to learn that some still exist.

Re:Win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482351)

Did they? Years? The grass is so long out there, I don't remember. W98 had multiple-monitor support. KDE 1.0 was only released in 98, Gnome 1.0 in 99. Linux desktop suites were just getting started.

Pretty darn certain I ran multi-monitors on W95 OSR2 with a third-party app. Not "default built-in" for sure, but Linux in those days was something you put together with parts too.

So, what years were you talking about?

Re:Win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482431)

Bullshit. X didn't get multi-monitor until Xinerama in 1998 which was years after you could do multi-monitor in Windows. Yes it was only "officially added to Windows in Win98, but there were options to get it long before then with third party options from companies like Matrox. These options existed since at least 1995 if not earlier. Also, the Macintosh II had multi-monitor support in 1987. So crowing about Linux getting it 12 years later is somewhat hilarious.

Basically, your claim is bogus.

Re:Win 7 (2)

siride (974284) | about 2 years ago | (#41484051)

Xinerama may not have come about until 1998, but multiple screen support was built into X from the beginning. That's where the whole :0.0, :0.1, etc. business comes from.

Re:Win 7 (4, Informative)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41481877)

XFCE user here. 3 different monitors of different sizes. 2 different video cards. No Xinerama and no seperate X screens, so I can switch workspaces on the other screens individually. Others who would like Xinerama can have that as well. I have connected 4 monitors as well. I can line them up any way I like. e.g. with 4, ---, L, +, T, reversed T. Space in between or connected.
The limit in screens is pure hardware. Adding cards would mean the ability to adding monitors.
I will soon be adding a 4th monitor and am looking at adding another video card and 2 more monitors.

Yep, it does not work in KDE or in GNOME how _I_ want it to run in the 5 minutes I tried, because it seems that they both handle things as one big screen (in any order) and I want my separate X sessions. Otherwise that would be working too.
Screen-shot from an older setup. The image is from 2006. Two identical screens there. http://houghi.org/shots/dualscreen.jpg [houghi.org]

I have been doing multiple screens since around 1998. All with GUI software to make it easy for me and no manual editing of xorg.conf. All in Linux.

Re:Win 7 (1)

dballanc (100332) | about 2 years ago | (#41482131)

It's nice to be able to drag things around, and unless I'm remembering incorrectly separate x sessions are just that. If you open a window on display Y it stays on display Y. Back when I was first using dual monitors I had them set that way and things were a bit quirky. Firefox wouldn't open on one dislay if it was already open on another, there were a few other apps that didn't play nice either. I'm currently on two monitors via twinview and a third via synergy on a different machine (which is a bit like a separate x session), and while it is functional - that third screen doesn't get used for much because it's not possible to drag a window over to primary (easier to read) screen for some work and then toss the window back to the side when I'm done with it.

Re:Win 7 (1, Insightful)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | about 2 years ago | (#41481915)

Congratulations, Windows 7 with specialized third-party software handles multiple monitors flawlessly!

Re:Win 7 (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#41483125)

Go re-read my post. Windows handles it flawlessly and 3rd party software adds in even more features to account for my fairly non-standard setup of different size monitors with different resolutions that are not on a flat surface.

Re:Win 7 (1)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | about 2 years ago | (#41483701)

If it doesn't handle your use case (which isn't really all that non-standard - the most common use-case for multiple monitors is laptops with external monitors) without third-party software, it's not really flawless.

Re:Win 7 (1)

siride (974284) | about 2 years ago | (#41484061)

It works fine for me. I use a second monitor at home and at work and it remembers the settings for both without any extra work on my part.

Re:Win 7 (2)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#41483897)

KDE handles my monitor setup OK -- one large widescreen monitor, one rotated-right smaller monitor, and they don't line up.

This is connected to a laptop (VGA and HDMI), and the laptop monitor can't be used at the same time (doesn't work on Windows either). The problem at present is if I disconnect it and plug in to a projector. I actually have two usernames set up with different monitor configurations; since I disconnect it so rarely this was the easiest solution.

My colleagues have the same equipment but use Windows 7, and they had trouble getting everything set up correctly. Oddly, they mostly had different problems to each other.

Linux works 80%, in this case, 100% of the time.
Windows works 100%, but only 80% of the time.

Re:Win 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482887)

Try setting different wallpapers on each monitor on Windows...

Re:Win 7 (2)

Malvineous (1459757) | about 2 years ago | (#41483975)

I'm using Linux with four monitors at four different resolutions, and they all line up seamlessly, even at different vertical elevations. Linux is able to do this just as well as Windows (in fact I would say better than Windows, if you have to download a third party program like Ultramon to get it to work properly), the only difference is that Windows/Ultramon gives you a GUI, while most Linux users are satisfied with editing configuration files, because that's what they're used to and comfortable with.

It always makes me laugh when people say Linux will never make it on the desktop because it's too hard, yet being hard is one of Linux's strong points. Windows is supposed to be easy, but have you seen the quality of the average post in a Windows support forum? Giving Linux a high barrier to entry automatically excludes so many of those people, avoiding the forums getting clogged up with so many simple requests people could easily solve themselves.

It's like requiring a degree when you apply for a job. You might never need to use the degree itself in your work, but having one generally implies you have a certain set of basic skills.

I have often heard it said that there should be some kind of license you need before you're allowed to use a computer. Well there's your license - the ability to use Linux.

My ubuntu 12.04 does it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481607)

When I disconnect the external monitor, it automagically moves APP windows and panes to laptop monitor, that is configured as secondary screen. When I replug the monitor, APP windows that previously where on it, return to it, as do the panes...

Re:My ubuntu 12.04 does it now (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 years ago | (#41481669)

It would be nice if Gnome, or KDE could handle the USB Monitor issue. I have some BVU195's and I'd love to plug them in and get something other than green screens.

Re:My ubuntu 12.04 does it now (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 2 years ago | (#41482037)

When I disconnect the external monitor, it automagically moves APP windows and panes to laptop monitor, that is configured as secondary screen. When I replug the monitor, APP windows that previously where on it, return to it, as do the panes...

I'm running 12.04 Kubuntu and no, it doesn't work properly when I undock my laptop; and yes, I keep the external monitor (DVI) as the primary and "to the left of" the internal monitor (LVDS).

Pathetic (3, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | about 2 years ago | (#41481631)

They waste all these time mucking with icons, reorganizing menu accesses, and other such superfluous "human interaction" nonsense, but never got around to supporting something as basic as multiple displays.

It's why you're better off to wait for jesus to return than the mythical "year of linux desktop".

Re:Pathetic (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481759)

I've used multiple monitors with KDE for around six years now. Basic multi-screen functionality has been around for ages. They're improving it, not introducing it.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481959)

They waste all these time mucking with icons, reorganizing menu accesses, and other such superfluous "human interaction" nonsense, but never got around to supporting something as basic as multiple displays.

"Basic"?

Methinks you've been hanging around people with a very odd definition of "basic" if, to you, it means people who have eight hojillion monitors active at all times...

Re:Pathetic (2)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#41481979)

Do you not understand the meaning of the phrase 'getting an overhaul' or did you not even bother to read the _title_ fully before posting?

Re:Pathetic (2)

seandiggity (992657) | about 2 years ago | (#41482083)

It's why you're better off to wait for jesus to return than the mythical "year of linux desktop".

You should RTFM before posting this heresy. man revelation states that the mark of the beast is linux kernel 6.6.6, which predates the Second Coming of Christ. Older print manuals invoked kernel 6.1.6, but that turned out to be an error with a possessed dot matrix printer.

Re:Pathetic (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41482673)

The "artists" who insist on wanking with gaudy UI trifles need to be LARTed into weeping pulps.

They don't care about users. At all.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484085)

It's why you're better off to wait for jesus to return than the mythical "year of linux desktop".

Jesus has been using Debian GNU/Linux on His desktops for years.

Please rename the post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41481649)

to..
KDE Getting Multi-Monitor Control

About time (1)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#41481673)

I run LMDE with three monitors driven by two ATI/AMD Radeon cards. I use the fglrx proprietary catalyst driver largely because I have difficulty getting all three monitors going without it.

Unfortunately, I am now quite familiar with my xorg.conf file.

My point: Linux multi-monitor support is one area where it has dragged behind Windows and it's about time somebody started seriously working on it.

TwinView (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 years ago | (#41481715)

nvidia-settings
Detect Displays
Click on newly-detected display and select "TwinView" and "Clone Displays".
Click apply.

Done, works with all window managers.

Re:TwinView (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about 2 years ago | (#41481771)

Use Nouveau - the nvidia blob sucks.

Then, it's standard randr calls, and it's easy...oh, and XFCE has had standard dual monitor support for a while now, although it doesn't always place nice with nouveau/randr until you actually setup screen 2 and above as other screens. Otherwise, it just clones the primary's output.

Nouveau doesnt support CUDA (1)

voss (52565) | about 2 years ago | (#41482495)

If it supported Opencl that would be a start.

Re:TwinView (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41482531)

yea, but then your geforce 560TI runs as fast as a MX420

Re:TwinView (1)

mspring (126862) | about 2 years ago | (#41481801)

Still too many clicks.
Unable to store a successful config and reproduce it with a single hot key.
After long time fiddling with nv-control-dpy and xrandr I have a somewhat working solution, which crashes the X server every time I go from my home config to my office config.

Re:TwinView (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482291)

yeah what about desktop stretch/multi workspace? tha'ts always been a bitch with nvidia's driver.

Re:TwinView (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482437)

Done, that is, unless you really hate clone, more than your hatred of MS and Apple combined.

Thank god, nvidia settings can handle span just as easily. It came right when we tossed xorg.conf.

Re:TwinView (2)

agm (467017) | about 2 years ago | (#41482869)

Yes. Now try getting that to work with 3 monitors. TwinView is only for spanning two monitors, even if your graphics card has 4 outputs. You cannot get KDE to provide a single desktop experience across 3 monitors with TwinView, and Xinerama is going the way of the Dodo and is very slow. I have a triple head setup working with KDE but the only way is to have TwinView on the left two as a single X screen, and the right monitor is another X screen running an independant instance of KDE. Works for my workflow, but a single unified desktop it is not.

Re:TwinView (1)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about 2 years ago | (#41483395)

Too bad my nvidia can't scale the cloned image therefore making the cloned mode useless...
Many applications are also behaving pretty bad - like displaying a popup on another monitor than the main application window. Surprisingly, Windows applications running in wine deal nicely with multiple monitors.

Year of the Linux desktop? (1)

trevc (1471197) | about 2 years ago | (#41481749)

Finally, the last piece needed to get Linux onto the desktop!

They're really working hard now! (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41481879)

Considering that Macintoshes have had these features for over a quarter century, this is great news.

Re:They're really working hard now! (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#41482045)

Linux has as well; the 'news' here is that now, how you set it up will be dependent on your DM rather than your graphics card driver. Unless you want to do it the old way.

In terms of functionality this is _entirely_ redundant. It's just making things a bit easier to find I suppose.

Re:They're really working hard now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483183)

Eh? XRANDR is dependent on neither your dungeon master, window manager, desktop environment, or whatever else "DM" might stand for, nor on your graphics card driver (unless it's one of the archaic closed-source ones that doesn't support it at all). It's an X extension that any client can connect to.

I believe both big overbearing desktop environments already supplied a rather crappy client to do it, but sane users used a third-party client that saves configurations (I used one for awhile, but the name escapes me), a collection of manually-executed scripts calling xrandr(1) (I've got three of these in a panel now, for docked w/ monitor, projector, and laptop only), or (for those who are hackish enough to do it, and yet patient enough to put up with the CADT [jwz.org] -model development) a collection of scripts to do it automatically with hotplug, udev, or whatever incompatible hardware detection and configuration system of the day (been there, done that, won't get fooled again).

What this will do is:
* if you exclusively use kde, it "fixes" this problem using method 3, only it will be some poor K schmuck's problem to rewrite all the magic next time someone says "Hey, let's rewrite everything from scratch!". Which, I guess, is his problem, so good.
* if you do not use kde, accomplishes nothing, and reduces motivation for people to actually fix the problem with further enhancements to the desktop-agnostic third-party clients. (but that's ok, because people who don't use kde don't matter!)
* If you switch back and forth between kde and other desktop environments (perhaps multiple users on a family computer), and you have a custom automated script setup; now when you're in KDE, this will interfere with them. (but that's ok, because everyone should be using kde, not switching back and forth -- and when some perpetual-v0.8 programmer breaks your scripts again, are you gonna rewrite them, or switch to KDE fulltime?)

If GNOME is like the republicans, KDE is like the democrats. They want to give you the illusion of a two-way choice, and you could make an argument that one is slightly the lesser of two evils, but the real solution is to ditch big-desktop authoritarianism altogether.

Great to hear (1)

mike_toscano (2658881) | about 2 years ago | (#41482035)

Really glad to see this fixed up. It will be a great day when my external screen is the way it should be when I fire up and dock my laptop in the morning. Long over-due.

Mike

Re:Great to hear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483255)

Yeah, it'll be a great day when you learn to write, what, five lines? of shell script in your .xinitrc (or local equivalent). Definitely long overdue.

The problem they're trying to solve, the one that everyone (except you and ubuntu users, I guess) doesn't solve by themselves if they run linux on a laptop, is not detecting and selecting a configuration when you start your session (or at any other given time, even at the click of a button), that's ridiculously simple. The problem is switching back and forth between states when cables get (un)plugged.

And even that wouldn't be a problem if the Linux development menagerie could settle on a single hotplug system so people could write a few scripts to solve the problem and not have it break next year when they roll out the shiny! new! (incompatible) replacement system, and everyone could use their own version of those scripts. But with how often those people break stuff for shits and giggles, there's just no point investing the effort.

Multihead still sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482187)

Good multihead support should be on kernel level. This allows multihead not needing the X-server.

sp0nge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482617)

We got back to the linux pain point, graphics. (2)

chadruva (613658) | about 2 years ago | (#41482801)

While is nice to have better control over this features we need to first get them working reliably, I still can't get KDE to start with max the laptop monitor max resolution, it will always go back to a 1280x768 and I have to change it manually.

In the end we get back to the same old problem with Linux graphics, driver support. I remember back a couple of years having a nvidia card with the binary blob, most stuff worked as I wanted but screen adjusting and multimonitor had to be done via nvidia tools, but in the end of the day it works. Now I have an ATI card and I cannot get multimonitor working properly even with its own tools, on a more powerful card with more memory.

For quite a while I think there has been no real interest on doing this overhaul as most of those features would not work releably on most systems.

Source Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41482829)

Where can I get the source code to libkscreen? I can't find it on github. Link?

Cloning diplays with different resolutions (2)

notandor (807997) | about 2 years ago | (#41482861)

In all these years of Linux usage I still have not been able to do clone a display while having different resolutions. Is this actually possible?

I want to present slides on a presentation monitor, which is connected to my Thinkpad (nvidia, binary driver) via VGA cable. At the same time, I want to see the slides on the notebook screen during the presentation. So the screen has to be cloned.

However, the native resolution of the notebook and second (big) monitor differs. For instance, the notebook is 1600x900, the external presentation monitor is 1920x1080. Is there a way to produce the signal in 1920x1080 on the second monitor, and at the same time clone the screen on the notebook screen in another resolution?

Re:Cloning diplays with different resolutions (1)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about 2 years ago | (#41483525)

The scaling of cloned outputs depends mainly on hardware. Cheap laptop cards usually don't incorporate a rescaler.
If you output to VGA you can use the rescaler built into the monitor. Sadly, this doesn't work with most flat panels on digital outputs - they lack a rescaler because they assume the video card will match their resolution.

kde and gnome users don't know what they are doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483081)

Been using multi-monitor for many many years.

Setup xorg.conf or xfree86.conf and done. What the hell is so hard about that.

Now you windows noobs who think you are l33t since you installed dual boot linux, and are running gnome or kde, fuck you, if you can't figure out something as fucking simple as a couple lines in your xorg.conf file.

And shit, you can whip up a little shell script that auto adds and removes monitors, as it detects they are connected and disconnected with xrandr in a couple minutes-- fucking simple.

Different resolutions-- so? Always has worked for me.

My experience with multiple monitor (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#41483179)

Well, I'm using KDE with two monitors right now. (left/right configuration). However, I configured these with the Radeon tool which works well with little fuss. Ditto with multiple monitors on Nvidia (the vendor tool works nicely).

My biggest complaint about multiple displays on KDE is what happens if you have a transient display (not always connected). When I have my laptop at my work-desk, I connect to a bigger monitor and have dual-head. However, if I don't disable the dual-head before using the laptop without a secondary display, baaaad things happen and I usually end up with a desktop that's stuffing new windows onto a monitor that doesn't exist.

Mind you, I think this might be at least partially problem with the vendor driver, but the WM should be smart enough to figure out that a monitor no longer exists as well.

Good news (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 2 years ago | (#41483285)

Filed a few bugs in my time, nice of them to take notice.

TFS mentions only GNOME2. How is the multi-monitor status on other DEs nowadays? XFCE, GNOME3, MATE etc.? Cinnamon would still be the same as GNOME2, right?

Only like (1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41483335)

10 years too late?

Support for four monitors on 2 different cards? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 years ago | (#41483945)

My work machine has four (yes) monitors, two on a Radeon 7000 series and two on the Intel IGP. Win7 works mostly[1] flawlessly, but Mint will only see the two Intel-powered monitors by default. I'm given to understand that I can get all four going, but it'd involve writing a custon xorg.conf and I can't be bothered since I'm usually in Win7 because that's what I have to support.

[1] fairly often the Intel driver will crash and be automatically restarted on resume from sleep.

Macs.. just work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484047)

Macs have supported multiple monitors since what, 1988 or so? That just work/easily configurable/reconfigurable..

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