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New KScreen Supplies Some Magic For Multi-Monitor Linux Set-Ups

timothy posted about a year ago | from the more-magic-always-welcome dept.

KDE 183

An anonymous reader points out developer Àlex Fiestas's work on multiple monitor configuration for Linux. In particular, the screen manager that he and Dan Vrátil are working on — KScreen — gives KDE users a utility "making the configuration of monitors either auto-magical or super simple." This is one thing that's certainly gotten much better in recent years for Linux GUI users in general, but the video in the linked post makes me a little envious — another good reason to swap desktops once in a while.

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183 comments

Yes, this is amazing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405041)

I'm glad that the Linux desktop has this feature after being on AppleOS and Windows for only about ten years.

The set-up is also super-simple:
Finally if you want to get this working:

1.Compile libkscreen
2.Compile kscreen
3.qdbus org.kde.kded /kded org.kde.kded.unloadModule randrmonitor
4.qdbus org.kde.kded /kded org.kde.kded.setModuleAutoloading randrmonitor false
5.qdbus org.kde.kded /kded org.kde.kded.loadModule kscreen

This is great for users who want to get started with Linux. It will also end their Linux experience after 10 minutes.

Yes, Linux wins another accolade in being user-friendly.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405065)

Until it's put into a distro.

Jesus, stop acting like a jackass.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405087)

Keep Jesus out of this, some of us value our Christian beliefs, please don't insult him.

Will the distribution also include a time machine so that this feature is added in Mandrake ten years ago? Along with 16-color EGA support and Adlib sound capabilities?

Re:Yes, this is amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405161)

I am pretty sure apple already did this;)

Re:Yes, this is amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405251)

In before 'Jesus titty fucking Christ'.

Oops.

Assuming Jesus did exist and was an observant Jew of about the year 30AD. Assuming for the sake of discussion that he was married to Mary Magdaline, who had a large rack. Would he indeed have been 'Jesus titty fucking Christ'.

Discuss.

I'll start. Yes he would have been, but would have finished his work in the vagina. Pearl necklaces being counter to old testament law.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405291)

tasteless but funny and clever. i lol'd.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405651)

Yeah, lay off of Jesus. He's my best gardener, and he can put up drywall like the best of 'em.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406685)

...some of us value our Christian beliefs...

That's OK, the rest of us don't. In fact, some of us value other fictional characters names more than that.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about a year ago | (#42405121)

So does Apple, before creating a distribution of Darwin and shipping it, compiled and configured, through the internet.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405219)

This comment is only labeled as flame bait because the flaming arrow of truth has struck too close to the heart of the Linux desktop zealots.
For all of their hatred of Apple and Windows - they must admit that this HAS been available in those systems for a long long time

Re:Yes, this is amazing (2)

mattkrea (2795977) | about a year ago | (#42406855)

I'm pretty sure those that have been using *nix all this time would have dropped it if they cared that much. For many of us the value of *nix is in a GUI-less environment and seeing articles like this is just evidence of how far the open environment has come. I still use Windows on my primary desktop and am forced to use a Macbook for work but every server running every one of my products/projects is some flavor of Linux because of the stability. Now that's without a doubt a more important "feature" than some new way to manage your desktop environment, IMO.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42405325)

> I'm glad that the Linux desktop has this feature after being on AppleOS and Windows for only about ten years.

+...with loads of caveats.

And yet, this is still a relatively obscure feature. So the idea that your typical user will be "running off into the night" after 10 minutes is rather unwarranted.

Most people will be shocked that you can do this sort of thing with any OS.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42405523)

"Most people will be shocked that you can do this sort of thing with any OS"
not to anyone that uses a laptop and a monitor. this is a pretty standard issue thing now

Re:Yes, this is amazing (3, Informative)

HJED (1304957) | about a year ago | (#42405989)

It is one of the features that I constantly have to wrestle with on Linux (which I use as my main OS), there is currently no real multi-screen support in a major distro and what support there is breaks regularly during updates. (This includes things like full screen flash, changing settings without rebooting, etc). I hope this will work with nvidia drivers, but from past experience I doubt it.

Re:Yes, this is amazing (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42405489)

oh its been much longer than 10 years, 98 maybe 95 could handle it with a simple trip to the display properties, and I have an 1986 macSE that uses its internal monitor and a full page radius display at the same time in os6 with a little utility

About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405049)

Sorely missing for oh so many years. Still, gratz and thank you.

WOW!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405053)

I've only been able to do this with Windows OS since 1998.

Kudos KDE team! :D

Re:WOW!!! (4, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#42405235)

Actually, no, you could not.

You didn't (and still don't) even have a separation between window manager and applications, so hung application produces pretty patterns on the screen when you try to drag your window, if you can even drag it at all. You didn't (and still don't) have usable multiple-desktop or multiple-viewports support, so changes in resolution only affect one giant constantly-displayed area, with all windows mapped to it. You can't allocate a monitor connected to one host to become a part of the environment for other hosts, or combine multiple hosts with their monitors to show a single desktop, with applications spanning all of them.

So you are comparing the ability to change the resolution on the fly without restarting applications (what Windows had before Linux got it in 2001, and became part of mainstream in 2007) against actual usable management of resolutions on multiple screens, some virtual, some networked. And no, your stupid Terminal Services don't count.

Re:WOW!!! (2, Funny)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#42405355)

so hung application produces pretty patterns on the screen when you try to drag your window, if you can even drag it at all.

This shows that people like you have last used Windows back in the XP or even ME days. Get with the times instead of wallowing in outdated criticisms.

You can't allocate a monitor connected to one host to become a part of the environment for other hosts, or combine multiple hosts with their monitors to show a single desktop, with applications spanning all of them.

.. management of resolutions on multiple screens, some virtual, some networked...

This is soooooo useful to so many desktop users compared to the use case of extending desktop to another monitor on the desk without fiddling with multiple config files and utilities. *snicker*

And no, your stupid Terminal Services don't count.

Yes, lets discount actual working remote desktop over even dialup,and lets trumpet outdated technology requiring a LAN.

Re:WOW!!! (4, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#42405405)

This shows that people like you have last used Windows back in the XP or even ME days. Get with the times instead of wallowing in outdated criticisms.

Now the effect is masked by the speed of processors and programmers carefully starting tens of threads for their UI, but it's still there (window won't even move if anything gets blocked). Meanwhile, X applications may run on some remote m68k, and won't slow down the rest of UI.

This is soooooo useful to so many desktop users

Workstations users need that all the time, they just can't get it from Windows.

compared to the use case of extending desktop to another monitor on the desk without fiddling with multiple config files and utilities. *snicker*

Do you even understand what this is about? All this IS IMPLEMENTED in nice UI, the article is about a new KDE utility for it.

Re:WOW!!! (2, Interesting)

rev0lt (1950662) | about a year ago | (#42406043)

Workstations users need that all the time, they just can't get it from Windows.

Given that you have _several_ X Servers for Windows (some of them free), I can't see why not. What I can see is Linux distros like Ubuntu or Mint with completely broken XDMCP funcionality, and its a trending issue - that alone somewhat reflects the usage that kind of feature has nowadays. And the problems usually don't end with XDMCP.

Workstations users need that all the time, they just can't get it from Windows.

I don't know what a "workstation user" is. I know a lot of "workstation users" that only use Microsoft Office and Outlook. I also know a lot of them that use Adobe Photoshop extensively, so it appears that you have problems distinguishing the forest from the trees. I myself am a "workstation user", and use both Windows and X server on Windows, and have no need whatsoever in executing remote GUI applications over X.

Do you even understand what this is about? All this IS IMPLEMENTED in nice UI, the article is about a new KDE utility for it.

And the point is that this is pretty much a standard feature of other operating systems, such as Windows. Without requiring you to use a specific WM/DE or installing a shitton of libs. It is 10 years late, and as the video shows, many laptops even assume the SO has that capability to the point of having a marked shortcut for it.

And there is nothing OSS/free in the *nix world vaguely near Terminal Services. Internally, the desktop compositing is somewhat similar to X, but works way better over slow links, with the plus of actual audio support, resource sharing (disks and printers), and a _usable_ clipboard (still waiting on that on *nix). The case usage of TS is somewhat different from remote GUI applications, but from what I see on a daily basis, way more useful.

Re:WOW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406591)

Must be dark in there, what with being stuck so far up your own bum you can't see the sun.

Re:WOW!!! (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#42406847)

XDMCP and remote X are disabled on Ubuntu because for home users they are nothing but a potential security hole. Enabling them is trivial for those who need them.

X servers for Windows don't run Windows applications, and mostly don't run X applications, either, due to extreme ineficciency, outdated implementations, and nonexistent hardware support. Among other things, they don't support dynamic resolution changes and compositing. Apparently idiots like you believe that all X implementations are as crappy as those.

Microsoft Office is an application for making pretty documents with incoherent formatting, and using a pseudo-database with calculations, that grew into something that has more in common with absurdist art than any productive activity. People who only use it, would be better off with a tablet-keyboard combination -- too bad, one that Microsoft tried to sell is total crap, at large extent because their tablet-style UI is almost as bad on tablets as it is on desktops. If you judge workstations use by the type of users who waste computers' capability the most, you you are bound to end up with idiotic preferences -- oh wait, this is what Windows mlti-screen support is!

The rest of your response is plain false.

Re:WOW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406413)

X applications may run on some remote m68k, and won't slow down the rest of UI.

... which is a feature so obscure that it is going away even in Linux. Wayland does away with it.

Only 0.01% cares about that, and it isn't worth the complexity it imposes.

Re:WOW!!! (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#42406693)

Wayland is one of the doomed projects that were supposed to replace X, but amounted to nothing. This shit is going on for as long as X11 existed.

Re:WOW!!! (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | about a year ago | (#42405409)

Not to bait you but you didn't actually debunk his post, are there any Win users here that use multiple monitors to give us a comparison?

Re:WOW!!! (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#42405557)

Not to bait you but you didn't actually debunk his post

I have explained that his comparison is invalid because he based it on one least-relevant feature.

are there any Win users here that use multiple monitors to give us a comparison?

You mean, gamers who have one box running fullscreen game on three screens (three is important because otherwise his gun's sight will be between screen edges)? And office dwellers who have Word on one screen and Excel on another because they have no scrollable/switchable viewports? With the way how Windows users use multiple monitors, no. Windows may be ready for desktop, but it's not ready for any serious use as a workstation.

Re:WOW!!! (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about a year ago | (#42406153)

And office dwellers who have Word on one screen and Excel on another because they have no scrollable/switchable viewports?

Viewports makes sense for some applications and for low-res displays. I actually hate them, and toggling an app on a different viewport will toggle the whole viewport. On high-res monitors, you may find yourself dragging windows on a small applet on a corner of a screen.
On the other hand, I get more usable screen with Windows than I'd get with X. The difference is noticeable on high-res screens, and translates to more lines of code at once on each screen. Scalable font rendering is usually crappy in X, and most of the times the widgets and dialogs look like something drawn by a kid (there are some exceptions, but even with tabbed windowmanagers or minimal windowmanagers like blackbox you will have the font problem). At least with Windows, application-specific modal dialogs don't popup on the wrong screen or under some other window (again) on the wrong screen.

but it's not ready for any serious use as a workstation.

I guess your notion of workstation is a machine you use. Different people have different needs.

Since apparently for you multiple monitors on Windows is for office and for games because it lacks virtual desktops, there you go: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx [microsoft.com].

Re:WOW!!! (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#42406889)

So far, the only usable implementations of virtual desktops are in X, and everything else is total crap. Yes, even OSX. Obviously, a Windows user wouldn't know a case when virtual desktop are useful, from his own ass.

Re:WOW!!! (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about a year ago | (#42406993)

Obviously, a Windows user wouldn't know a case when virtual desktop are useful, from his own ass.

Obviously, any narrow-minded individual has problems understanding a reality where people have different needs, so instead resorts to cheap sleazy insult. I could point out that none of what you actually said is true (some graphics adapters DO support scrollable viewports, Windows does provide switchable viewports, not everyone uses what you use, there is a shit ton of problems/issues with multi-monitor support in X, and some of them are more than a decade old, etc etc etc), but it would be pointless. A narrow-minded person has no mental space available for a different perspective.

Re:WOW!!! (3, Interesting)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#42405665)

Not to bait you but you didn't actually debunk his post, are there any Win users here that use multiple monitors to give us a comparison?

No longer a Windows user; but Windows does not have any where near the same level of functionality for multi-monitor support the Linux does.
Here's a little glimpse:

- Windows allows you to either clone the monitors (e.g. presentation mode) or have one really big desktop that spans all the monitors; but applications can only min/max on one monitor; you can stretch an application to cross both monitors, but the max function provided by Windows won't do that.
- Windows leaves much of the multi-monitor support to the drivers. if you have several display adapters they better work well together at the driver level or you won't get multi-monitor. At work we tried adding a second monitor to a Windows system (2008 Server I think) but the driver for the second card would only work with other drivers that had WDM support; which the main card did not.
- As of WinXP SP3 Windows does provide a nice built-in utility for manipulating mutli-monitor support when it is available, but it's very limited. Usually you'll get more functionality out of the driver tools (e.g. nVidia's ControlPanel) that will let you do a bit more. In no cases do any of those tools provide the flexibility of what Linux provides.

This is true even of Windows 7; and given the lack of differences for Win8 I would assume so there to - those from what I have seen, Windows 8 will put the Metro interface on one monitor and the Desktop interface on a second monitor by default; so you're dual-head display is now essentially a single head display for with two different environments on each monitor. Might be the only way to use Windows 8 without getting rid of Metro.

Re:WOW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405979)

A few points:

1. I've never gotten KDE to maximize a window across two screens without manually resizing it
2. I've gotten plenty of flexibility from the Windows 7 multi display feature, including my current setup:

Screen 1, rotated 90 degrees to portrait mode, on the left
Screen 2, landscape mode, on the right, but aligned so the top of it is 150px lower than the top of screen 1 (since the stand doesn't go that high).

Is that kind of setup possible in Linux? I haven't had the occasion to try it but would love to know.

Re:WOW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406915)

Given output names of PORTRAIT and LANDSCAPE, and given native rotated resolutions of 1080x1920 and 1920x1080 respectively;

xrandr --output PORTRAIT --auto --rotate right --primary --pos 0x0 --output LANDSCAPE --auto --right-of PORTRAIT --pos 1080x150

Probably not 100% correct but more or less. Install arandr [amsuess.com] to do it in a GUI.

Re:WOW!!! (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about a year ago | (#42406211)

No longer a Windows user; but Windows does not have any where near the same level of functionality for multi-monitor support the Linux does.

Are you comparing Windows XP with a latest linux distro? Because I had problems for _years_ with X/Xorg and multiple monitors.

Windows allows you to either clone the monitors (e.g. presentation mode) or have one really big desktop that spans all the monitors; but applications can only min/max on one monitor; you can stretch an application to cross both monitors, but the max function provided by Windows won't do that.

None of the applications I use make sense being spread across monitors horizontally, maximized, so never needed it. Can you give me an example of such application?

Windows system (2008 Server I think)

Pick a 2009 Linux distro, install it on a laptop, and then span the desktop to another monitor, with different resolutions. Now try see a fullscreen movie on the 2nd monitor, and tell me about it. Or boot up the SO, plug an external video device, and see how the resolution detection works.

Re:WOW!!! (2)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#42406871)

No longer a Windows user; but Windows does not have any where near the same level of functionality for multi-monitor support the Linux does.

Are you comparing Windows XP with a latest linux distro? Because I had problems for _years_ with X/Xorg and multiple monitors.

Not simply XP, but Vista and 7 as well. I've used all three; but I primarily use Linux. (My wife has Vista on her laptop, and I get to dabble with Win7 from time to time at work. But 90+% of my time is under KDE on Linux - Kubuntu for the time being, and Gentoo.)

For a long time you had to specifically setup your X configuration file to get it right. It was a pain to get right, but it did work very well once configured. Since Xorg 1.5 you don't have to specifically craft the X configuration file any longer, but it depends on your DE (e.g. GNOME, KDE, etc) to get the dynamic configuration working right. KDE 4.5 and later could do it; but it's only really matured in that manner with 4.8. I can't speak to GNOME as I don't touch it.

Windows allows you to either clone the monitors (e.g. presentation mode) or have one really big desktop that spans all the monitors; but applications can only min/max on one monitor; you can stretch an application to cross both monitors, but the max function provided by Windows won't do that.

None of the applications I use make sense being spread across monitors horizontally, maximized, so never needed it. Can you give me an example of such application?

Some users like to do it for video editing, or multi-screen displays. I haven't done it so I'm not familiar with the use-case so much, but I do know you can do it under Linux.

Windows system (2008 Server I think)

Pick a 2009 Linux distro, install it on a laptop, and then span the desktop to another monitor, with different resolutions. Now try see a fullscreen movie on the 2nd monitor, and tell me about it. Or boot up the SO, plug an external video device, and see how the resolution detection works.

I do it with both Gentoo and Kubuntu, no X configuration file now - though I use to on the Gentoo system. You can use Xinerama to have a seamless display between several monitors, or separate desktops on each, or one desktop with different configurations for each. Right now, I've got my Lenovo T61p running KDE 4.9 with one wallpaper on the laptop display and another on a 22" LCD monitor. Works great.

Now, I'm not saying KDE manages it perfectly yet - there's still a few bugs to work out. But the flexibility is far greater than what Windows provides.

Re:WOW!!! (2)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#42406275)

No longer a Windows user...

Ah well, then I guess you are well qualified to comment then.

or have one really big desktop that spans all the monitors

That's over simplifying a lot.

The monitors can be set up more or less independently. They don't need to have the same resolution, and they can be positioned arbitrarily relative to each other.

The task bar doesn't get stretched out.
There are hotkeys for moving windows between monitors.
The desktop background isn't stretched out either.
Its hardly simply a really big desktop with a few "viewports" onto it.

but applications can only min/max on one monitor

That's a feature not a bug. The desirability of the maximize button maximizing an application across multiple monitors of often different resolutions and arbitrary relative positions is pretty much nil. But if you want to stretch it across multiple monitors you can.

Windows leaves much of the multi-monitor support to the drivers.

Windows does most of the main multi-monitor functions just fine on its own. A few more esoteric functions, like being able to define rotations for the screens independently is typically offered by the drivers, and is not natively offered by windows. (And rotations might even be offered in windows 8... I'm not sure about that one offhand; although I do recall seeing something about setting the orientation.)

As of WinXP SP3 Windows does provide a nice built-in utility for manipulating mutli-monitor support when it is available...

So, uh, as of a version that is pretty much EOL, and is the oldest version you would really expect to see people actually using it already had a useful tool for managing multiple monitors? Is that the last time you used windows?

and given the lack of differences for Win8 I would assume so there to

Windows 8 adds some really nice multiple monitor improvements actually... in particular you can show taskbars on multiple displays - with a variety of options such as the ability to have an application icon appear just on the taskbar on the screen its on, or on the screen its on, plus the primary display, or on all taskbars on all displays.

Additionally you can open the start start screen on any display, and you can set independent backgrounds.

so you're dual-head display is now essentially a single head display for with two different environments on each monitor

In other words, with dual monitors you can run metro and desktop alongside eachother if you like.
Or classic on both monitors.
Or metro on both monitors.
Or with 3 monitors...
Or Metro on 2 monitors, classic on 1 monitor.
Or classic on 2 monitors, metro on 1.
Or metro on all 3.
Or Classic on all 3 monitor. ...

Sad thing is I'm not even really a microsoft cheerleader; but the amount of ignorant nonsense i read about windows on slashdot forces me to defend them.

Re:WOW!!! (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#42406957)

No longer a Windows user...

Ah well, then I guess you are well qualified to comment then.

I wouldn't qualify myself as a Windows user any more as I used Linux all the time. That said, I still keep up with Windows (to a degree) as I still write software for it and such. (Mostly write the software using Qt, then compile under Windows to deliver; but I also have a number of Windows applications - Win32/MFC - that I help maintain as well.) So yes, having worked with Windows XP, Vista, Win7, Server 2003/2008, etc - I'd say I'm still qualified to answer.

or have one really big desktop that spans all the monitors

That's over simplifying a lot.

The monitors can be set up more or less independently. They don't need to have the same resolution, and they can be positioned arbitrarily relative to each other.

The task bar doesn't get stretched out. There are hotkeys for moving windows between monitors. The desktop background isn't stretched out either. Its hardly simply a really big desktop with a few "viewports" onto it.

but applications can only min/max on one monitor

That's a feature not a bug. The desirability of the maximize button maximizing an application across multiple monitors of often different resolutions and arbitrary relative positions is pretty much nil. But if you want to stretch it across multiple monitors you can.

As I fully noted. But depending on what you want to do, that can very well be a bug. With Linux you have to configure X such that it makes the monitors one big desktop area; there is no option on Windows to do so save a few very special (and expensive) graphics cards with drivers that do it to make the marketeers happy.

Windows leaves much of the multi-monitor support to the drivers.

Windows does most of the main multi-monitor functions just fine on its own. A few more esoteric functions, like being able to define rotations for the screens independently is typically offered by the drivers, and is not natively offered by windows. (And rotations might even be offered in windows 8... I'm not sure about that one offhand; although I do recall seeing something about setting the orientation.)

Windows doesn't do much of it on its own. It pushes it to the graphics driver; but they've done a lot better job of hiding that via the Display Properties since Windows XP SP3.

As of WinXP SP3 Windows does provide a nice built-in utility for manipulating mutli-monitor support when it is available...

So, uh, as of a version that is pretty much EOL, and is the oldest version you would really expect to see people actually using it already had a useful tool for managing multiple monitors? Is that the last time you used windows?

No, and you seem to be missing quite a bit of what I said based on your comments. Yes you've added some more details, but largely missed what I stated.

and given the lack of differences for Win8 I would assume so there to

Windows 8 adds some really nice multiple monitor improvements actually... in particular you can show taskbars on multiple displays - with a variety of options such as the ability to have an application icon appear just on the taskbar on the screen its on, or on the screen its on, plus the primary display, or on all taskbars on all displays.

Additionally you can open the start start screen on any display, and you can set independent backgrounds.

Good to hear. They're catching up to the Unix world with much of that. KDE 3 (EOL'd several years ago) had multiple "taskbars" on each display years (10+?) ago; but Windows just gets it with Windows 8!

so you're dual-head display is now essentially a single head display for with two different environments on each monitor

In other words, with dual monitors you can run metro and desktop alongside eachother if you like. Or classic on both monitors. Or metro on both monitors. Or with 3 monitors... Or Metro on 2 monitors, classic on 1 monitor. Or classic on 2 monitors, metro on 1. Or metro on all 3. Or Classic on all 3 monitor. ...

Sad thing is I'm not even really a microsoft cheerleader; but the amount of ignorant nonsense i read about windows on slashdot forces me to defend them.

Nice to see the options. I haven't really had the chance to play with Win8; just going off of what I had seen from someone using it (RTM, prior to the official release, and only briefly at that).

Still, Windows is far behind in features for multi-monitor support compared to the rest of the world. And again, that comes from the fact that while Microsoft has done a bit to help cleanup the APIs for applications, and make a nicer settings for it all they still leave 90% of the grunt work to the graphics drivers; where X handles it in the X Server - above the graphics drivers, but below the Display Manager.

Re:WOW!!! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#42406905)

- Windows allows you to either clone the monitors (e.g. presentation mode) or have one really big desktop that spans all the monitors; but applications can only min/max on one monitor; you can stretch an application to cross both monitors, but the max function provided by Windows won't do that.

The maximize button maximizes to current screen, doesn't stop you from actually making the window span all by resizing it yourself.

- Windows leaves much of the multi-monitor support to the drivers. if you have several display adapters they better work well together at the driver level or you won't get multi-monitor. At work we tried adding a second monitor to a Windows system (2008 Server I think) but the driver for the second card would only work with other drivers that had WDM support; which the main card did not.

So you're argument is that you have a shitty card without drivers and you're complaining that it doesn't work? Seriously? Could you even use that card in Linux? I mean if it doesn't have a Windows driver what is the chance you're using anything other than VESA in Linux?

- As of WinXP SP3 Windows does provide a nice built-in utility for manipulating mutli-monitor support when it is available, but it's very limited. Usually you'll get more functionality out of the driver tools (e.g. nVidia's ControlPanel) that will let you do a bit more. In no cases do any of those tools provide the flexibility of what Linux provides.

Its always proper to compare a 4.5 year old release of Windows to a modern Linux distro isn't it ...

This is true even of Windows 7; and given the lack of differences for Win8 I would assume so there to - those from what I have seen, Windows 8 will put the Metro interface on one monitor and the Desktop interface on a second monitor by default; so you're dual-head display is now essentially a single head display for with two different environments on each monitor. Might be the only way to use Windows 8 without getting rid of Metro.

Then you need to learn how to use the control panel. Span the desktop properly and Metro will span with it. There pretty much isn't any truthful comparison in your entire post.

Re:WOW!!! (1)

yathaid (2106468) | about a year ago | (#42405889)

I work as a software developer for a small e-commerce firm, named after a large river. The most common use case for me, is to have my laptop docked to a larger screen, where I have some applications running on my laptop screen, this could be a browser window on a laptop screen, e-mail client etc., and have my ssh windows open on the bigger screen, since code is more important to me, it gets the larger screen real estate. Linux, (maybe not Unity) but KDE, SUCKS MY BALLS for this. This is the most common use case for EVERYONE working in my company, and Linux is completely unusable for this. 1. lightdm, the display manager, will not understand the desktop monitor settings. 2. The extended desktop setting is broken. On the OPEN SOURCE, Intel driver. Just in case someone started bitching about drivers. 3. If you force it into your required setting, with the bigger screen as your main display, and the smaller screen as extended to it's side, the brilliance that Linux is, will show a blank screen if you aren't connected. Basically, if you are connected things can be OK for one big screen, if you are not, it will still try to push display to the bigger screen, even when you ARE NOT connected. I have many more grievances against extended displays on Linux, but I will stop here. Basically, Linux on multi monitor set ups, is a non-starter. Note : I might have used Linux as a stand-in for KDE, so this might just be a rant about KDE, but I tried XFCE on my home laptop. The out-of-box experience is so 90's that it beggars belief. Win7, it pains me to say, is smooth as butter on this. Every imaginable configuration, is done as intuitively as possible. The Win+P shortcut brings up an easy mode switching popup. The advanced configuration screen under Screen Resolution, is super easy to figure out as well. Also, the grand-grand-parent poster, is absolutely wrong about the Window Manger being linked with the application in Windows. From Vista, Windows has had a compositing manager, no dirty rectangles, tearing the screen because of one misbehaving application. Yes, I understand the reasons for why Linux/KDE isn't able to do this, lack of vertical integration, no driver support, blah blah, but really, how can I evangelize about Linux, if it cannot do something as simple as extending displays correctly and easily?

Re:WOW!!! (2, Informative)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#42406287)

The most common use case for me, is to have my laptop docked to a larger screen, where I have some applications running on my laptop screen, this could be a browser window on a laptop screen, e-mail client etc., and have my ssh windows open on the bigger screen, since code is more important to me, it gets the larger screen real estate. Linux, (maybe not Unity) but KDE, SUCKS MY BALLS for this

Funny that I do this same exact operation on my Linux laptop all the time with KDE. I have used this same feature on KDE since.. version 3.5 at least. It worked fine with an ATI Mobile chip, the intel chip, and now the NVidia chip. In Windows I have to use the cards driver set to make the same thing work in every case (Windows won't do this properly natively, or magically loses screen placement every few hours after coming out of a screen saver). In KDE, the control panel is all I needed with any chip set. It works every time, and remembers my configuration between boots every time. Windows on the other hand has poor behavioral issues. Un-docking for example sometimes causes a full reset. Sometimes it keeps the 2nd display when it's not attached and I can't see anything.

Re:WOW!!! (2)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#42406049)

Yes, lets discount actual working remote desktop over even dialup,and lets trumpet outdated technology requiring a LAN

What the fuck? Come on now, X windows was built for remote connections. That was the reason scaling the resolution was difficult to do, because it changes the whole underlying infrastructure of X.

Terminal services basically stole every concept that X had since.. like.. the 1970s. X worked extremely well over dial up and LAN, and still does today. It's still more secure than MS products, less prone to MiM attacks, and has way more capabilities. Such as displaying an application or a full desktop, where TS is desktop only.

In fact, to go further.. MS had to buy a lot of technology from Citrix to accomplish anything at all with TS.

If you want to tell people how bad X is, at least do 10 minutes of research before doing so. KDE has been superior to Windows since version 3 in every sense (assuming you were using current hardware). Windows 7 in fact was full of gadget ideas stolen from KDE and MacOS (though the selection was and is laughable and it's poorly implemented).

Re:WOW!!! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#42406969)

Come on now, X windows was built for remote connections.

Yet, storing the backing store is optional and has to be supported properly on both ends ... and still doesn't work half the time. And it has no sort of built in caching of rendered data to limit redraws.

1970s eh? You realize it didn't come about until the mid 80s, right? And that the way computers work today as far as graphical capabilities is nothing like displaying in the 70s OR 80s right?

In fact, to go further.. MS had to buy a lot of technology from Citrix to accomplish anything at all with TS.

Or rather MS and Citrix partnered together to make WinFrame work ... and then later MS got tired of it costing 9 billion dollars and threw it in to silence fanboys like yourself. Citrix didn't create it on their own, Microsoft helped them with access to the innards of Windows, and that is exactly why it functions much like the X protocol, with the exception of being from a more recent decade. But yes, MS did buy a license to include s trimmed down version of it in their OS.

If you want to tell people how bad X is, at least do 10 minutes of research before doing so.

I used to write apps against libX in the 90s and 00s, what are your credentials?

When I was a kid... (5, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#42405055)

The first time I ran X on my home computer, I had to call Diamond to get the timings for my SpeedStar card so I could calculate the correct values to put in my xconfig file. And the person who answered the phone knew exactly what I needed, flipped thru a binder, and read off the numbers.

Re:When I was a kid... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405067)

Do you go to therapy weekly or monthly?

Re:When I was a kid... (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#42405145)

Do you go to therapy weekly or monthly?

Monthly... He would go weekly but the analyst's office is a five mile walk uphill, both ways.

Re:When I was a kid... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405183)

Neither. The OP dude grew up in an age when you had access to information and an ability to apply that information directly to troubleshooting and solving real world problems. He's probably as mellow as they get.

It's the modern devices with propriety drivers and documentation that make me crazy.

Re:When I was a kid... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#42405295)

Having troubleshot and patched his own brain with a homemade electroshock machine? Solves many real world problems. Dumb and happy is within all of our reach.

I just wish I could flush a bunch of obsolete information from my grey matter and recover the space.

Re:When I was a kid... (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#42405643)

Ah the days of calculating modelines by hand and messing with pixel clocks and freqs. Count yourself lucky you got the information so easily!

Re:When I was a kid... (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about a year ago | (#42406233)

At least when it DIDN'T work, you didn't get a blank screen - the festive white (or black) smoke that would come out of the VDU were a good sign that something went wrong.

Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (0)

codewarren (927270) | about a year ago | (#42405127)

Alright. Now when we can have the same desktop span multiple cards we'll have caught up to windows of 12 years ago.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#42405189)

Actually, when Linux supports the kind of network transparency that allows efficient desktop sharing with multiple parties instead of resorting to a crude bitmap-tosser like VNC, then we will have caught up to the Windows and OS X of long ago.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405243)

Actually, when Linux supports the kind of network transparency that allows efficient desktop sharing with multiple parties instead of resorting to a crude bitmap-tosser like VNC, then we will have caught up to the Windows and OS X of long ago.

Something like NoMachine's NX? Or about about X-Forwarding?

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (2, Interesting)

codewarren (927270) | about a year ago | (#42405359)

Which one of those lets me start an application on one machine and then continue using it on another machine like Windows has been able to do for well over a decade?

With all the praise that X gets for its network transparency, it's mostly unusable except on the highest bandwidth links because its synchronous calls and uber-chattiness make it unusable without adding a wrapper around it, like NX does. That's the irony. Pretty much any protocol can be called "network transparent" as long as that includes writing a suitably complicated wrapper for it. In this regard, X is no more network transparent than any other display technology.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#42405697)

Use SSH+X-Forwarding, start screen with a named window, start the application, press CTRL+Z to put it in the background, detach from screen.
Start another SSH+X-Forwarding on another system, attach to screen using the named window, and foreground the process.

Haven't tried it, but it should work. "screen" (or one the many others that do the same job) should keep the application up and running while you switch machines just like it does for console applications.

Or you could just install a Remote Desktop Service to handle RDP just like Windows, for example XRDP [xrdp.org].

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

codewarren (927270) | about a year ago | (#42405775)

The X server that the application will connect to is based on the value of the DISPLAY environment variable at the time it is loaded. Backgrounding and then foregrounding won't result in it sending it's stuff to a new X server. In fact, once it's attached to an X server, it can't be detached and reattached to another X server. This is a limitation of X -- the very limitation that I was talking about.

In addition to this, the screen session inherits and keeps the DISPLAY variable set during the X forwarding session. Therefore anything started in that screen session, regardless of where that screen has been reattached to will actually run through the original X tunnel and back on the original SSH client machine.

I.e. if I SSH -X to a host and start a screen session that you attach to. Even if I detach my screen, as long as my SSH session is open, you could attach to that same screen and use it to start applications on my desktop.

The problem with things like XRDP is exactly the same as the problem I've been explaining. If I start an application against one X server, then network transparency is from there on useless to me. I can't simply move it to another server. With windows, this has always been possible.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (2)

IpalindromeI (515070) | about a year ago | (#42405995)

I haven't used it myself, but maybe this does what you want?

http://xpra.org/ [xpra.org]

Or is this the same as the XRDP situation? Although, I don't really understand what you mean by "simply move it to another server" in the Windows context.

Can you really start an executable on one machine and move the running executable to another machine? Your comment further up merely says:

Which one of those lets me start an application on one machine and then continue using it on another machine like Windows has been able to do for well over a decade?

To me, this sounds like RDP: connect from a client machine, start an application on the server, disconnect, reconnect later from another client to continue using the application. The application itself is still running on the same server machine.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

codewarren (927270) | about a year ago | (#42406073)

Can you really start an executable on one machine and move the running executable to another machine?

No, I mean can start an application running on machine A and displaying on A's display, then access that same instance of the application from machine B's display, then display C if I want etc., all the while never exiting the application running on machine A.

xrpa seems interesting but appears to be VNC for X, not actual X. This is what the GGGGP was referring to as "bitmap tossing" which is pretty useless over slow connections while windows RDP is not.

To me, this sounds like RDP

Which is exactly what I was talking about. Windows has provided this capability for over a decade and linux has not except with VNC which is unacceptable.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

codewarren (927270) | about a year ago | (#42406303)

Replying to myself. XRPA does in fact work with the following caveats:

1. It does appear to use bitmap tossing and probably for this reason is painfully slow over low bandwidth connections - far more sluggish than Windows' RDP.
2. Like "screen" for console apps, you'd have to have started the application in the xrpa session in order to be able to attach it to a remote screen.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a year ago | (#42406807)

Replying to myself. XRPA does in fact work with the following caveats:

1. It does appear to use bitmap tossing and probably for this reason is painfully slow over low bandwidth connections - far more sluggish than Windows' RDP. 2. Like "screen" for console apps, you'd have to have started the application in the xrpa session in order to be able to attach it to a remote screen.

FYI - XRPA, which I referenced in my original reply, supports both VNC and RDP protocols via the same library used by various Linux RDP clients to talk with Windows RDP Servers. So I would expect they would be doing the same compression when using RDP, and like with Windows it displays on a local X instance (Windows Terminal Services Display) that is then forwarded to the remote side.

Windows does not support remote rendering of applications like the X Protocol does. The Win32 API simply doesn't support it - all rendering is done locally then the bitmap compressed and forwarded to the remote RDP client.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406089)

Look up xpra; it's exactly what you're asking for (essentially "screen" for X)

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (2)

fikx (704101) | about a year ago | (#42406321)

Actually curious, how do you remote an app in Windows at all? As far as I knew you ran it on the desktop and remoted the whole desktop...and how do you switch the app from one machine to another? I'd like to be able to do this often. If it's available in windows I've been missing out...

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

codewarren (927270) | about a year ago | (#42406451)

You don't. Sorry, didn't mean to suggest this was possible.

To be fair, I'd be perfectly happy to transfer the entire X session from one machine to another (provided X was also made as fast as NX), but that doesn't seem to be possible except through VNC which is unacceptable in its slowness and its inability to change screen dimensions, or xpra which is unacceptably slow also, and often cripples performance and features when running locally.

So the point is that the use case in Windows where I can start an application on my home desktop, then access that application later from my work machine with reasonable performance and at the client-side resolution, then do the same from my neighbor's house, etc, all without exiting the application.... this is all I am referring to.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405933)

Take a look at xpra.org and winswitch.org.
I played with Xpra and winswitch. They worked, in that I could start a program and then yank or push it to another x server. However, the release I was using leaked lots of resources (CPU time and memory, but I couldn't figure out where the CPU time was going).

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42405339)

I've actually used what MacOS has to offer in this regard.

No thanks.

Re:Wake me up when we support multiple video cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405371)

Alright. Now when we can have the same desktop span multiple cards we'll have caught up to windows of 12 years ago.

are you fucking retarded? multi desktop came after the single desktop span feature. in fact 12 years ago this was the default and only options on many video cards with many window managers. I had to switch from blackbox to fluxbox for this reason. you have your ass on upside down bro.

Suggestion (4, Interesting)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#42405139)

A suggestion to the developers. Please allow for degenerate cases. I deal with a set of old, specialized, practically irreplaceable displays that cannot produce DPMS data. In the past I've suffered with embedded displays that produce completely inaccurate DPMS data.

Allow the operator a means to manually override whatever display parameters your software obtains (probably via xrandr) from the operating system. The display parameters are often bogus and must be corrected.

Re:Suggestion (5, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#42405677)

Your suggestion to deal with rare cases for old displays would probably be better received if it was sent to the developers along with a donation.

Re:Suggestion (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#42405969)

I very much agree with you!

[rant] I tire pretty quickly of the rants against KDE (and any other "Free" software for that reason) because someones one off, special case, old shit does not work. Usually that's followed by "KDE sucks because my special case bullshit works in Unity/Gnome/Xfce, etc..".

Here is a suggestion for people. If you have old special case bullshit, even if you paid a million dollars for it 15 years ago, go buy some new stuff.. or don't have the expectation that a new operating system will work with your old shit!. It is like expecting that your Model T tires fit and function on your 56 T-Bird, it's not sensible or logical. [/rant]

Re:Suggestion (1)

coats (1068) | about a year ago | (#42406093)

And put in correct support for all the KDE-bugs associated with xrandr --panning !!

I'm not running "old hardware" and all these KDE bugs, due to developers making incorrect X assumptions instead of actually knowing what they're doing, are the last thing keeping me from running KDE4.

FWIW.

Mission Accomplished, Great! Now let ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405141)

Now i hope someone will implement away of controlling which screen your icons will be on.

The only "new" stuff was after 2:40 (4, Informative)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year ago | (#42405147)

Basically..
  * it will remember what you configuration was used with that monitor
  * when you close your laptop it will go to the native resolution of the attached screen

I don't even know how new those are, but I've never personally used (or noticed) either of them before...

Everything else, I've been using succesfully since I started using laptops on both Windows and Linux.

2 or n screens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405181)

I have 3 TFTs with 2 nVidia cards and I really hope this tool makes it somehow easier to configure. So far I always had to tweak xorg.conf using twinview etc. For some unknown reason the KDE devs seem to think the world only uses 2 screens max. What a pain!!!!!!!

Re:2 or n screens? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405211)

twinview is the worst proprietary crap ever - you should be using nouveau and xrandr.

Re:2 or n screens? (2)

simcop2387 (703011) | about a year ago | (#42405559)

The other AC here is likely right. This possibly isn't an issue with KDE but in fact some annoyance with NVIDIA's twinview which actually does assume you only ever have two monitors max.

Really? This is new? (1)

Arcady13 (656165) | about a year ago | (#42405199)

I was doing this on a Mac II in 1986.

Re:Really? This is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405281)

You had Linux running on a Mac II in 1986?

You are a god.

Re:Really? This is new? (1)

Cito (1725214) | about a year ago | (#42405471)

I had minix in 1987 on dual crts :)

Re:Really? This is new? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405675)

I had dual CRTs on my Linux setup in 1993, if you count one CRT being an honest-to-god VT-100 terminal hanging off the serial port at 38400 baud.

C:\ongratulations (kinda of) (1)

ntropia (939502) | about a year ago | (#42405225)

It is the common Linux empasse: tons of features hidden behind complex command (and features are the very last things Linux lacks....)

A pretty obvious solution to come out of it could be that for a GUI-related feature, i.e. X, or any other graphic code, to be considered as such, must have a... (now, mod this redundant)... GUI available to use it.
Obviously? Well, not very much so, if we still need to cheer this kind of news as... news.
Don't get me wrong, I consider this new tool extremely useful, but it basically builds on top of xrandr, a respectable piece of code dating back to way too many years ago.
By the way, if they would add some extra info on screen when switching between modes, I would consider it simply perfect.

MS-DOS 5.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405271)

Heh, your subject line betrays your loyalties.

What DOS-based browser are you using? Arachne? How does it handle large web pages like /.? Do you use extended or expanded memory?

Re:MS-DOS 5.0 (1)

ntropia (939502) | about a year ago | (#42406681)

Sorry to disappoint you, but it was a reference to an old advertise Apple made when Windows was hitting the market, teasing them for their DOS heritage, indeed.
At least it didn't get modded "redundant" :)

Nice but not compelling (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405259)

I don't see any noticeable value above and beyond what you already get from a combination of any display configurator out there (Nvidia-settings, YaST, etc) and Cinnamon's Display Switcher applet ( http://cinnamon-spices.linuxmint.com/applets/view/43 ).
Configuring monitors (even multiple monitors) has gotten to be dirt simple in most cases - the auto-magic configurators in the various Linux distros are all pretty functional, these days.

Gotten better? I don't think so (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405275)

Unity and GNOME 3 don't even work correctly with multiple monitors and don't work with multiple video cards at all.

In the general space multi-monitor support has gotten much worse. My 2 video card, 4 monitor configuration worked fine 10 years ago but nowadays I have to do all kinds of hacks to get it to work. Disable compiz, run a hacked window manager, hacked libXinerama, etc.

KDE is the only desktop that works out of the box on my setup. I don't run KDE though because it's too fat and weird in the way it looks and operates.

Re:Gotten better? I don't think so (2)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year ago | (#42405681)

So you have dual video cards and quad monitors, but you can't spare the resources for KDE? OK.

In my experience the RAM usage difference between Gnome, XFCE and KDE isn't very big.

Re:Gotten better? I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405781)

Yes, it lags the machine. I run my system at the edge of performance. I often have 3 X servers, half a dozen vmware machines, and two or three VirtualBox machines running. Each of those can be doing anything from playing a game, crunching financial data, crunching scientific data, compiling, etc.

KDE wastes too much precious resources. I don't care about the desktop environment whatsoever, it does nothing for me. I just need a window manager, that's it.

Re:Gotten better? I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406821)

I run my system at the edge of performance.

It sounds more like you run your hand at the edge of your cock.

Re:Gotten better? I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405975)

XFCE(Xubuntu) works right out of the box. It also helps to have a NVIDIA card.

Cool Demo (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#42405313)

How about doing it with 3,4,5, or 6 screens?

Re:Cool Demo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405337)

Not a problem. Just needs some clever and strategic placements of an array of mirrors.

That's for the next release.

nvidia-settings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405315)

Too complicated for KDE users?

Probably.

Re:nvidia-settings (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year ago | (#42406135)

To change those settings using nvidia-settings, you have to reboot I though that the point of this was that you didn't? If that is the case then that is absolutely brilliant as that has been one of the major flaws of linux. (I regularly use a kde multi-monitor setup)

Re:nvidia-settings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406901)

I also regularly use a KDE multi-monitor setup, and nvidia-settings. I'm curious - what requires a reboot? I've not come across anything that does, that I can remember.

Ubuntu / Gnome or Unity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405347)

This is great - can someone port to Unity and/or Gnome on Ubuntu?

Re:Ubuntu / Gnome or Unity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405401)

Sure, not a problem. Who do I make the invoice out to and can you pay me 50% in advance so I can take time off my current job? It will be GPLed, is that okay with you?

"gotten much better"? (3, Interesting)

hgesser (605301) | about a year ago | (#42405623)

The article says: "This is one thing that's certainly gotten much better in recent years for Linux GUI users in general..." -- I cannot agree. While connecting a beamer to a notebook is simpler today, support for multiple monitors (of a desktop machine) is far from where it was some years ago. For years I had been able to disable the (default) Xinerama options, so I could have two separate instances of (e.g. KDE 3) running on both screens. That allowed me for example to stay on virtual desktop 1 on the left monitor and cycle through my virtual desktops on the right monitor. (Imagine lots of data sources on the right screen and some application I use to combine stuff on the left monitor; I want to switch desktops without the left monitor changing its content). This is still possible today, but it's a lot harder and depends on what kind of graphics card you use. Granted, my old way required knowledge of the xorg.conf syntax, but once it was finished it gave me maximum configurability. Last time I checked, KDE 4 wasn't able to start two instances on :0.0 and :0.1 properly which is why I'm still using KDE 3 (a.k.a. "Trinity" today).
Hans-Georg

Re:"gotten much better"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42406813)

Why don't you just ... pin the window to every desktop? You can switch desktops willy-nilly, and the window on monitor #2 will drag itself along.

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