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Old 05-22-2010, 06:42 AM   #1
djsmiley2k
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Question Two Monitors, Two Workspaces?


Oh wonderful gods of linux blessed be thy name.

I got a another Monitor so now I'm hoping (well I already am) to run a dual screen setup.

I'd like to stay with xfce4 as thats what I'm currently using, and have one workspace per monitor.

People in #gentoo have told me this is easily possible, but from there I had so many different versions of what I should do to get this working I'm getting very confused.

Currently I'm using the nVidia driver, but don't mind changing to something else as I don't play games and 3D isn't a massive need for me. I'm using twinview, which appears to be spanning both monitors.

The reason I'd like 1 workspace per monitor is that this would allow me to easily switch between the desktops while I use the other monitor for my 360. Currently when I'm using my 360 I have to move the window for firefox while I can't see it. Also the menus streach accross the whole screen and the icons are very far to scroll to (far left of the screen).

Is this possible in xfce4? If not is there another window manager I should try? I really need a dummies guide, as even though I'm using gentoo - I was missing the xrandr package up until yesterday when I found it wasn't installed.

Please help, much love <3

Oh, its a FX 5500; Two identical samsung monitors.

Last edited by djsmiley2k; 05-23-2010 at 04:07 AM. Reason: Tech Details
 
Old 05-23-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
Simon Bridge
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The trouble with dual head discussions is being very clear about what you want - it gets extra confusing when you consider that gnu/linux desktops typically have multiple workspaces to begin with - typically four. Thus, two screens in twinview provides you with four big workspaces, each one spanning both screens. Xorg-style dual head gives you four normal-size workspaces per screen. But it sounds like you want the workspaces to come one to a screen which, afaik, cannot be done. Or, perhaps your problem is that opening windows will initially put them on the left hand screen no matter what and you have to drag the window to the other screen? I don't know what you mean by "use my 360".

Anyway, you will get slightly different answers depending on what the person thinks you mean.
 
Old 05-24-2010, 12:43 PM   #3
djsmiley2k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
The trouble with dual head discussions is being very clear about what you want - it gets extra confusing when you consider that gnu/linux desktops typically have multiple workspaces to begin with - typically four. Thus, two screens in twinview provides you with four big workspaces, each one spanning both screens. Xorg-style dual head gives you four normal-size workspaces per screen. But it sounds like you want the workspaces to come one to a screen which, afaik, cannot be done. Or, perhaps your problem is that opening windows will initially put them on the left hand screen no matter what and you have to drag the window to the other screen? I don't know what you mean by "use my 360".

Anyway, you will get slightly different answers depending on what the person thinks you mean.
Highlighted what I mean - I realise its very difficult to understand as so many people describe it differently.

By using my 360 I mean I have a VGA switch box hooked up to one of the monitors, I flip a switch and then that monitors input is my 360.

Okay, I'm going to have to accept that what I think is a sensible behaviour is still one that doesn't yet exist.

My next option is the ability to hot swap the monitors around. So if there is two screens "1" and "2". I'd like to be able to move 1 to the right of two when I need, and then switch back. It appears this maybe possible via metamodes and something I need to investigate further. However I'm wondering how long this takes to "switch". Is it instant or does X restart itself completely? I guess I'll find out soon enough


Thank you for your help so far.
 
Old 05-24-2010, 02:02 PM   #4
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IIUC, the important thing you want is better support for a second display that is sometimes available and sometimes not available.

That requirement more often occurs with laptops, where you might want to use an external display in addition to the primary display when available and drop back to just the primary at other times. Laptops typically use the external display, when available, instead of the primary rather than in addition to the primary. Even if the hardware supports simultaneous independent images, software doesn't generally deal well with the "sometimes available" aspect.

If you extend the desktop, then things that are open there or remember to reopen there are hard to get to when "there" isn't there anymore.

IIUC, you would prefer to have two independent screens side by side when the external display is available, then have it change (when the external display is not available) to two screens that you can hot key switch between.
 
Old 05-24-2010, 03:02 PM   #5
djsmiley2k
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Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
IIUC, you would prefer to have two independent screens side by side when the external display is available, then have it change (when the external display is not available) to two screens that you can hot key switch between.
YES! \o/

However even when I flip the VGA switch, I tried using xrandr --auto and it didn't detect that the second monitor had "gone". I dont know if this is due to xrandr not being loaded correctly, or some other issue. I guess I need to experiment more.

Sadly my time can be very limited, hence why I am asking so much in theory without being able to just "test" it.
 
Old 05-25-2010, 08:14 AM   #6
Simon Bridge
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Most configurations assume the external screen on a laptop is meant for a presentation-type situation or you intend to use the laptop as a single-screen desktop for a while ... thus it and just clones the screens and uses the external screen resolution. IIRC: it is possible to configure xrandr to treat it as a separate x-session which is not always there. Ages since I did dual head and the rules have changed.

Curiously - there used to be a bug in fusion which gave cube users one cube per monitor, but rotated one face over for each.
 
Old 05-25-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
MTK358
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Maybe try posting the output of the "xrandr" command?
 
Old 05-25-2010, 09:23 AM   #8
adamk75
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Two things to bear in mind about this entire discussion:

The nvidia drivers do *not* fully support xrandr 1.2. Nouveau probably does but I have no first hand experience with that.

With xrandr, you can not get two separate screens, one on each monitor. So xrandr is not the way to go if that's what you're looking for (which is my understanding).

Have you perhaps checked the documentation that comes with the nvidia driver? You could also check on the nvnews linux forum: http://nvnews.net/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14

Adam
 
  


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