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jeremy 06-03-2013 04:17 PM

The state of Linux dual monitor support

Using a second monitor has been shown to increase productivity by 42% on average. Linux dual monitor support, however, is heavily fragmented. Although support is available, it differs greatly depending on the desktop environment being used.

Dual monitor features

Supporting a second monitor can vary from mirroring the first display to extending the existing desktop and providing fine-grained control over components such as panels and menus. The features that a dual monitor implementation support have a big affect on its usability.


Mirroring is the most basic dual monitor support. With mirroring, the image displayed on the primary monitor is duplicated on the secondary monitor.

Extended desktop

The desktop extends from the primary monitor to the secondary monitor. The user is able to move the mouse/drag windows from one monitor to the next.

Duplicate panels

On an extended desktop with duplicate panels, the secondary monitor has the same panels as found on the primary monitor.

Individual panels

On an extended desktop with individual panels, the secondary monitor is capable of housing panels independently of the panels that appear on the primary monitor.
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