LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software
User Name
Password
Linux - Software This forum is for Software issues.
Having a problem installing a new program? Want to know which application is best for the job? Post your question in this forum.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 12-04-2016, 02:39 PM   #1
haertig
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Slackware, SysrescueCD, Raspbian, Arch
Posts: 2,283

Rep: Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354
Looking for a window manager good for dual displays


I am looking for a window manager to support dual monitors. I am using the on-board video (ATI Radeon) from my motherboard. My goal, at least initially, is to have a separate "workspace" for each monitor. No dragging-n-dropping windows between monitors. I want the ability to move the active window from one workspace (monitor) to the other via keyboard shortcut. Would like a taskbar (a.k.a. "panel") on each workspace showing only the windows open in that workspace. I want all windows initiated in a workspace to start up in that same workspace. It would be nice if mouse cursor could freely move from workspace to workspace and would automatically "activate" the workspace it is currently in, but that may be asking for too much. Finally, I would like my computer to be usable by non-computer geeks that are Windows users. I have concerns that a "tiling" window manager may not allow for this, but I still need to research. I think "stacking" window managers are more familiar to non-computer-geeks.

What my current setup supports is "extending" your desktop between monitors (all in a SINGLE workspace however). This allows you to drag-n-drop windows from one monitor to the other (not necessarily a bad thing), but it also causes windows opened on one monitor to sometimes mysteriously pop up on the OTHER monitor (unexpected, and not nice behavior).

Is there a window manager available that will allow me to do all/most of the above? One that is compatible with Mate? If not, I am not totally against switching to a different desktop environment, but I like Mate. I also like Xfce.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!



System details:

On-board video is: ATI Radeon HD3200 integrated

OS is: LinuxMint18, Mate desktop, using it's default Marco+Compositing window manager. Compiz window manager is also installed, but I haven't played with it much. What little I've done was a turn-off: Windows all squiggly and wobbly as you move them, and other fancy effects. I'm sure this can be turned off (I'd hope!), but I didn't take the time to find out in my initial Compiz test. I don't even know if Compiz will support what I want to do.

Main monitor: ASUS 27" 1920x1080, horizontal format, connected to DVI output of on-board video

Secondary monitor: Hannspree 23" 1920x1080, vertical format, connected to VGA output of on-board video

[ on-board video also has an HDMI output, tested and works fine, but currently unused ]
 
Old 12-05-2016, 08:01 AM   #2
pan64
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Mar 2012
Location: Hungary
Distribution: debian/ubuntu/suse ...
Posts: 13,580

Rep: Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342
Quote:
No dragging-n-dropping windows between monitors
Quote:
It would be nice if mouse cursor could freely move from workspace to workspace
I think these are at least conflict to each other. Otherwise I think the X window system is implemented "differently". You can say it does not support your needs, but you can also say by design it is not really possible.
 
Old 12-05-2016, 10:16 AM   #3
haertig
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Slackware, SysrescueCD, Raspbian, Arch
Posts: 2,283

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354
Thanks for the reply.

The "no dragging and dropping of windows between workspaces" means that I do not intend to make use of that capability. What I was intending to say is that I am not searching out a windows manager that specifically supports that, because I don't plan on using it. If the capability is there, fine.

What I have found thus far is that WM's that support dragging and dropping windows between physical screens also have the annoying habit of popping up new windows on an unexpected screen. THAT's what I really want to avoid. If I open a new window from my horizontal monitor, I want it to open on my horizontal monitor. Not over on my vertical monitor where I am not expecting it.

When I said "It would be nice if mouse cursor could freely move from workspace to workspace and would automatically "activate" the workspace it is currently in", I did indeed follow that up with the statement "but that may be asking for too much" (in the same sentence).

There is a utility for Windows (I know, totally different, and I hate Windows but must use it at work) named "Dual Monitor Tools" ("DMT") which has the ability to lock the mouse cursor to one display or let it freely move between multiple displays. Or it can make the cursor "sticky" so that it normally stays within it's current display, but you can give in a little extra "shove" to force it to move over to the other display. But alas, DMT also has the annoying habit of popping up new windows on unexpected displays. That's what I really hate and was hoping to find a solution for in a Linux window manager. The "mouse cannot freely move between..." part I can live with. I assume you would move the mouse between displays (workspaces) via a hotkey combination.
 
Old 12-06-2016, 01:21 AM   #4
pan64
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Mar 2012
Location: Hungary
Distribution: debian/ubuntu/suse ...
Posts: 13,580

Rep: Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342Reputation: 4342
You need to understand the logic of X Windows System.
From one hand you can specify screens which is something like a "logical" display (canvas?). It can be really displayed on a monitor (or more), it can be even bigger than the full resolution of your monitor (therefore you will only see a part of it). There is a software, named display/window manager which will draw the visible part of it for you. This display manager (actually will run a window manager and that) can handle several workspaces and windows can be put into one or more of them.
From the other hand you can have several screens and you can associate (use) one or more physical displays (= monitors) to show the content of those screens.
The capabilities of window managers are quite different and you can find several different set of features (like KDE, Gnome), but actually all of them can only use one single screen.

So either you will use all of your monitors as one screen - therefore you will have one desktop, one window manager and you can put all of your windows anywhere (in that case there will be no monitors to use, just one single screen), or you will have several window managers on your monitors, in that case you cannot move windows from one monitor (screen) to another.

I know this explanation is not the best, but I hope it helps you to understand it.
You can read the man page of X (look for window manager), wiki of X Window System like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Wind...d_architecture if you are interested.
 
Old 12-06-2016, 06:25 PM   #5
allend
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Melbourne
Distribution: Slackware-current
Posts: 5,360

Rep: Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974Reputation: 1974
The appearance and behaviour of dual displays can be controlled using the xorg.conf file. The skeleton code below defines four ServerLayout sections (you need to supply the appropriate driver and busid). I use 'startx -- -layout Layout<n>' to define the layout I wish to use when starting X.
The Layout2 section will provide most of the desired behaviour, except for "I want the ability to move the active window from one workspace (monitor) to the other via keyboard shortcut."
The problem is finding a window manager that will respect ServerLayout sections in xorg.conf. My experience is that recent versions of KDE and XFCE ignore these, simply taking control of all available displays and using Xinerama mode, when a single GPU with multiple outputs is present. My solution is to run WindowMaker as the window manager.

Code:
Section "ServerFlags"
    Option         "DefaultServerLayout" "Layout0"
EndSection

# Single screen on Monitor0
Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout0"
    Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
EndSection

# Single screen on Monitor1
Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout1"
    Screen      0  "Screen1" 0 0
EndSection

# Separate screens on Monitor0 and Monitor1 with Xinerama disabled
Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout2"
    Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
    Screen      1  "Screen2" RightOf "Screen0"
EndSection

# Single screen on Monitor0 and Monitor1 with Xinerama enabled
Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout3"
    Screen      0  "Screen3"
    Option         "Xinerama" "True"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         ...
    BusID          ...
    Screen          0
    Option         "ZaphodHeads" "DVI-I-1"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device1"
    Screen          0
    Option         "ZaphodHeads" "VGA-1"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device2"
    Driver         ...
    BusID          ...
    Screen          1
    Option         "ZaphodHeads" "VGA-1"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device3"
    Driver         ...
    BusID          ...
    Option         "ZaphodHeads" "DVI-I-1,VGA-1"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Separate-DVI-I-1"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen1"
    Device         "Device1"
    Monitor        "Separate-VGA-1"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen2"
    Device         "Device2"
    Monitor        "Separate-VGA-1"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen3"
    Device         "Device3"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Separate-DVI-I-1"
    Option         "Primary" "true"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Separate-VGA-1"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "DVI-I-1"
    Option         "Primary" "true"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "VGA-1"
    Option          "RightOf" "DVI-I-1"
EndSection
PS - I should also have noted that the device names for the outputs should be as reported by xrandr.

Last edited by allend; 12-06-2016 at 07:48 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2016, 06:54 PM   #6
haertig
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Slackware, SysrescueCD, Raspbian, Arch
Posts: 2,283

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354
Thanks again for the replies and help everyone.

One thing I mentioned above that I wanted to do, but did not describe in detail, is to be able to move photos from one monitor to the other. What I mean, is on the horizontal monitor, my main monitor, I use "Pix" to view pictures. Expanding the horizontal pictures to full screen is good on this main monitor (the horizontal one). But vertical pictures first need to be moved over to the vertical monitor (the secondary monitor) before being displayed full screen. This is where my desire to "move the active window from one workspace to the other" comes from.

I am currently doing this in Mate/Marco using this kludge/work-around (remember, Mate/Marco treats my two monitors as one large virtual desktop):

In .imwheelrc,
Code:
"^pix$"
# in "pix" configuration/personalization, Num_Lock|KP_0 is mapped to the command "xviewer %U"
None,Thumb1,Num_Lock|KP_0
So within Pix, I click the vertical picture I want to view with the Thumb1 mouse button. This opens the xviewer program for the picture I want to look at.

Also in .imwheelrc,
Code:
"^xviewer$"
# F11 is "full screen"
None,Right,F11
So within xviewer I tilt my mouse wheel to the right to make the picture fullsceen on my main (horizontal) monitor.

In Mate/Marco keyboard mappings, I have Alt-space re-mapped to "move window to east (right) side of screen".

So I type Alt-space (someday I might use .imwheelrc to map this to yet another mouse button) and then my fullscreen picture on the horizontal monitor moves over to the vertical monitor (still fullscreen). I have now accomplished my goal of viewing the picture fullscreen on the vertical monitor.

To close the picture when I'm done looking at it, I make use of the following in .imwheelrc,
Code:
".*"
# In most applications, Escape is typically mapped to "exit the last thing you were doing", or it is ignored
None,Left,Escape
I tilt my middle mouse button to the left. The first tilt moves the picture back from the vertical monitor to the horizontal monitor, and puts it back in a window (no longer full screen). Then a second tilt of the mouse wheel closes this window. I have now accomplished my goal of closing the fullscreen picture.

The above sequence is really not hard to do, but I was hoping to improve on it doing something with two workspaces - each monitor having it's own workspace. Which is what started my quest looking into different window managers. Well, that, and also the fact that Mate/Marco occasionally opens a new window on an unexpected monitor. I hate it when it does that. I also found in Mate/Marco, that some windows refuse to obey the "move window to east (right) side of screen" key binding command. An example of this is Mozilla Thunderbird. Everything else (so far) appears to obey the key binding command. Thunderbird moves to the other monitor as long as you continue holding Alt-space down, but refuses to stay there when you release the keys. Weird.

The sequence above boils down to: Thumb1|wheel-tilt-right|alt-space|wheel-tilt-left|wheel-tilt-left. Not a tragedy. Three steps to get the picture opened fullscreen where I want it, and then two steps to get it dismissed. It might not get much easier than this, even WITH a new window manager!

I view a lot of pictures, which is why I'm interested in automating this. Hmmm ... I wonder if I can map a sequence of commands to my mouse wheel tilts. While in "Pix", right-tilt would be "xviewer %U" followed by (now in xviewer) "F11" followed by (now in Mate/Marco) "Alt-space". Then while in "xviewer", left-tilt would be "Escape" followed by "Escape". I'll have to look into that and see if imwheel supports that.

Last edited by haertig; 12-07-2016 at 06:56 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Window Maker on Ubuntu with dual displays orhank Linux - Desktop 6 02-20-2016 07:04 AM
Dual Head, Twin view, separate X window - things you can do with multi displays MonsterMaxx Linux - Newbie 24 10-18-2008 02:04 AM
A good laptop window manager harisund Linux - Laptop and Netbook 7 09-14-2005 04:40 PM
Good window manager for Xinerama beanerjo Slackware 7 01-22-2005 12:00 AM
Need a good light Window Manager... Matty_Cross Linux - General 14 08-28-2002 06:17 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:19 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration