This article will give information about setting up multiple screens using the Ubuntu operating system on your Dell PC.
Many people now expect to have multiple displays or monitors working from their PC as a base level specification. Dell has always built this capability into their Windows PCs. (Both in the hardware that is offered and in the utilities that are installed from the factory.)
You can get multiple screens to work on your PC. However, you need to have both the correct hardware and the correct software that is installed along with the support of the operating system.
The first thing to do is to make sure your Graphics drivers and software are installed and up to date. (They are open-source drivers which install by default and you can install proprietary drivers at need. ) You can find out more on the article that is linked below:
When everything is up to date, reboot your PC and the Ubuntu Desktop.
Connect the additional monitors or displays to your PC. Ubuntu should attempt to automatically configure the additional screens.
To configure the additional screens yourself, go to System Settings > Displays.
The top part of the configuration window displays the detected monitors or displays along with their names. (You can click the monitors and drag them into the correct alignment for how you have them set up.)
The bottom of the configuration window shows several options:
There is a checkbox at the upper right-hand side corner of the bottom half of the configuration window that toggles the screens between Extend and Mirrored. (Extend is the default. Be aware of setting the screens to Mirror as this may restrict the possible resolutions in use.)
The first option down the middle is Resolution: this has a drop-down menu of choices. (It matches whichever screen you have clicked at the top of the window.) The resolution is how big or small the screen appears, how much detail is shown and the aspect of the screen.
The second option down the middle is Rotation: this also has a drop-down menu of choices. (Again it matches whichever screen you have clicked.) The rotation decides which edge of the screen the display regards as being the bottom. This is useful if you have one or more of your displays that are mounted on their side. Where they give a Portrait, rather than a Landscape view.
The third option down the middle is Launcher Placement: this has a drop-down menu which gives a choice between the launcher being visible on only on one of the displays or on all displays. (The default setting is All Displays. The Launcher is the vertical taskbar in Ubuntu.)
The fourth option down the middle is Sticky Edges: this has a toggle between on and off. (The default setting is ON.) The purpose of Sticky Edges is to allow applications to dock to the edge where two monitors meet. It slows the mouse to give you more time to align the application correctly.
There is a button at the lower left-hand side corner of the configuration window that is named Detect Displays. It attempts to detect any screens plugged to your system and assign an ID on each screen so you can see if your configuration is working.
There is a button at the lower right-hand side corner of the configuration window that is named Apply Settings that will save your configuration.
Use this window and its various options to configure the multiple screens the way you want them. How you set your screens up is purely down to your personal preferences and needs.
There are two applications which can be used to achieve this sort of thing:
The first application is SynchWall. Use the command below to install it:
Open the snychwall app and go to Preferences > Display parameters. Go to Multi-Monitor Display and select Extend image on the page below. Check the box next to share image between monitors to put the wallpaper across all your screens.
synchwall can also rotate wallpapers, apply effects and more.
The second application is Nitrogen. You can search for it in the Ubuntu Software center or use the command below:
Nitrogen does not have a desktop launcher, so open it from the command line:
Go to Preferences and add your wallpaper folder. Select Full Screen at the bottom of the preferences window to stretch the same wallpaper across the monitors.
To get individual wallpapers on each screen select screen 1, 2, etc. at the bottom of the preferences page to set each wallpaper on each screen.
You need to install the GNOME Tweak Tool:
Go to the Desktop section in the GNOME tweak tool and set the Have file manager handle the desktop option to OFF.
To have your configuration saved past a reboot, remember and add nitrogen --restore to your startup applications.
Most Flash videos and Games are shown within either the Chrome or Firefox browser. There are a couple of extensions you can use that will resolve this issue:
For Google Chrome or Chromium: MaximizeFlash resizes the flash video or game to fill the whole browser. If you press F11, it will make the browser full screen on the monitor you selected.
For Firefox: Flash Game Maximizer adds a button to the addon bar that resizes the flash video or game to fill the whole browser. If you press F11, it will make the browser full screen on the monitor you selected. (Be aware there are known issues with this extension and YouTube.)
You may not achieve the configuration that you want with the open-source drivers that default install on your PC. You may want to try the proprietary driver and utility that comes from the video GPU manufacturer. Sometimes going from the proprietary driver to the open-source driver can achieve the results that you want, depending on what you are trying to do. The basic advice is - if you are having problems with one, try installing the other instead and see if you experience the same issue?
As in Windows, you can use the software that installs with the proprietary driver to configure your video devices and to configure your multiple displays. Each manufacturer will have more information about their support site about how to use their specific software.
Install CCSM (Compiz Config Settings Manager):
Open CCSM and go to General Options > Display Settings.
Uncheck the Detect Outputs box.
In the outputs array, set each of your displays screen resolution.
Go back to section 2 and configure your displays again in Ubuntu's display settings.
There are a series of steps below. They take you through creating a script that allows you to fix the positions of your multiple monitors. It keeps them past a restart or coming out of suspend:
Delete your old monitors.xml file and create one using the Gnome display settings tool:
Go to Displays and change the positions to how you want them.
Open the file ~/.config/monitors.xml in an editor and make sure the primary display has a yes for the primary flag.
Install the libxml2-utils package if it is not already installed:
Use the commands below to copy the script to a directory on your path and make it executable:
Use the System > Startup Applications tool to add update-monitor-position so that it runs when you log in.
Reboot your system and check the script works.
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Article ID: SLN298529Last Date Modified: 06/22/2020 07:41 AM