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Can I use my laptop as a second monitor for my desk computer?

I bought a Netbook, and so far I love it. However, I'd like to get a bit more utility out of it. When I'm at home it just sits on my dresser, not being productive at all. I was thinking that I could use it as a secondary monitor for my main laptop. What software and hardware would be necessary for a setup such as this? Even though the screen is small I figure I could use it to augment various tasks. I figure it'd be neat to have two webpages open simultaneously.

It's an Asus Eee running Windows 7 stater, while my main laptop is a Sony Vaio running Windows 7 Home Premium. Both have Ubuntu 10.04 installed, however I'd like to stay on the Windows side for this.


I did a little more research and it looks like I may be able to do it with simply a VGA cable. Before I run out and buy one, I'd like to make sure I'm interpreting this right.

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marked as duplicate by fretje, studiohack Feb 21 '11 at 10:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

see also:… – fretje Feb 21 '11 at 9:05
Concerning your edit: You can extend your desktop of either your netbook or your laptop with a vga cable, but for that you need an extra screen. It's not possible to share for instance the screen on your netbook with your laptop using a vga cable! – fretje Feb 21 '11 at 9:13
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Look at Synergy, it allows you to move your mouse between multiple computers, its not exactly like adding a monitor, but it does give you the ability to use both computers and only use one single interface to do so, so it is similar to the concept of multi-monitor, but processes on both monitors do not need to compete for resources, though you cannot move windows between the monitors.

From the website:

* Move your mouse easily between computers
* Requires nothing other than existing ethernet
* Copy and paste between your computers
* No need to press any buttons (unlike KVM)
* You can still use multiple monitors on the same computer
* Lock the mouse to one screen

Also a bonus, it is open source, so there is no cost to use it.

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Sharing a keyboard and mouse is totally not the same thing as sharing a monitor. – fretje Feb 21 '11 at 9:07
I am aware of that and I made it very clear in my post. I also gave the reason why it can be better or worse, depending on what the user may want. His concern was not necessarily a dual monitor, but making use of the device. This offers an alternative that is perfectly viable based on his criteria. – MaQleod Feb 21 '11 at 15:18

MaxiVista is what you need:

MaxiVista is a Windows software utility with four major functions:

  • The Extended screen mode enables you to extend your primary PC's desktop to up to three extra PCs.
  • The remote control mode allows you to operate multiple computers from a single mouse and keyboard.
  • The clipboard synchronization feature allows you to share clipboard contents with all other computers.
  • The mirror mode duplicates the screen contents of one computer to another computer using any network connection.
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