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OK, I've inherited a nice laptop that has a screen with a 3 inch width vertical column on the right of dead pixels.

It's usable, I've installed the latest Ubuntu and have the task bar on the left.

But it would be nice to restrict the apps (and hopefully Ubuntu) to the undamaged area part of the screen.

Is there any way to achieve this?

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I've seen a similar question, and don't remember a solution that would allow it to be offcenter. Searching around here on superuser might help. – Rob Jan 3 '12 at 17:53
not really possible- unless you go down to driver level. It is a pain in the but and needed this once in linux too. due to a oddly sized screen. never found an easy solution..because there was no driver for that screen in linux.. so start looking into the driver options. – ppumkin Jan 4 '12 at 11:09

You could try to run your real desktop in an Xnest session and place the Xnest window in the right location of your global X11 server.

This could also be automated with shell scripts to start it when you login. The downside is that you will lose some of the X11 server's features: Xnest is not accelerated much..

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