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The main machine that I'm using is a Mac, and the other one is a Sony Vaio running Ubuntu.

Does anyone have an idea how to use the Ubuntu laptop as a second monitor?

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I have never heard of using a laptop has a monitor for another machine. –  Ramhound Dec 6 '12 at 11:45

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With another Mac, you can put it into target display mode and it will function as an external monitor when a video source is input.

The Ubuntu machine would need to be configured in a similar way using some custom software.

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