My setup at home uses a laptop, with a larger external monitor in addition to the built-in LCD panel, which is primary. I can see the larger monitor from the rest of the room and use it as my TV, for playing DVDs and various types of web video. However, it isn't ideal for Flash video. For instance, if I watch a video from Hulu or any other Flash-based site, I can expand it to full-screen mode. However, no matter which monitor the browser window is on, the full-screen mode is always on the laptop LCD panel, which is both too small and not visible from most of the room. Does anyone know of a way to force the Flash video to play full-screen on the monitor I select instead of the primary?

My video chipset is NVidia, using kernel 2.6.31 (Ubuntu).

  • I just had a dumb realization: what if your larger monitor was the primary? Would that mess something else up? Because I am pretty sure that would make the flash movie fullscreen on the larger monitor. – Justin Smith Feb 22 '10 at 2:06
  • Doesn't seem to do anything--the full-screen mode always appears on the LCD panel, not the external monitor. – CarlF Feb 22 '10 at 3:22
  • I think it has to do with the Xinema extension and the way it extends the desktop for X windows. – pjz Aug 18 '10 at 16:19
  • Fixed in the current release of Ubuntu. I haven't investigated why it works now. – CarlF Aug 19 '10 at 4:26

Old question but this was the first result I got when searching for the same issue, so if anyone finds this, here's a workaround.

A lot of sites that show flash videos allow you got the video in a "popup", this is usually a special window that only contains a flash player that automatically scales to the size of the window.

Use the popup on the screen you want it maximized on and then use the fullscreen mode of the browser (F11 in Firefox and Chrome). This will use the regular flash container, but scaled to fill your screen.

Edit: If the site doesn't give you the option to use a popout, this addon for Firefox is useful: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flash-game-maximizer/

  • That addon does not help in this case. It seems to just activate the Flash Player's "fullscreen" mode, which still appears on the wrong monitor. And no site, literally, that I want to play video from has popout, except Hulu, which maximizes to the correct screen anyway. – CarlF Dec 26 '12 at 5:50

One option would be to use a tool like http://www.downloadhelper.net/ to get the video file from the flash object, then use a real movie player to display it properly - you will get better quality, smoother playback, and a real movie player is more likely to figure out how to display on the monitor you want.

A more hackish way is that you can actually navigate to /tmp/ and the flash video file will have a name like FlashxyZAbc, you can directly open that file with a movie player and play it (I have my file manager set up to launch my favorite movie player if I click on one of these files), without needing to install any addons or plugins.


concerning the objections posted, mplayer and vlc can download or play rtsp streams, and the flash files in /tmp or the downloads from a downloader addon are playable as soon as the first few frames are downloaded.

  • Actually, no. Many videos are streamed using the RTSP protocol, which download helpers available on Linux cannot capture. Even in cases where this might work, e.g. frontline.org, there may be 10 chapters each of which I'd have to download separately, which would take the full hour of the program's playing time, only then to actually start watching, which is at best awkward. I do have a downloader but it isn't a solution to this problem. – CarlF Feb 22 '10 at 0:12
  • mplayer and vlc can both directly play, (or download, if you prefer) RTSP streams. And you don't need to finish a download in order to start playing it: the file is playable as soon as it starts downloading. I am aware that this is not an optimal solution, but flash is braindead, integrates very poorly with Linux, and I would be surprised if you ever get it to use your monitors properly. – Justin Smith Feb 22 '10 at 0:27
  • I have been using mplayer for many years. Problem is, there's no simple way to get the URLs. – CarlF Feb 22 '10 at 0:44
  • I usually rightclick in firefox and choose "copy link location". I am not so hung up on my approach that I cannot admit that it is inconvenient, and I will be excited to see a convenient solution for this predicament, but my experience leads me to believe using a real video player is the only good option here. You mention your display hardware, but flash is incapable of accessing any graphics acceleration, or even figuring out which monitor it should be using, which is why I recommend a real video player. – Justin Smith Feb 22 '10 at 0:49
  • on further consideration - if you mean rtsp used by a flash file, I sadly know of no way to extract that automatically (though I have an idea of where to start looking if I wanted to write a tool that did that, but...) – Justin Smith Feb 22 '10 at 1:29

You mean this ? : http://my.opera.com/d.i.z./blog/2009/04/22/watch-fullscreen-flash-while-working-on-another-screen

Guess this is what you want.. but I'm not sure, worth a 'try-answer' :)

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