I have a brand-new t-500 Laptop with docking station, and a Samsung SyncMaster T220 connected to it. The OS is Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

I would like to set up the workspaces, so that the right one would be shown at the external monitor, and the left one would be displayed on the laptop.

I have tried the advice given here - rearranging the displays at the screen configuration tool, but without success - the laptop screen just shows the upper left corner of the SyncMaster, and the screens just overlap again when I rerun the screen config tool (Called "Screen resolution" in my version).

Any help?


3 Answers 3


perhaps this is what you're looking for: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=826717

Basically, from that thread, I'd edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and modify the "Screen" section (add red text):

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    Monitor "lcddisp"
    Device "Configured Video Device"
    DefaultDepth 24

    SubSection "Display"
        Virtual 3120 1050

3120 is the sum of both monitor's resolution width (1680 + 1280), 1050 is the max of the resolution's height (1050 > 800).

Restart X (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace), then go to System > Preferences > Screen Resolutions. From there, you can turn on/off one of your monitor, or turn on both cloned, or turn on both side by side (as in dragging windows from one to another).

The only downside to me is that my Intel 965 has a 3D buffer size of 2048x2048 so 3D Compiz looks weird if I have two monitors in side-by-side mode (3120px is way too big to fit on 2048px buffer).

Read that post for more detail.

Source :http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-888979.html

  • Great. Which red text?
    – Adam Matan
    Aug 1, 2009 at 12:03
  • 1
    Crtl-Alt-Backspace won't work out of the box on Jaunty.
    – innaM
    Aug 4, 2009 at 8:33

The original author was asking about different workspaces on each screen, not a single workspace stretched across both screens. I'm trying to configure the same. Does anyone have any pointers on how to do this?

Doing so, you could pull up either workspace on either screen and also still drag / move windows between workspaces. I think this is a much better solution if you are using a laptop display and an external monitor - if it is possible.

  • Couldn't do it in Ubutu 8.04. Seems that only newer versions support my configuration.
    – Adam Matan
    Sep 11, 2009 at 10:35

So long as both of your displays show in the screen configuration tool, make each monitor side by side, and not overlapping. Uncheck the "mirror" checkbox and you should be good to go.

  • Thanks! I've tried that, and it doesn't work (I have "clone" checkbox, not "mirror").
    – Adam Matan
    Jul 26, 2009 at 7:28

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