I have a laptop with Ubuntu installed on it and I'm constantly switching from just my laptop to also having a monitor. When I'm using the laptop screen and monitor, I have a panel on each monitor that shows the windows open for that monitor. If I switch to just using the laptop screen, then both panels end up on the same screen. How can I configure one of the panels to only show up if I have two monitors? Or can I at least "suspend" one of the panels somehow so I don't have to set it up the way I like it every time I switch?


Try setting the screen option for this panel via gconf-editor.

Run gconf-editor and navigate to the panel options at /apps/panel/toplevels/panel_1/ (your panel name may vary slightly). You should see an option screen as shown below. Try configuring this to your liking.

I'm not sure this will work, as I have a feeling that when you switch to using just the laptop screen, this value is automatically changed to the available screen. It's worth a shot.

If you use Xinerama, there's also an option to configure the monitor the panel appears on.

If none of these work, I'd suggest you enable auto-hide, and set a very low auto_hide_size so the panel is barely visible when you switch to one screen.

I haven't researched this yet, but if there is a command-line way to modify these values, I'd just use a script to tweak these values so the panel is hidden when I want it.


| improve this answer | |

Here's what I did (on Ubuntu 10.04):

To fully hide the panel, you can set monitor to -1 using gconftool-2. The only caveat is sometimes you have to kill/restart gnome-panel after changing the monitor setting. This should do the job (killall without rerunning gnome-panel doesn't always bring it back):

gnome-panel --replace

There is a blog post here with a simple script that you can hook onto nvidia-settings or gnome-display-properties:


Since I use Nvidia, I did nvidia-settings -tq TwinView to check if TwinView is on, but you might not be able to tell the difference between two and three monitors.

| improve this answer | |

GConf includes a command line tool, gconftool-2. You can use the gconftool–2 command to perform the following tasks:

  • Set the values of keys.
  • Display the values of keys.
  • Install schemas from schema definition files when you install an application.

For example, use the following command to display the values of all keys in the /desktop/gnome directory and subdirectories.

gconftool-2 --recursive-list /desktop/gnome
| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.