I'm using the standard Gnome (2.30.3) that comes with Linux Mint Debian Edition. I have dual monitors and they work as two seperate desktops, each with its own panel. The only 'communication' between them is that I can use the mouse to move the mouse pointer between them, other than that, neither monitor/desktop seems to 'know' that the other exists. I don't like having to grab the mouse just to move the pointer from one monitor/desktop to the other, particularly just to move focus from an xterm on one monitor/desktop to an xterm on the other monitor/desktop. I'm wondering if there might be some way of doing this via a keyboard shortcut. Alt+Tab does not do it, it only cycles between open windows on each desktop. Alt+Ctrl+Arrow does not do it, I can only cycle between workspaces on the current monitor/desktop.

The 'keyboard' section of 'Preferences' lets me enable using the keypad to move the mouse pointer, but, again, it will not move the mouse pointer off one monitor/desktop and onto the other one (in fact it crashes if I try to move the mouse pointer off the larger of the two monitors).

Can it be done? I notice that each open xterm has it's own unique number regardless of which monitor/desktop it is on, so the xterms 'know' about the xterms on the other monitor/desktop. If I had some way of shortcutting to xterms via their number, that would be just fine. Or, some shortcut which moves the mouse pointer off one monitor/desktop and onto the other would also work.

I don't know if this is some issue particular to my hardware (ATI dual head card using the normal fglrx driver), or something built in to Gnome, or something I can fix (hopefully).

  • ... oh, and I don't want Xinerama since the two screens have different resolutions (since they are different sizes) and that does not work well with Xinerama. I also don't know what 'window manager' I'm using and I don't know how to find out either. I'm using whatever is stock.
    – rayandrews
    Dec 26, 2011 at 2:27
  • I think you need some clarification here. I'm just guessing here by reading between the lines but it seems you are asking for a keyboard-based way to switch between desktops which are running independently on different monitors. So e.g. switching from desktop 2 on monitor 1 to desktop 1 on monitor 2.
    – Garrett
    Dec 27, 2011 at 6:38

1 Answer 1


Looks like I'm not the first person to be bothered by this. There is a utility for this called dualscreen-mouse-utils, available from the Fedora repositories. It moves the mouse between screens

Oh, and there's my own solution:


... nice for moving between xterms, if I don't say so myself.

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