I have a laptop whose display does not work really well. I was wondering if there was some way I could connect the laptop to my desktop monitor and allow for mirroring/extending my laptp display to my deskop display. Ideally, I would like to work on my desktop computer and by switching workspaces on my desktop to start working on my laptop (display being on the desktop). I have Ubuntu 12.10 installed on both my desktop and laptop.

  • You want both systems on and to be able to switch between them? Or do you want just one system with two screens? – terdon Mar 28 '13 at 3:45
  • Yes, I want both systems on with the ability to switch between them on the same screen. I would like to project my laptop display on to my desktop and switch when needed. – lordlabakdas Mar 28 '13 at 13:25
  • You can't do that without additional hardware. See @Dion's answer below. – terdon Mar 28 '13 at 13:57
  • @terdon if he doesn't mind using the laptop keyboard and touchpad to control the laptop and the desktop keyboard and mouse to control the desktop, it might be possible for him to have both on the same screen - I really don't know but I guess it might be possible, I'll give it a try tomorrow when I get home, I have a laptop and a desktop with Debian so it should be the same on Ubuntu. – Alex Mar 28 '13 at 17:06

It sounds like you might want a KVM switch. They are devices that allow a single monitor, keyboard, and mouse to be used amongst multiple systems. Usually they have a key combination (they differ by each model, be sure to check the owner's manual). Once you press the key combination you can switch between different ports on the KVM switch.


I am not knowledgeable with Ubuntu but in Windows after you connect a desktop monitor to a laptop you can go to your display settings and choose which monitor is your main monitor and/or extend your desktop to the other monitor while keeping your laptop the main.

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