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I have two identical monitors, and when playing a full screen video on one of them using the default player or VLC and then working on the other monitor - the top bar and the launcher appear above the video. How can I avoid that?

btw. I'm using ubuntu 11.10

=== This is the case in Ubuntu 12.04 as well. I noticed it when connected to a TV via HDMI.

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This is a bug/feature of compiz. Switching to e.g. Xfce can solve this problem. But you'll lose Unity. There might also be something in the compiz settings to affect this. – Alistair Buxton May 28 '12 at 21:02

If you use Totem (the default video player) or possibly others you can set the video window to be "Always on top". Right click on the title bar and select it:

enter image description here

I have not actually tried this in Unity, however as noted in my comment, this is a compiz thing, and I am using compiz with gnome-panel which does exactly the same thing.

Also note this might not work in all players if they open a new window when going fullscreen. I think VLC does that so may not work. I'm not sure about mplayer.

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I wanted to confirm that this is still an issue as of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and that the fix proposed by Alistair Buxton works in Unity for Totem as well as VLC. I've found this workaround to eliminate all problems caused by the issue but the issue has not been fixed now 2.5 years later. – Ibuntu Apr 26 '14 at 15:47

Did you try using xrandr command...? type xrandron the terminal,

subo@ubuntu:~$ xrandr

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 768, maximum 4096 x 4096

LVDS1 connected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

1024x600 60.0 + 800x600 60.3 56.2

640x480 59.9

VGA1 connected 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 300mm x 230mm

1024x768 85.0*+ 75.1

1280x1024 60.0

800x600 85.1 75.0

640x480 85.0 75.0 60.0

720x400 70.1

If you want to both monitors active use

xrandr --auto

Or if you want to active specific monitor try

xrandr --output MONITER_NAME --auto

and if you want to off the other monitor try

xrandr --output MONITOR_NAME --off

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