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So, I recently purchased a new 23" monitor for my PC. However, I can't use it with the PC currently as I am waiting on a replacement heatsink. In the mean time, I wanted to use it with my Dell laptop. I hooked it up to the VGA port, and it seems to be working properly.

However, I wanted to know if there was a way I could move all of the main display elements over to the attached monitor? I wanted to shut the LCD panel off on the laptop and hook it up like a desktop.

Relevant specs:

Ubuntu 10.10 x64 Intel graphics chipset

The attached monitor is currently set as the default monitor.

Any suggestions are welcome. :)

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1  
I figured it out. All I had to do was disable the main monitor. –  GrueKun Nov 11 '10 at 16:15
    
By the way, In XFCE I used to have a cloned launchbar and an independent (showing only windows running on this monitor) taskbar on every display, and this was easy as in obvious to set up (as well as different "wallpapers" with different resolutions). Hope this is coming to Gnome someday. –  Ivan Nov 11 '10 at 20:29

4 Answers 4

As a more formal answer, for others who have a similar issue in the future:

You can go to System > Preferences > Monitors and select the "Off" radio button for your laptop's monitor. This will turn it off and move all windows to the main display. Make sure you have enabled your LCD monitor, or you will not be able to change the laptop display to "Off."

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I use a laptop along with a 24" monitor, and find it tremendously useful to utilize both screens, which are at different resolutions. I don't have any panels on the main laptop LCD, and keep the main desktop elements on the external monitor. One can control the placement in the Monitors applet

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I could see where a dual monitor setup would be useful, but for what I use my laptop for, and with the existence of virtual desktops, I've never really found a need to have multiple monitors going at once. I'm pretty content with the big monitor on its own, at the moment. :) –  GrueKun Nov 11 '10 at 18:15
    
@gruekun, I use to watch a movie and have Skype, Psi, mail and some indication on a lesser screen while working on a bigger one. When editing graphics it is also convenient to have a whole monitor for canvas with thick toolbars placed on an auxiliary display. –  Ivan Nov 11 '10 at 20:33

I use both the laptop screen and an external screen, and to configure where to put the panel, I use this:

$ cat bin/move_panel 
#!/bin/sh
PANEL_DISPLAY=$1

if [ ! -z "$PANEL_DISPLAY" ] ; then
    gconftool-2 \
        --set "/apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/monitor" \
        --type integer "$PANEL_DISPLAY"
    gconftool-2 \
        --set "/apps/panel/toplevels/bottom_panel_screen0/monitor" \
        --type integer "$PANEL_DISPLAY"
else
    echo "Usage: move_panel <n>"
fi

On my setup, ./move_panel 1 sets the external screen as the "panel display", and ./move_panel 0 sets the laptop screen as the "panel display".

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Thank you so much, this is great! –  letitbee Sep 26 '11 at 6:40

@BooK Thank you very much for your solution! I have rewritten your script to switch between two monitors. This allows me to remove the command line argument.

#!/bin/bash
echo "Switching the panel location ..."
TOP=`gconftool-2 -g "/apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/monitor"`
BOTTOM=`gconftool-2 -g "/apps/panel/toplevels/bottom_panel_screen0/monitor"`

if [ $TOP == $BOTTOM -a $TOP == 0 ] ; then
        PANEL_DISPLAY=1
else
        PANEL_DISPLAY=0
fi

gconftool-2 \
        --set "/apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/monitor" \
        --type integer "$PANEL_DISPLAY"
gconftool-2 \
         --set "/apps/panel/toplevels/bottom_panel_screen0/monitor" \
         --type integer "$PANEL_DISPLAY"
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