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I presently have my desktop on both my computer monitor and HDTV, windows 7 allows you to do this 3 different ways but I just duplicate the desktop to the TV. is this possible using just Ubuntu? I would also like to port the sound through my entertainment system and not just the computer speakers. Can this be done with no extra cost as windows does it?

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You should first make sure which "3 different ways" from Windows you mean. I assume you mean:

  1. cloning (same screen on desktop and TV)
  2. screen only on TV
  3. screen only on desktop.

This all can be done via the Ubuntu's display settings.

Also via the audio settings it should be no problem to switch between different audio devices.

If you are running into any trouble please describe your issue into more detail.

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