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I have two monitors connected by vga, but both are showing the same workspace. I want to know how to fix this problem and get back to having separate workspaces on each monitor

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probably a duplicate of… – cboettig Nov 29 '12 at 3:58

Disconnect the cable, then put it back in after a few minutes. It'll go back to normal

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This is not really a definitive answer. The problem is that the displays are set to mirror. This is set in System Settings --> Displays and uncheck the mirror option. In cases were a proprietary driver module is being used that module may have it's own configuration program eg: nvidia-settings for the nvidia-current module. – fabricator4 Dec 1 '12 at 21:17

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