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I have two workspaces, which I need to function as below:

Usually they function as usual two workspaces, but...

When I connect a HDMI cable to my system

I want to have workspace 1 display on laptop screen and be workable with keyboard and touchpad inputs as usual.

While in the background, I want to display Workspace 2 content on the TV connected through the HDMI cable.

How can I get this done???

Preferably without compiz involvement.

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What graphics card are you using and which driver? – offline Jun 30 '13 at 23:57
I have an intel card and an nVidia in Optimus mode. Let me know how to get you the info in case you need anything technical. – charlie Jul 1 '13 at 13:28
do you have bumblebee installed? – offline Jul 1 '13 at 17:13
Yes I do have bumblebee working fine – charlie Jul 1 '13 at 19:26
Can you start the nvidia driver software properly (does it work)? – offline Jul 2 '13 at 0:11

I don't think that you can do this. The thing you're asking is inconsistent with the way workspaces and displays are designed in Ubuntu.

I will try to explain why. The curently workspace is, as its name itself says, the space where curently you are. Now, when you connect another display at the machine, the current workspace (and all others) will be expanded in the new display. When you change the workspace in first display, its expansion will change in the second display as well and vice-versa. So, the display is a something like a 'child' of the workspace. In next image you can see how it look:


What you intend to do is something like:


As you can see this doesn't look ok.

Of course, as long as you have unselected Mirror displays in System Settyngs > Hardware > Displays (as in next image), you can view some programs on one display and other programs on another display. Also you can drag and drop windows from one display to another.

no mirrow display

You can also to watch this video to understand better:

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Thanks! I appreciate your explanation. All I want is to show vlc videos on the HDMI TV while continuing my work on the lappy....any ideas? – charlie Jul 1 '13 at 19:28
@charlie It's simple: see my last part from the answer. – Radu Rădeanu Jul 2 '13 at 7:14

Right click on the titlebar of the VLC window and select "Always on Visible Workspace". Now go back to working on the laptop while having the TV playing a movie.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I have been able to successfully do what I intended to do using a combination of the above two answers and some more hit and trial of my own. I will experiment a bit more and post the detailed method to do so here.

OKAY..just for is what I do:
1. Attache HDMI cable
2. Go to display settings and uncheck the mirror display checkbox
3. Run Detect Displays if needed
4. Now whatever workspace I use, it i split into two vertically. Moving any application past the right border of the laptop screen takes it to the HDMI TV screen.

Let me know if the above does not work for someone and I can help.

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