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I don't know if what I'm asking is possible. I've installed Xubuntu 10.10 on a gateway mx3225 (old laptop). I could get the graphics the way I wanted on Ubuntu 10.10 but not get audio, I can get audio on Xubuntu 10.10 but the screen resolution is off.

The visibility of the screen is good, but the area is much bigger than the actual display. The upper left is positioned correctly. But the right hand side is far off the screen as well is the bottom.

After updates there are no other drivers for the display, none of the other listed graphic resolutions work (cause corrupted display) so I'm wondering can I somehow leave the graphics configuration alone and somehow virtually map the UI into a smaller area?

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I am not sure if this is what you want, but you can tell Xubuntu to use an area of the workspace. Menu -> Settings -> Setting Manager -> Workspaces will show margins on the right side.

The numbers around the square are the distance from the edge to use for the workspace. By changing those, you can force the applications to not go outside the visible area.

You can still manually move windows outside the margins, but opening windows and maximising applications will stay in the margin set.

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