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I have a laptop with Xubuntu 13.10 and to the right of the laptop is a monitor located.

The monitor is the primary: I set the option "Primary" in the settings editor (http://www.ubuntubuzz.com/2011/12/how-to-dual-monitor-setup-on-xfce.html) and I use this setting: xrandr --output HDMI1 --primary --right-of LVDS1 (HDMI1 is the monitor as you might have guessed)

Most of the dual-monitor-setup is fine: My menu-borders appear on the monitor and all programs also start on the monitor.

My problem are the desktop-icons: When I save a new file (e.g. an image in the browser) to the desktop, it appears on the far left of the laptop and I have to drag it on the monitor.

And when I rename an icon, that is on the monitor, it jumps to the far left side of the laptop.

And what's even more annoying: Every two or three days (must be some kind of race-condition) when I start the laptop the icons which are carefully arranged on the monitor appear all on the left side of the laptop in one vertical line and I have to drag them back and re-arrange them.

Is there another option/ setting where I can set which is the primary monitor, so that the desktop-icons also realize where they are supposed to appear? How can I prevent the random icon-moving at the start of the system?

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1 Answer 1

In extended desktop mode, the computer sees multiple monitors as a single large desktop. If your window manager places desktop icons on the left, then they will jump to the far left-hand monitor.

However, if you use KDE as your desktop manager/window manager, you can use "FolderView" as your desktop setting. This way, you can arrange icons exactly as you wish on either monitor and they will stay put.

I have tried most of the major desktop environments, including Cinnamon, Gnome 2, Gnome Classic (Gnome-Session-Fallback), Gnome 3, KDE, LXDE, MATE, Unity, and Xfce. Among these, KDE is the only one I have tried that enables me to use my right-hand monitor as the primary display while also keeping my desktop icons on the right-hand display.

If you want to stay with Xfce, a workaround I have used in that desktop environment is to install screenlets and use the folderview screenlet to put a window on my right-hand monitor that is set to the Desktop folder. This way, I can see the icons that are on the far-left in the screenlet window. With this screenlet, I can also open, copy, paste, or delete files that appear in the Desktop folder.

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