natty laptop is attached to an external monitor. When working with both monitors, the "main" monitor (with the gnome menu) is always on the laptop.
IS there a way I can set my external monitor as the main one?
I use my big LCD as my main, and my laptop as a satellite. Once you get them swapped, the system remembers, so even if you disconnect, shutdown, and reconnect, it will come back the way you had it.
Check out the standard Monitor preferences applet (Monitors). As long as you have "Same Images in all monitors" deselected, you can actually drag around the representations of your monitors so that they are how you want them.
This is a shot of my setup
Just for the record, here's an alternative solution if you don't see the "Make Default" option:
This command lists all the connected monitors:
And this command sets the default monitor immediately:
(replace VGA1 with the monitor name)