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I've got an laptop with a intel chip, and I'd like to setup dual monitors in Xfce.

How do I do this?

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Interesting to point that solutions to this issues provided here makes possible to not use proprietary drivers (in a convenient way)! –  smonff Oct 14 '13 at 7:48

6 Answers 6

up vote 95 down vote accepted

First, open up monitor config - it's in Start > Settings > Settings Manger, then open the Display item.

Make sure both your displays are on. enter image description here

Then, open a terminal and run this:


The output will look something like this:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 2464 x 900, maximum 4096 x 4096
LVDS1 connected 1024x600+1440+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 220mm x 129mm
   1024x600       60.0*+   65.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        59.9  
VGA1 connected 1440x900+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 408mm x 255mm
   1440x900       59.9*+   75.0  
   1280x1024      75.0     60.0  
   1280x960       60.0  
   1280x800       74.9     59.8  
   1152x864       75.0  
   1024x768       75.1     70.1     60.0  
   832x624        74.6  
   800x600        72.2     75.0     60.3     56.2  
   640x480        72.8     75.0     66.7     60.0  
   720x400        70.1

Then, run the following, changing VGA1 and LVDS1 to match the appropriate display:

xrandr --output VGA1 --left-of LVDS1

Note that you can move change --left-of to --right-of.

Now, it should work, but you've still got one problem.

It will disappear after you logout. So, you need to add it to your login items.

Head over to Start > Settings > Settings Manger, then open "Session and Startup", add the above command to your login items, and you're good to go!

enter image description here

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I created this account just so I can upvote your really helpful question & answer. I use debian-testing and got that ugly mess called gnome3 which I replaced with xfce4 - and now I'm totally happy :-) –  slashmais Dec 10 '11 at 15:04
@slashmais Thanks, I appreciate it! Glad I was able to help you. :) –  jrg Dec 10 '11 at 20:01
@jrg I did xrandr --output CRT1 --left-of LVDS but I get xrandr: screen cannot be larger than 1600x1600 (desired size 2766x1050) when it's resolution is 1400x1050. What should I do? –  jaorizabal Oct 25 '13 at 3:26
Three years later! Thank you lots, this helped much more than you know! –  opiop65 Jan 18 at 14:48
This is a good answer, but you'll have to repeat it for every user on a multi-user system. For a one-time system-wide solution see wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/… –  Aaron J Lang Jul 19 at 17:44

There is a different solution to this problem.

According to this article, xfce 4.11 and 4.12 have implemented multi-monitor set-up out of the box. I guess this question will therefore be obsolete for ubuntu 13.04.

Meanwhile, for ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10, one can use the xfce 4.12 ppa :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
xfce4-display-settings -m
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Works perfectly on Ubuntu 13.10! –  Nordlöw Oct 5 '13 at 21:49
This will allow you to specify 'VGA1 is right of HDMI1' but fail to give you a vertical offset if the monitors are a different size. Arandr will cover this. –  aquaherd Oct 12 '13 at 10:47
Glad to learn it comes to XFCE... –  smonff Oct 14 '13 at 7:49

I had the same problem and solved it using a graphical application. The name is grandr and it is in the universe repository (Ubuntu 11.04). You can change your dual setup at will. I hope that it helps.

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grandr is no longer available from 12.04 - arandr is though –  Elfy Jun 17 '12 at 21:12
thanks, it worked for me –  Tim Jun 22 '12 at 13:52
As arandr is a new solution, see the answer above –  smonff Oct 14 '13 at 7:50

Now you can use Arandr.

It allows you to do that in visual editor and then save settings as shell script with xrandr command script.

Then you can add it to autostart.

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Yes, Xrandr and/or the version 4.12 gui for the display settings will enable you to switch positions of monitors, and it is possible to have the panel with its applications menu on the right-hand monitor. However, desktop icons will still appear on the left-hand monitor.

It would be good if Xfce would implement something like the FolderView setting in KDE, whereby you can have the primary monitor on the right (with its panel and desktop icons).

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Thanks so much. I now have an extended dual monitor setup (MSI CR700, Nvidia GeForce 8200M G), with Xubuntu 12.04. After many days of grief with various versions of Ubuntu, I installed Xubuntu 12.04 and got dual mirrored monitors. To get an extended desktop across both monitors I found the advice here (http://www.webupd8.org/2012/11/how-to-use-multiple-monitors-in-xubuntu.html) very helpful. But arandr is buggy; it worked once, then I got a grey screen hiding the desktop and launcher at the bottom of the screen. The advice from 78 above, namely: xrandr followed by: xrandr --output VGA1 --left-of LVDS1 (adjust VGA1 and LVDS1 depending on output of xrandr) has fixed the problem. Many thanks.

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