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I've recently acquired a second screen for my laptop. The external one is, of course, way bigger than the integrated one.

  • So I've been wondering, how do you guys set up your Ubuntu for two monitors? The thing is, I'm quite often on the move without my second screen, so I can't really put panels to the second one, as those would be cramped into the first one, once I unplug the second one, right? Also, same goes for windows I arranged and resized on the big screen.
  • Another point would be the wallpaper. At the moment, I'm using a wallpaper that's 1920x1980 (I use 1920x1080 and 1440x900 in a vertical alignment) and set the display mode to "stretch", so it covers both desktops. Any easier methods? Don't want to doctor around my wallpapers with gimp all the time.
  • As to window window management, I'm currently using compiz and docky. Docky is placed on the top side of the bottom (laptop) monitor so it stays where it was even when the top monitor isn't plugged in.
  • what about window placement? My current setup involves using Google Chrome on the top monitor, taking up half of my screen width and being used for regular browsing. Next to it is another Google Chrome window, with the usual "app tabs" of GMail, Facebook, Google Reader and Twitter. Auxilliary stuff goes to the bottom monitor.

So, how are you guys using your dual monitor setup? Any awesome programs I'm missing out on? Maybe one that activates different "configurations" (wallpaper, panels, etc), depending on how many screens there are?

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For your wallpaper - in newer releases it should scale to each monitor independently, is it not doing that for you? –  Jorge Castro Oct 15 '10 at 13:10
    
oh, yes, that works! What I meant is that I wanted a different wallpaper on each screen –  Florian Heinle Oct 15 '10 at 13:28
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2 Answers

If you're using Compiz, you should definitely activate the Put plugin and configure the "Put to next output" key binding. It moves windows from one screen to the other instantly, no need to drag them.

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Sweet, thanks for this tip! I was Googling to find the solution to the wallpaper problem (looks like I should upgrade to improve this, anyway), but this is a nice tip too :D –  cincodenada Mar 12 '12 at 6:27
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I used Docky and Avant, avant stays always with the laptop, and Docky on the side (left maybe) using intelli-hide, can switch on and off whit the second monitor, at least for me it did.

True with just the laptop, Docky will make your desktop smaller, BUT using intelli-hide once you maximize they disappear... I also like to setup Two Dockies, one only with the current running programs and other just with Launchers to directories or whatever, one on each side.

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