I have a monitor at home that I use as a secondary display for my laptop. When I was on Ubuntu 16.04 with Unity, the multi monitor setup worked perfectly. The top bar was visible on both monitors and apps launched on the monitor where the mouse was in. But since my recent upgrade to the new 18.04 LTS and its GNOME environment it hasn't been the case.

I love the new look. And I want to stick with it. But the main issue is this. When running on multiple monitors, the top bar is only displayed on the primary monitor. Furthermore, apps always launch on the primary display. This isn't ideal in my opinion. The setup is so ridiculous that if I put my PC to sleep while working on something and then open it again with the monitor disconnected, I have no way of retrieving the window, because the system is still projecting it to a monitor that doesn't exist. Even worse is if I make the external monitor as the primary display. Then I literally cant see anything on the laptop except for the background.

Is there a way to fix this? Launch apps in the monitor where the mouse has focus. And also restore the settings back to single monitor setup when the secondary monitor is disconnected?


2 Answers 2


Did you check this question

In summary, Change Dock -> show on = all displays

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  • 4
    I don't believe that solves the OP's problem if you read his detail. He's after the top panel mirroring on both monitors and applications launching based on where the mouse is. Best solution for him is to use Unity which is supported due to 16.04 LTS, at least until 16.04 goes end of life which is several years from now! Unity in my opinion has a better user-experience than Gnome, it is just easier to do stuff that is intuitive. Sux that you can't see the time,panel icons, calendar etc on a secondary monitor if you're using the primary on Gnome. Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 1:23

After upgrading Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Unity to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS you can switch off the Gnome desktop and go back to good 'ole Unity. Click the gear icon next to the Sign In button as shown below:

Ubuntu 5 DE.png

The good news is Unity is even better when suspending with an external monitor is attached that it was in 16.04.

  • 1
    Yeah. I guess this is the only option to get a usable multi monitor setup because GNOME is doing it wrong in my opinion. I am looking in to GNOME extensions to see whats possible but for now Unity will have to be my daily desktop environment.
    – tamrat
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 21:19
  • 1
    You sound reluctant. I think Unity is a great DE but its the only Linux one I've used. Commented May 4, 2018 at 21:47

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