I recently set up a dual monitors and I am wondering how I would go about changing what number each monitor is assigned. I have the large display set as my primary but certain programs and games open on the smaller monitor regardless. I think this is because the monitor is assigned the number 1. I'd like to know what is responsible for numbering monitors and if they can be changed. I want to swap the number each monitor is assigned so the larger is assigned 1. I'm not sure if it will work but I figured that I'd try.


  • 1
    you should be able to change the primary monitor below where the two displays are shown. Apr 21, 2020 at 5:58
  • Swapping cables on the back of my GPU worked for me !
    – WiMantis
    Dec 23, 2021 at 15:11

1 Answer 1

  • The firmware of graphic adapter is the responsible on order, and it can't be changed without an update from manufacturer. AFIAK, no one (Ati, Intel, nVidia,..) allows changing it at user level with driver control CLI/GUI.

    xrandr propagates that order to user applications, check connection order there.

    By the way, that's called "Port/Connection/Output order".

  • Why GUI Window Manager (WM), place the apps on that monitor

    1. Sometimes apps them selves give position hints to WM.
    2. Not all WM care about Primary Output.
    3. X Coordinates start from left on Full Screen Size that is constructed from both outputs.
    4. Some WM/Apps don't remember last position.
  • Options

    1. I'm still not familiar with Gnome Shell WM. But I expect it has an extension for window positioning.
    2. Put primary screen on the left.

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