I connected my laptop to my LCD. Using the laptop display hotkey I can switch between different modes - only laptop monitor on, only LCD monitor on, both on and display the same view, both on and the desktop is stretched (divided).

But, I'm looking for something else - I would like to have two workspaces, one visible on the laptop monitor and the other on the LCD.

Is that possible?

  • This question is a duplicate of: askubuntu.com/q/5082/275 – Marcel Stimberg Jan 15 '11 at 18:45
  • It is possible with compiz, but a bit tricky to set up. What graphics card do you have? That could be useful. Are you using metacity? – RolandiXor Jan 15 '11 at 19:04
  • I use Asus eee PC 1015PEM. Don't know what metacity is... – David B Jan 15 '11 at 19:11
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    @Marcel Stimberg: the question you referred to was not actually answered IMHO. I don't want "one big screen" where I can drag windows and maximize them so it's "like two separate displays". I want a screen per workspace. No windows dragging and other tricks. – David B Jan 15 '11 at 19:13

If I understand the question correctly, you would like to be able to switch workspaces independently for each screen, so that for example the left screen could be on workspace 1 and the right screen on workspace 3. This is supported by some window managers, most notably XMonad, and I personally find it extremely convenient in a dual-head setup. Moreover, it's perfectly possible to integrate XMonad with GNOME without sacrificing usability.

On my home machine I currently have a much simpler setup, with the default window manager. I like to have a music player visible on one of the screens at all times, so I just pinned the player to the visible workplace in order to emulate a “separate workspace”. This doesn't really solve a problem, but might be helpful anyway.

  • I'm not sure if the original question asked this exactly, but another question that exactly matches your answer is askubuntu.com/q/126100/7808 - the answer is the same as yours, though. – Robie Basak Aug 14 '14 at 8:19
  • I can testify that i3 supports it, and I believe awesome does as well. – Gordon Gustafson Sep 4 '14 at 1:16
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    +1 because this contains the most relevant answer of today. But it is still really frustrating that none of the standard desktops (KDE, Gnome, etc) supports this really simple feature. – kalj Oct 24 '16 at 14:58

It is possible to archive something similar using nVidia (prop) driver (Ge-Force graphics cards). It is called "TwinView". I only tried it once. You may want to read more here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=221174

I was not able to achieve the same result using an ATI graphics card.

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    When I use twin view on my Asus eee pc 1201n I get one screen with the desktop and another with the desktop background ONLY. and if you look at the workspaces so are they only stretched out! They have put together the resolutions for both screens. I have a similar question. NOT a duplicate. askubuntu.com/questions/27527/… – Alvar Mar 7 '11 at 22:13

I guess what we (or at least I) really want is to get the top & bottom panels on both monitors and have the bottom panel's application tabs only on the corresponding monitor.

Looks like it's not there yet but we can vote for it on ubuntu brainstorm.


This guy has a working xorg.conf for multiple cards multiple desktops using a displaylink usb adapter: http://mulchman.org/blog/?tag=displaylink


In Gnome

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool
sudo gnome-tweaks

in the workspaces tab under "display handling" select "workspaces span displays" which means all the screens to act together. (when you switch on one, others will switch to that workspace as well)

you can select whether all the screens act together or individually to switch between workspaces press ALT + CTRL +UP_ARROW/DOWN_ARROW.

  • 1
    Incorrect, the user requested separate workspace for each screen – Ivan Ivković Sep 5 '19 at 9:12

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