I use Ubuntu 12.04 on a Toshiba Portege R600. Normally I have a flat green background (the middle choice of the custom set under wallpapers in the right-mouse-click GUI).
When I plug in a VGA monitor for two-screen usage the background on that and on the laptop screen go black. They remain black after I unplug the monitor and give the command:
xrandr --output LVDS1 --auto --output VGA1 --off
Is there a trick to maintain the green blackground, at least on the laptop screen, or at least regain it automatically on the laptop screen?