When I plug an external monitor into my laptop, the laptop screen is still considered my primary display. Since my laptop is on the right of my external monitor, I now have the Launcher sort of "in the middle".

How do I get the Launcher and the BFB onto my external monitor?

2 Answers 2


currently there is no way to chose which monitor the launcher shows up on. there is an open bug about this issue on launchpad.

  • 1
    Incredible. It took me about 3 seconds to notice, and it actually drove me away from unity, which I wanted to give a chance. I didn’t know that multi-screen setups where so advanced.
    – MPi
    May 2, 2011 at 14:59

There are a couple of workarounds though (including one from the bug Alex mentioned) that worked for me.

Initially, I was using the open source "radeon" driver and this worked:

  • Edit the file ~/.config/monitors.xml
  • You should see configurations listed for both displays. Find the "output" section for the display you want to make primary and look for: <primary>no</primary> and change it to <primary>yes</primary>.
  • Log out of Unity (or reboot) and log back in.

This, however, did not work for me after I switched to the proprietary "fglrx" driver. Thankfully I found another workaround: xrandr

  • run xrandr | grep " connected ". This will give you the names of your connected displays. You should be able to distinguish which display is external from the resolution xrandr reports. In my case it is DPF1.
  • to set DFP1 to primary run: xrandr --output DFP1 --primary
  • 3
    Wished this worked for the nvidia driver. From what I can tell, it implements most of its own procedures. it exports one big monitor to randr
    – dpb
    Apr 29, 2011 at 17:29

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