I use a large monitor as primary and laptop screen as secondary. Is it possible to move the launcher to my big monitor or do I have to turn off my laptop monitor?

  • "Monitor Preferences" (Launcher search -> "Monitors") does not have a way to set the default/primary monitor.
  • nvidia-settings which I just installed says "You do not appear to be using the NVDIA X driver. Please edit your X configuration file (just run nvidia-xconfig as root), and restart the X server.
    • sudo nvidia-xconfig says sudo: nvidia-xconfig: command not found.
  • I guess I don't have an AMD driver because I don't have "AMD Catylist Control Center" in the launcher search.

Launcher placement can be achieved via System Settings -> Displays or via command line.

GUI way

Under System Settings -> Displays find the Launcher placement option

enter image description here

Command line way

The placement is determined by two things:

  1. Which monitor is the primary ?
  2. What value is set in /org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/unityshell/num-launchers dconf schema.

The dconf schema is very easy. Value 1 indicates one launcher, value 2 indicates multiple launchers (i.e., place it on all screens) . You can alter that with

dconf write /org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/unityshell/num-launchers INT` 


gsettings set org.compiz.unityshell:/org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/unityshell/ num-launchers INT

where INT is either 0 or 1.

The xrandr command will tell you what monitors are connected and what is your current primary screen. It will also allow setting and unsetting that with --primary flag.

$ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 2390 x 768, maximum 32767 x 32767
eDP1 connected 1366x768+1024+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 345mm x 194mm
   1366x768       60.0*+
   1360x768       59.8     60.0  
   1024x768       60.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        59.9  
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
VGA1 connected primary 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
   1024x768       60.0* 
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   848x480        60.0  
   640x480        59.9  
VIRTUAL1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

In the output above I have my external VGA1 screen set as primary , hence launcher will show up there.

For instance, if I wanted to use my build-in monitor as primary, then

xrandr --output eDP1 --primary --right-of VGA1   

And the launcher will jump from left screen ( VGA1 ) to my right screen, while preserving the layout.

For more info, read xrandr and dconf man pages.

| improve this answer | |
  • Better suggest gsettings rather then writing to dconf directly. – Jacob Vlijm May 1 '16 at 21:48

The launcher shows up on whichever is your primary/default monitor. You should be able to configure this in the Monitor settings (click the BFB or press Super, then type in monitors). Or, if your computer has an nvidia driver, you should install nvidia-settings and use that.

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  • 1
    How exactly do you make the external monitor the primary monitor? – Flimm May 25 '11 at 21:28

If you have an AMD driver, the following worked for me:

  1. Super
  2. AMD Catylist Control Center (Administrative)
  3. Multi Display Options --> Single Display (Multi Desktop)
| improve this answer | |
  • @George it AMD Catylist Control Center isn't necessarily installed by default. – David LeBauer May 24 '11 at 21:56

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