I'm running a dual monitor setup, with one of the monitors most of the time in standby, but connected (it's a TV). It works fine if both are turned on, but when the monitor is in Standby mode some windows still open on that screen. Where I can't see the window to select it and drag it back to the correct screen.

As I'm running Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity, I can't select the invisible windows either, because the Unity Launcher only shows application windows on the current screen/workspace?

What I can do however is use Alt+Tab to select the window and then drag it back with alt+f7. But this is quite a hassle if you have to do it with a lot of windows. Sometimes I resort to just pulling the cable from the back of my pc, which does move all the screens into the correct screen.

So is it possible to:

  1. Make the Windows open on the screen that is actually on and not just connected in Standby mode.

  2. Make unity show all windows in the launcher (I don't even have the launcher enabled on the second screen?).

  3. Have a shortcut to move the screens back to the correct screen in one go.

I have an ATI graphics card with proprietary drivers and the always on screen is the primary screen.


P.S. output of xrandr:

DisplayPort-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DisplayPort-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-0 connected 1920x1080+1920+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DVI-0 connected primary 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
  • I don't think this is possible. The machine doesn't know that the monitor is on standby, it sees it as connected and acts accordingly. Why don't you just turn the monitor off and switch it on when you want to use it?
    – terdon
    May 11, 2014 at 15:27
  • The on/off buttons on the tv just put it in standby mode, the only way to completely turn it off, is to physically pull the power plug, which is behind the tv mounted to the wall.
    – Minos
    May 11, 2014 at 15:46
  • Ah, OK. In that case, please edit your question and show the output of xrandr and I can give you a command to turn it on/off.
    – terdon
    May 11, 2014 at 16:03
  • added the output, although it doesn't keep the newlines, but the important one is HDMI-0 that's the one in standby mode.
    – Minos
    May 11, 2014 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Based on your (truncated, I think) xrandr output, this command will turn the screen off:

xrandr --output HDMI-0 --off 

And this one will turn it back on:

xrandr --output HDMI-0 --mode 1920x1080 --right-of DVI-0

Test them and if they do indeed turn the screen on and off correctly, assign a shortcut to each of them and you'll be able to turn them on/off at will.

  • I just got round to testing it and it works great, thanks! I have corrected a slight mistake in the command though. The option was --off instead of just off. Thanks again, this is just what I needed!
    – Minos
    May 23, 2014 at 10:31
  • @Minos yes, it is indeed --off sorry, and thanks for the edit!
    – terdon
    May 23, 2014 at 10:32

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