Spread desktop on television

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Sat May 7 14:45:59 BST 2011

Nathan BIAGINI posted on Sat, 07 May 2011 14:00:02 +0200 as excerpted:

> I'm using the latest version of KDE i think (the one which is provided
> with Debian Squeeze)

That says nothing to this Gentoo user...

FWIW, the latest KDE is version 4.6.3, just out Friday.  However, the 4.6 
series has been a bit problematic.  You may be better off with 4.5.5 or 
possibly 4.6.0, than with the newer 4.6.1 thru 4.6.3.  But YMMV as they 

To figure out your current kde version, check the help, about kde, menu 
option in pretty much any kde app.

> and i would like to show my desktop on a
> television. So i was wondering how can i do it with KDE?
> How can i set output and input signal etc... to respect the television
> restriction?

> I have also found the 'Multiple monitors' menu but :
> 'This module is only for configuring systems with a single desktop
> spread across multiple monitors. You do not appear to have this
> configuration.'

The multiple monitors kcontrol applet only activates /after/ you have the 
second monitor up and running.

What you would ordinarily want instead is the Size and Orientation kcontrol 
applet.  You may also find the krandrtray system tray applet useful.  

However, depending on your TV and graphics hardware, these may not be able 
to detect or activate the TV, especially if it's an old-style analog TV -- 
an HDMI or DVI digitally connected TV is far more likely to be detected 
and "just work".  Additionally, if you run proprietary drivers such as 
those available from nvidia and amd/ati, you may not have the normal randr 
based setup, as they tend to be slow about adopting such things, and would 
probably use their proprietary tools shipped with the drivers, instead.

If the kde tools aren't working (and you aren't running proprietary or old 
xorg drivers without randr support), you can try xrandr, in a terminal 
window (konsole or xterm or the like).  It's an xorg CLI based app, 
meaning you'll probably need to study its manpage to figure out the 
various command-line options you'll need, but it's more flexible than the 
kde graphical tools, and often works where they won't.  A simple "xrandr" 
should spit out the outputs it sees and their status, however.

If that too fails, you may need a customized xorg configuration.  Again, 
this is far more likely with old analog TVs or legacy analog connections 
to digital TVs, and possibly with proprietary drivers.  If you find 
yourself in this situation (and it's not due to proprietary drivers), post 
a reply with a few more details on xorg version, graphics driver, kernel 
version, etc, and I may be able to help further.  But I don't do 
proprietary (see my sig for why), so if you're using those drivers, you'll 
probably have to find help elsewhere.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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