How to setup dual monitor in kde?

Juan Pablo Romero Méndez jpablo.romero at
Fri May 25 13:27:23 BST 2012

I usually use nvidia-settings (which needs to be run as root, so it can
write to the config file). But that only works if you have an nvidia card,
of course :-/

  Juan Pablo

2012/5/24 Duncan <1i5t5.duncan at>

> Marcelo Magno T. Sales posted on Thu, 24 May 2012 08:53:15 -0300 as
> excerpted:
> > Hello,
> >
> > I would like to extend my desktop to my second monitor. KDE defaults to
> > clone the image of the main monitor on the secondary monitor.
> > I can setup the desktop the way I want, with the secondary monitor above
> > the primary one, using KDE System Settings. However, this setup does not
> > survive a reboot and every time I turn on the computer, I have to setup
> > the desktop again.
> > Is there a way to make the dual monitors configuration to stick using
> > KDE's GUI tools or do I need to create a xorg.conf file and edit it
> > manually?
> > I'm running Kubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin).
> I was debating where in-thread to post, but decided to punt and start a
> new top-level sub-thread...
> Most direct answer:  Try starting krandrtray, and setting it to start
> with kde.  AFAIK, that's the bit that actually applies the default
> display profile on kde startup, so if it's not started with kde, you
> won't get the display profile applied.
> (Depending on what you have the kde session manager set to do, it may
> simply restart krandrtray if it was running when kde was last shutdown,
> or you may have to add it to the memorized session that's restarted, or
> you can set krandrtray in the autostart configuration.  I have mine there
> but have it disabled as I don't need it, normally.)
> Meanwhile, keep in mind that it was only with kde 4.4 or 4.5 that kde
> display settings actually started working.  They had never worked at all,
> since they were introduced back in the kde3 era, for many users, and at
> one point in IIRC kde 4.3, just opening the applet (via either kcontrol
> or krandrtray) would seriously screw up the display, just opening it, not
> even changing anything or hitting apply!  You had to really be careful
> browsing kcontrol (aka kde settings) not to hit that applet, during that
> period!
> Even now, kde's display setting ability is limited to a small subset of
> xrandr.  Setting a larger desktop than display, with configurable
> panning, isn't properly supported, for instance, let alone keystoning,
> etc.
> As a result, many users had to use other display setup methods, xorg.conf
> (now a file in xorg.conf.d) as I do for my X startup config, xrandr
> scripts as I use to handle resolution switching while keeping the larger
> desktop and enabling panning, etc.  Since they already had that setup and
> working, many people prefer to continue using those solutions to the
> rather limited solution kde offers, even if kde's solution isn't as
> horribly broken as it used to be, especially because once you've seen the
> flexibility of the other solutions, kde's solution remains quite limited
> in comparison.
> Meanwhile, addressing the poster (bjorn.ballard) who asked (essentially)
> about the possibility of saving both a laptop-only and a laptop-plus-
> external profile, while that has been discussed and multiple display
> profile support is planned for the future, AFAIK, it's not available in
> current kde.  There's currently only a single profile stored, and storing
> a second one erases the first.
> So for displays that come and go, if you're using the internal when you
> use the external too, you could try setting it up in xorg.conf.d, which
> if it's missing the one, will just setup the one it has, and it'll still
> work with both if X is started with both.  (That should also work with
> multiple external displays, BTW, as long as X can tell them apart.  It
> will just configure the ones it sees when it starts, and ignore the
> others.)
> Alternatively (as nowardev suggested), setup some xrandr scripts and
> simply call the one you want to setup the config you want.  That should
> work for hotplugged monitors too, while the xorg.conf option only works
> (for now, they're working on it...) when you start X.
> What I'd do (umm, actually have done...) is setup xorg.conf so it gets it
> right for what I have plugged in when it starts, with xrandr scripts that
> I can invoke if I want to change the setup while X is running.
> --
> 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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