Control bar and multiple displays

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Sat Jan 3 09:48:18 GMT 2015

Sebastian Be├čler posted on Fri, 02 Jan 2015 19:34:00 +0100 as excerpted:

> I have 3 display setup on my laptop with a control bar on every display.
> This works great as long as all displays are connected but when I use
> only the laptop without the 2 other displays then all control bars are
> moved to the remaining display.
> Is there anything that can be done about it?

Unfortunately, no direct help, but a few comments...

FWIW, I believe those "control bars" you refer to are "panels" in common 
desktop terminology.  That could be of help googling...

It's generally helpful to know what versions of kde and plasma (the 
desktop/panel app) you are running, and how long (since version X) the 
problem has been occurring.  The distro you run can also be helpful.

FWIW, here I'm running gentoo with kde 4.14.3 with plasma 4.11.14, also 
with three monitors, but it's a home system with the monitors generally 
remaining attached and in the same configuration, so I don't have the 
same issue you do.

That said, since before kde4 I've always had issues with kde and multiple 
monitors.  If I try to use kde's display management, the order of the 
monitors gets scrambled and I have a terrible time getting things back in 
order.  What's even worse, kwin (the kde window manager) and plasma (the 
desktop) seem to have entirely different ideas about what order the 
monitors appear, so it's not as simple as simply changing what cables 
plug into which monitors, as it could be if kwin and plasma agreed on 

Fortunately, I've been able to work around that problem here by 
configuring xorg to the desired layout.  KDE (both kwin and plasma) will 
use that when xorg/kde starts, and I only have problems if I let kde's 
own managers try to handle things.  Recently I upgraded one of the 
monitors, and with the new one, if I leave the system idle for long 
enough to blank and turn off the monitors, when I turn them back on, the 
new one apparently triggers a new-monitor-plugged event.  I had switched 
from the original kde4 handling via krandr to kscreen, and I had to 
switch back, as kscreen would immediately scramble monitor order, while 
at least krandr asks and I can tell it no, I DON'T want it handling and 
therefore messing up my displays!

So while I don't have the same issue with kde/plasma and multiple 
monitors, I obviously have other issues with them.

But AFAIK, having all the panels relocate to the active monitor when 
others aren't available is the way things are supposed to work.

I *REALLY* wish panels had been part of plasma's activities, as that 
would solve your problem and another one of mine (needing the ability to 
switch panels on and off).  Unfortunately, in plasma for kde4, only the 
desktops themselves are part of activities, with panels remaining the 
same regardless of activity chosen, thus making it impossible to simply 
configure activities with the panels one wishes and to switch activities 
to switch active panels.

Oh, well, kde4 isn't getting much more than minimal support these days, 
with the focus now on kde5/frameworks and plasma-next. (I'm not sure what 
the plasma versions are corresponding to kde5/frameworks, they were 
calling it plasma2 for awhile...)  Hopefully the panels are part of kde5/
frameworks/plasma's activities, and when we upgrade, we can both simply 
configure separate activities with the panels we want and switch 
activities if we need to, to get the panels we want.

As to kde5, I've actually tried kde5/frameworks and the corresponding 
plasma here (twice so far), but either its kwin doesn't seem to like my 
Radeon turks (hd6670 or some such, I forgot and xorg and the kernel 
simply call it turks) graphics card with the freedomware kernel/mesa/xorg 
graphics stack, or there's some other reason it kept crashing on me.  
Whatever it was, that pretty much put an end to my experiments, and since 
it's about impossible to have the still working kde4 and the broken kde5 
installed on the same machine at the same time, it's not like I could 
keep kde5 around and keep experimenting -- I had to remove it and put kde4 
back to get a working system again.

It's about time to try it again one of these days, but I've been working 
more hours recently and haven't had the time.  Maybe now that the 
holidays are over things will slow down a bit and I'll get the time to 
try it.

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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