Mapping physical screens to KDE containments

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at
Fri Apr 15 02:59:16 BST 2016

On 11 April 2016 at 12:42, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at> wrote:
> Hi folks,
> Using a multi-monitor setup under Plasma 5 (Fedora 23), I have a
> problem where the configured panel applet will disappear and not come
> back if an external monitor is reconfigured to clone the laptop
> monitor, and then switched back to being an independent screen.
> In trying to debug that, the relevant config files seem to be
> .config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc and
> .config/plasmashellrc, but those are defined in terms of containments
> rather than screens, and I haven't been able to figure out where the
> mapping from screen -> containment can be found.

I don't know if there's a more elegant way to do it, but I came up
with a mechanism that worked for me: I ran "git init" in ~/.config so
I could more easily see what settings were changing as I moved panels
around, and used the following approach to try manual edits on the
config file:

    killall plasmashell
    <edit files>
    kstart plasmashell

(Kudos for making that work without bothering any of the already open
windows, by the way - very cool)

What that showed me was that the setting I actually wanted was the
"lastScreen=N" one in the base containment definition - containment 87
& 124 were my original panel definitions, but they'd ended up both
being on the same screen.

Armed with that info, I've commented on a couple of existing bug
reports that now seem relevant:

Panels incorrectly jumping between monitors:
Inability to open panels on non-primary monitor:


P.S. I know the underlying multiple monitor support in X11 is pretty
terrible, so it wouldn't shock me to learn that this won't be 100%
reliable until after Wayland is usable as the default display server

Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at   |   Brisbane, Australia
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