Linux distro that can work with multiple monitors

fires3as0n

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Hello everyone.

I have been using Linux Mint for a couple of years, and everything was fine until I decided to plug in second monitor, that's when I discovered a lot of severe problems that made me to start thinking about switching back to windows. Here is a list of them:
  1. Apps do not remember which monitor they belong to, so after I put my device/monitors to sleep and then wake up - all applications are on the same monitor and I have to start my day by sorting them back
  2. The same problem is noticed in windows as well but at least it remembers which monitor is set to primary and opens apps there, while Linux Mint just puts them onto the leftmost one.
  3. Looks like Mint does not distinguish between primary/secondary monitor at all, because it just opens everything on the left, even code completion pop-ups in IDE! - that it absolutely insane.
  4. There is no "sticky cursor" option that prevents mouse cursor to accidently leave current monitor - a useful feature that is available to windows users via 3rd party utility.
Items 2-3 make it absolutely unusable, the only hack I found to prevent this is to put the leftmost monitor to be logically at bottom, not at the left, but I think such a workarounds must not be necessary to work with a descent operating system

I am sure a lot of people have 2 monitors and there should be a solution to that, maybe another desktop environment rather than Cinnamon or another Lunix distro, rather than Mint, has a better support for several monitors setup. I wonder if any what which one.

Thank you.

photo_2021-04-21_17-14-42.jpg
 


dos2unix

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Well, it isn't a problem for some Linux's.
What video card are you using? How much video RAM?
What resolutions are you trying to support?

1619015603213.png
 
Last edited:

fires3as0n

New Member
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Well, it isn't a problem for some Linux's.
What video card are you using? How much video RAM?
What resolutions are you trying to support?

View attachment 9126
I am sorry, but I don't see any relation between how OS treats secondary monitor and PC video card RAM.
But if you want, let's imagine I have integrated intel video card and 2 full HD monitors.
 

Tolkem

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maybe another desktop environment rather than Cinnamon
Yes, I suggest you try another DE rather than a different distro. In my experience, the two DEs that handle 2+ monitors/screens better are XFCE and KDE Plasma, I can recommend the latter since that's the one I currently use and it is possible to mark one monitor as the primary, I don't remember whether XFCE has such an option too.
 

dos2unix

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I am sorry, but I don't see any relation between how OS treats secondary monitor and PC video card RAM.
But if you want, let's imagine I have integrated intel video card and 2 full HD monitors.
total number of pixels x color depth bits = how much video RAM you need.

Two 4k monitors running 32 bit color, take a LOT more video RAM than 2 1k monitors running
in 8bit or 16bit color mode. Some video cards won't support it.

MATE also works well with multiple monitors.
 

Condobloke

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G'day fires3ason, Welcome to Linux.org

You are running Linux Mint.....which version ?...18.3?...etc
 

fires3as0n

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Yes, I suggest you try another DE rather than a different distro. In my experience, the two DEs that handle 2+ monitors/screens better are XFCE and KDE Plasma, I can recommend the latter since that's the one I currently use and it is possible to mark one monitor as the primary, I don't remember whether XFCE has such an option too.
Is it possible to install KDE alongside with Cinnamon? I use my laptop for work and I just can not reinstall the operating system, because If my data gets erased it will take me a long time to set everything back.
 

Tolkem

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Is it possible to install KDE alongside with Cinnamon? I use my laptop for work and I just can not reinstall the operating system, because If my data gets erased it will take me a long time to set everything back.
I don't use Mint, but I guess it is as long as it is in the repos. You can install it with
Code:
sudo apt-get install --install-no-recommends kde-plasma-desktop
or if you want the full KDE thing, just omit the --install-no-recommends part. I'd also recommend creating a new user for KDE, to avoid messing with your cinnamon settings. Lastly, you might want to check out this distro https://www.q4os.org/ it ships with KDE and is pretty fast. Also, you can choose to install a minimal, basic or full profile. I use it an HP notebook that has only 2 GB of RAM and works great.
 

fires3as0n

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I launched software manager and searched for "KDE Desktop". Then installed it, rebooted and on the user login screen I now have the ability to select what DE to use.

KDE.png


Yes it messed up some of the Cinnamon settings (Like changed the default cursor) but it is still usable. And multiple desktops work fine with KDE. As for me I find cinnamon more configurable though (especially when talking about panels).

But the most interesting thing is that looks like multiple monitors now work fine with the Cinnamon as well. At least menus are opening on the correct monitor, compared to the screenshot I provided earlier. Maybe this is because of I just restarted the PC - I don't know.

Anyway now I know that i can try different DE in Linux quite easily - this is a great feature indeed.
And also looks like I can finally work with several monitors!

Thank you @Tolkem for your help. If I will find what the magic happened (or the bug will return) - I will update this thread, as for now I am just happy.
 

Tolkem

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Glad you sorted it out :)
Yes it messed up some of the Cinnamon settings (Like changed the default cursor) but it is still usable.
Yeah, that's why I suggested you to create a new user just for KDE so it started with a new fresh profile you could customize to your liking, you can still do it. Plasma's great and very customizable, it might seem a bit overwhelming at first due to the number of settings, but once you find your way around it, it's a walk in the park.
Anyway now I know that i can try different DE in Linux quite easily - this is a great feature indeed.
It is indeed a great feature, but don't get "over-excited" about it, as you just learned some DEs might mess with other's settings; change the theme in some apps, cursors, etc. More so if they use different libraries, i.e. KDE uses QT and Cinnamon GTK. I think, if you're going to try different desktops, create a new user for each, so they use their own settings. This way you make sure everything works as expected plus you'll experience the DE in a cleaner way. You can always port those settings you need/use the most from one DE to another.
 

kc1di

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Mint dropped it's developement of KDE about 2 or 3 years ago. though as you have found you can install it. It depends on Kubuntu backports for updates. You may be better off eventually backing up your important data and install a KDE concentric distro in the future. Neon, Kubuntu or other.
Good luck.
 
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