Thursday, 5 January 2012

Setting up a second monitor as the primary one in Gnome 3 (Ubuntu 11.10))

Gnome 3 (at least under Ubuntu 11.10) seems to have been shipped with a number of features missing. For example:

  1. No easy way to change the screensaver (follow this: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/change-screensaver-ubuntu-1110/).
  2. No out-of-the-box way to change the system fonts (you have to use gnome-tweak-tool)
  3. No out-of-the-box way to change the theme settings (follow this: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/10/how-to-install-gnome-shell-themes-in-ubuntu-11-10/)
For me, the most annoying one is the lack of a user-friendly way to set any second/external monitor as your primary one (i.e. where the Gnome bar/task bar will appear). 

You can set the orientation of the monitors in the settings, and how you want them aligned but that's about it. Here is a screenshot of the Display settings dialogue: 



Long story short, open a terminal and enter the following:

$xrandr --output VGA-0 --primary

Root is not needed. 
If you don't know how your external port is called (VGA-0 in my case), you can press Tab after the "--output" to see the list of interfaces X recognises. Simply replace VGA-0 with what you see fit.

6 comments:

  1. This post saved me a lot of time and grief. Thank you tremendously!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Still works for Ubuntu-Gnome Remix 13.10

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You could just drag the black bar displayed in the "Displays" settings window from one monitor square to the other monitor square.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello sir,
    Thank you very much for sharing the explosion with us. It is extremely useful and informative.
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    ReplyDelete