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New KScreen Supplies Some Magic For Multi-Monitor Linux Set-Ups 183

Posted by timothy
from the more-magic-always-welcome dept.
An anonymous reader points out developer Àlex Fiestas's work on multiple monitor configuration for Linux. In particular, the screen manager that he and Dan Vrátil are working on — KScreen — gives KDE users a utility "making the configuration of monitors either auto-magical or super simple." This is one thing that's certainly gotten much better in recent years for Linux GUI users in general, but the video in the linked post makes me a little envious — another good reason to swap desktops once in a while.
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New KScreen Supplies Some Magic For Multi-Monitor Linux Set-Ups

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  • When I was a kid... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @02:05PM (#42405055)

    The first time I ran X on my home computer, I had to call Diamond to get the timings for my SpeedStar card so I could calculate the correct values to put in my xconfig file. And the person who answered the phone knew exactly what I needed, flipped thru a binder, and read off the numbers.

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      Ah the days of calculating modelines by hand and messing with pixel clocks and freqs. Count yourself lucky you got the information so easily!
      • by rev0lt (1950662)
        At least when it DIDN'T work, you didn't get a blank screen - the festive white (or black) smoke that would come out of the VDU were a good sign that something went wrong.
  • Suggestion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tailhook (98486) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @02:16PM (#42405139)

    A suggestion to the developers. Please allow for degenerate cases. I deal with a set of old, specialized, practically irreplaceable displays that cannot produce DPMS data. In the past I've suffered with embedded displays that produce completely inaccurate DPMS data.

    Allow the operator a means to manually override whatever display parameters your software obtains (probably via xrandr) from the operating system. The display parameters are often bogus and must be corrected.

    • Re:Suggestion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jmc23 (2353706) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @03:28PM (#42405677) Journal
      Your suggestion to deal with rare cases for old displays would probably be better received if it was sent to the developers along with a donation.
      • by s.petry (762400)

        I very much agree with you!

        [rant] I tire pretty quickly of the rants against KDE (and any other "Free" software for that reason) because someones one off, special case, old shit does not work. Usually that's followed by "KDE sucks because my special case bullshit works in Unity/Gnome/Xfce, etc..".

        Here is a suggestion for people. If you have old special case bullshit, even if you paid a million dollars for it 15 years ago, go buy some new stuff.. or don't have the expectation that a new operating system

        • by Shotgun (30919)

          No. Expecting your software to work on all hardware out of the box is not sensible or logical.

          Protocols get modified, misinterpreted, corrupted, or just plain screwed up by bad programmers. Anticipating this is called "validating input". Your program did not generate the data, therefore it is input, and you should provide some method for it to be validated, overridden or ignored. I work in software QA and I tire quickly of developers assuming that data derived from external sources is somehow sacrosanct

    • by coats (1068)
      And put in correct support for all the KDE-bugs associated with xrandr --panning !!

      I'm not running "old hardware" and all these KDE bugs, due to developers making incorrect X assumptions instead of actually knowing what they're doing, are the last thing keeping me from running KDE4.

      FWIW.

  • by gQuigs (913879) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @02:16PM (#42405147) Homepage

    Basically..
      * it will remember what you configuration was used with that monitor
      * when you close your laptop it will go to the native resolution of the attached screen

    I don't even know how new those are, but I've never personally used (or noticed) either of them before...

    Everything else, I've been using succesfully since I started using laptops on both Windows and Linux.

  • How about doing it with 3,4,5, or 6 screens?
  • by hgesser (605301) <h.g.esser@[ ].de ['gmx' in gap]> on Thursday December 27, 2012 @03:22PM (#42405623) Homepage

    The article says: "This is one thing that's certainly gotten much better in recent years for Linux GUI users in general..." -- I cannot agree. While connecting a beamer to a notebook is simpler today, support for multiple monitors (of a desktop machine) is far from where it was some years ago. For years I had been able to disable the (default) Xinerama options, so I could have two separate instances of (e.g. KDE 3) running on both screens. That allowed me for example to stay on virtual desktop 1 on the left monitor and cycle through my virtual desktops on the right monitor. (Imagine lots of data sources on the right screen and some application I use to combine stuff on the left monitor; I want to switch desktops without the left monitor changing its content). This is still possible today, but it's a lot harder and depends on what kind of graphics card you use. Granted, my old way required knowledge of the xorg.conf syntax, but once it was finished it gave me maximum configurability. Last time I checked, KDE 4 wasn't able to start two instances on :0.0 and :0.1 properly which is why I'm still using KDE 3 (a.k.a. "Trinity" today).
    Hans-Georg

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