Dual screen in Linux

by Rick Jelliffe

I've just gone dual screen, and after two weeks I cannot imagine going back. Fantastic! Open Office always open on the right screen, Firefox/Thunderbird/Eclipse/Topologi/command shells in the left. This configuration makes it much easier to do research (cutting) in the left and writing (pasting) in the right: it seems to improve the rythm and sponentaity.

I feel noticeably more productive: I think there is some mental effort involved in switching contexts that brings on fatigue early. Plus the writing screen is there always, so if I am working on, say, a seminar and doing my email when a BRILLIANT IDEA strikes me, I can directly ornament the seminar notes then directly continue the email without changing the top application or switching desktops or anything else that requires memory.

I wonder whether there is an accessibility aspect to this: older people have poorer memories and are more confusable, as a stereotype. At least, that is how I feel. Larger screen space, such as multiple screens, reduces the number of things that are active yet hidden.


2006-07-23 08:40:11
Agree completely. Once you've had dual, it's hard to go back.
M. David Peterson
2006-07-23 11:30:53
Just be careful... I started with Dual and now work in a quad configuration with two servers behind me (only one screen for each of those ;) and my laptop always nearby.

In other words... Once you start, you can't stop, and going back to one screen is like tieing both hands behind your back and typing with your nose.

None-the-less, Welcome Rick! (Multi-Screens Anonymous virtual meetings take place each night between 6 and 8 pm GMT. What's nice is you can still be productive on one screen while attending the meeting on the other! (and therefore justification for the meeting in and of itself) ;)

M. David Peterson
2006-07-23 12:21:19
I was 'thumbing through' some pics inside of Picasa and found this one from three or so years back that I believe captures the pure joy of a multi-screen environment. The screens are somewhat hidden, although you can see three of the four poking there faces out in various places :)


2006-07-24 06:54:34
Been using dual 21 inch CRTs at 1600x1200 for a few years and can't go back. Until... I got a 24" Dell LCD screen with 1920x1600 native resolution. The lack of screen borders means I can put windows anywhere, very nice. No configuration nonsense either. X11R6 and OS X both work nicely. Maybe in the future I'll go dual again... with 2x 24" LCDs. :-)
2006-07-24 17:02:39
SOMEONE: I use 2 screens
ME: lame
SOMEONE: it's great to have more pixels and more full-screen
ME: I know
SOMEONE: Why lame then?
ME: I use 3 :-)
2006-07-25 01:53:01
Just FYI, even if you don't have two video cards or dualhead-supported card, you can still enjoy dual-head by xdmx.
Look this: www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/os-mltihed/index.html
2006-07-25 04:28:03
XF86? Do some distros still use that instead of X.org?
2006-07-25 06:28:42
A hint for dual-screeners out there that combines the power of dual screens with the multiple desktops presented by most modern environments.

Windows on the right screen are placed on all desktops, while the windows on the left screen are desktop-context dependent.

This model keeps things approximately organized, and visually speaking, predictable. In my case, Firefox and a few remote-access windows are on the right, while window sets for distinct projects are on the left.

P.S. dual 21.3 inch, 1600x1200, and I cannot go back either...

2006-07-25 10:41:53
dual is great! can also be done easely with nvidia twinview. If you run mepis it's a one click operation using the mepis utilities. Ok maybe 4 clicks, you need to give the specs for the second monitor.
2006-07-25 16:09:26
I've been doing dual-screen on various flavors of Red Hat and SuSE for the last four years. At first I used a dual-head Nvidia card, but I switched over to a dual-head Matrox G550 because the 2D rendering is nicer. I'm using two 17" CRT monitors; that's supposedly the ergonomic ideal. I'm also using anti-glare filters on my monitors. I'm an extremely happy camper.

2006-10-10 12:40:44
I've been using 2 screens for over a year now, and everything you said is absolutely true.
2006-12-20 20:47:29
Can I dual screen to a single wide screen monitor?
Rick Jelliffe
2006-12-21 05:16:59
A guy at work asked why I have two screens. I told him it was because I have two eyes.
2008-04-08 09:49:13
Thanks!!! I had a problem with this case!! :)