Connecting new screens

Plasma's new screen layout selection dialog
Plasma’s new screen layout selection dialog
This week, Dan Vratil and me have merged a new feature in KScreen, Plasma’s screen configuration tool. Up until now, when plugging in a new display (a monitor, beamer or TV, for example), Plasma would automatically extend the desktop area to include this screen. In many cases, this is expected behavior, but it’s not necessarily clear to the user what just happened. Perhaps the user would rather want the new screen on the other side of the current, clone the existing screen, switch over to it or perhaps not use it at all at this point.
The new behavior is to now pop up a selection on-screen display (OSD) on the primary screen or laptop panel allowing the user to pick the new configuration and thereby make it clear what’s happening. When the same display hardware is plugged in again at a later point, this configuration is remembered and applied again (no OSD is shown in that case).
Another change-set which we’re about to merge is to pop up the same selection dialog when the user presses the display button which can be found on many laptops. This has been nagging me for quite a while since the display button switched screen configuration but provided very little in the way of visual feedback to the user what’s happening, so it wasn’t very user-friendly. This new feature will be part of Plasma 5.13 to be released in June 2018.

10 thoughts on “Connecting new screens

  1. Will there be a way to manage known displays through the display KCM, e.g. to remove a remembered display?

  2. Does this mean there will also be better handling when a screen is disconnected? Current behaviour is that panels and windows on said screen are ‘lost’ (windows you can move back to a working screen with some difficulty, panels you cannot). Workaround is to move everything out of the screens that are to be unplugged before unplugging (which kinda misses the point of hotplug/unplug :).

    Everything is back where it’s supposed to be if you re-plug the screens though.

    1. that’s interesting, my Windows are moving to the only remaining screen when I disconnect the internal monitor, so nothing is lost for me. Can’t say anything about panels as I have none on the external screen.

      Are you using the proprietary nvidia driver by any chance? If so you might want to experiment with the multiple ways you can configure multi screen, for example

      https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NVIDIA#Multiple_monitors

      I suspect in your case the virtual size of the screen is not resize correctly, so Plasma and Kwin are still thinking there is a screen there. You can double check running xrandr.

      Also note I use Intel driver.

  3. I second the previous question. Also would be nice if there was an “always ask” option, in case the user always want to be explicit.

  4. […] This week, Dan Vratil and me have merged a new feature in KScreen, Plasma’s screen configuration tool. Up until now, when plugging in a new display (a monitor, beamer or TV, for example), Plasma would automatically extend the desktop area to include this screen. In many cases, this is expected behavior, but it’s not necessarily clear to the user what just happened. Perhaps the user would rather want the new screen on the other side of the current, clone the existing screen, switch over to it or perhaps not use it at all at this point.The new behavior is to now pop up a selection on-screen display (OSD) on the primary screen or laptop panel allowing the user to pick the new configuration and thereby make it clear what’s happening. When the same display hardware is plugged in again at a later point, this configuration is remembered and applied again (no OSD is shown in that case).Another change-set which we’re about to merge is to pop up the same selection dialog when the user presses the display button which can be found on many laptops. This has been nagging me for quite a while since the display button switched screen configuration but provided very little in the way of visual feedback to the user what’s happening, so it wasn’t very user-friendly. This new feature will be part of Plasma 5.13 to be released in June 2018.Original Post […]

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