Display Configuration in KDE-Workspace 4.7.1

In my way home from work, talking with ereslibre we concluded that would be awesome if I could fix the current “KRandR” code before starting to work on new one. With the “adrenaline boost” still in my blood I sat down and started to work on it.

After a few days of working, I’m pleased to announce that for KDE-Workspace 4.7.1 the “Screen/Display/Whatever configuration” has been hugely improve, all bug fix though but now it even seems to work!

The bugs I’ve fixed are hard to explain with words but I’m going to try anyway:


  • Won’t react on external changes (won’t force its configuration)
  • Will update the menu (If you remove the VGA cable, VGA won’t appear)
  • Will show disconnected outputs as disconnected in the popup)
Configuration Dialog (KCM):
  • “Unify Output” option has been added (aka you will get always the expected behavior)
  • Preview/Options will update on external changes
Maybe I ‘m forgetting something… but more or less that’s it.
And like almost always, the mandatory video explaining the bug fixes, comparing KDE Workspace 4.6.5 and 4.7.1:

Direct Link

I hope you like it, and stay tuned if you’re interested on “XRandR” support, because more is to come.
  • http://gravatar.com/kyriakosbrastianos kyriakos

    Great news Alex!

  • Sven

    Good to see that somebody is working on the xrandr stuff!

    Do I have to run krandrtray to get notifications about “display configuration has changed”, i.e. display (un-)plugging events?

    Also the kcm GUI did not update when the configuration changed either, i.e. while it is open. And when one applies new settings the “do you want to keep these settings” is displayed on the external, i.e. new display. Worse – if one does not accept the changes the old settings are not restored but half of the screen is black.

    There do exist bug reports for these, yet I’m not sure whether they are really only xrandr issues but also related to kwin. Certainly kwin related is that newly opened windows are not put on the primary display but the external.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      No, you don’t have to have KRandrTray running.
      the KCM will update its contents now (it is listed on the fixes)

      I will try to fix the “do you want to keep these…” by putting it in both display, but I can’t promess anything

      About the KWin fix, it is kinda fixed for 4.7.X (if the patch is accepted), and will be properly fixed for 4.8

  • STiAT

    Great news :-). This always has been a bit messy, great that you try to fix this stuff, since I think that can annoy users a lot.

  • http://pvande.wyngaer.de pvandewyngaerde

    thanks a lot.
    this will make it a lot easier to get a projector to work too I guess.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas


  • mutlu

    Wow! Thank you so much for these fixes. After the last post on KRandr I thought all the issues I am running into were fixed, but I realized there were a few more. :P And now you took care of them! This is awesome! :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407022320 Ximena

      A fantastic artlcie, I just passed this onto a fellow worker who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner because I found it for him . So let me rephrase that: Thank you for the treat! But yeah Thanks for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and enjoy reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this artlcie!

  • Med

    Thanks for these fixes! This is exactly the kind of thing KDE needs, polish. I love polish!
    Regarding the half black laptop screen you get at some point, i get the exact same problem most of the time when i unplug the external screen without deactivating the output first (which happens a lot at conferences, there is no time for this). I assume it is a bug in the driver/xrandr but i have not looked into it.

  • parena

    Hi! I’ve never followed this multidisplay stuf, as I only have my PC. However, I hope to replace the PC with a 15.6″ laptop to serve as my home machine, as well. It saves space, etc, etc. But, I want to use my 22″ screen as the main screen, of course. Through the years, I’ve heard nothing but pain and agony about KDE (or desktop environments in general?) when it comes to multiple displays. Exactly what is possible these days (or rather, with your fixes)? For me it would probably be a very simple setup: have less used windows like chats and such on the laptop screen and the main work on the bigger display. It seems you had something like that going. How does this then work with multiple desktops? Are the 2 screens together just 1 big desktop? How does ALT-TAB work between the displays? As you can see, I don’t have much of a clue, yet. So any pointer to a location where it’s all or mostly gathered would be great.

    And apart from all that: thanks in name of those who use it or want to use it, for making it work better. :)

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      You can basically choose how alt+tab behaves, but yss in my case wich is the default both screens act as one, test it!

  • anton

    your embedded video kills konqueror on planetkde: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=227837

  • http://martys.typepad.com Marty K.

    Now I just wish that the crappy nvidia binary blob would actually support XRandR :/

    Btw. thanks Alex for your work!

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      We all hope that…

  • Beat Wolf

    Great! multiscreen support really needs some love, and you have no idea how much your work is appreciated!

  • Ralf

    This is great, thanks a lot! When I encountered the KRandR brokenness, I already thought it was caused by the proprietary ATI driver, and/or none of the KDE developers actually using a changing screen setup (like, a laptop that’s used at home with a TFT, and at university without it… this can’t be that uncommon, can it?).
    I’m definitely going to try that again when I got KDE 4.7 :)

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      This fixed will be available only in 4.7.1 :/ sorry

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  • Antonio

    Great work! It’s really nice seeing that multi-screen configuration is getting some needed love :)

    Just one question: is the configuration with the external monitor being remembered/saved?
    It would be a really nice feature to have our setup remembered since we could use the screen SerialNo to store/remember each particular multi-screen setup.

    Anyway, great work!

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      it won’t for 4.7 but it will for 4.8.

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  • Rajendra Thakur

    I am a scientist working in CSIR-CSMCRI India, India and trying to switch to kubuntu on my office as well as home desktop. The trouble is currently at home desktop where I used my 19 inch LCD TV as monitor. The trouble is that with the default high resolution setting of (close to 1440 x 900 for aspect ratio of 16:9: can’t remember exactly), screen is displaced by few cm towards left side. Another mode of 4:3 aspect ratio allow proper display of the screen. I was not allowed to displace the screen by the krandr system settings.
    Another piece of information is that even xp with drivers from asus motherboard had the same problem and some horizontal displacement of display was needed for correction.

    I was confused about where and how to report the matter. Here I saw somebody talking about krandr and thought it as a platform for discussion.

  • Amnon Harel

    Thanks for working on these issues.
    A feature which is really bothering me, having switched from linux inside windows as a virtual box to windows inside linux, is that I can’t save the monitor configuration, except as “default”. I want the default to be laptop only, but there are 2 or 3 locations where I often work with their typical monitor setups. If this feature, of storing and loading named configurations, is really missing, I hope you find the time to add it. And if it’s not missing, it won’t be the first time I failed to find the feature I want :-(