KScreen 0.1-alpha released !

We are really glad to announce the first release of KScreen, the new way of managing screens in Plasma Desktop !

This release comes with two main components, the System Settings module which will let you configure and arrange your screens in any way you desire, and the KDED module which will remember and restore configurations whenever it is needed.

We have decided to release now since we have fixed pretty much all the bugs reported by our early adopters (special thanks and hugs to them) so we feel that it is about time we let power users test it so we can fix any bug that may still exists.

The System Settings module:

KScreen System Settings module from Àlex Fiestas on Vimeo.


The KDED (magic) Module:

New KDE Screen Management from Àlex Fiestas on Vimeo.

You can download tarballs from:



We asked packagers to fill this wiki page with instructions of how to install KScreen in their distributions, so far only Kubuntu and Arch did it :/ so ask your distribution to create packages for it !

  • nikos

    Thank you for your work.
    About putting one screen in frond of the other: Seems non discoverable. One monitor hides the others controls. I propose a separate button for mirror view.

    • Joe

      I absolutely agree.

    • jk

      yes, clone monitor feature is not discoverable, better to find another solution on kde-usability mailing list since we are in an alpha stage.. we want morel qtquick UI in system settings! :)
      thank you guys!

  • Thomas Pfeiffer

    Chakra already offers packages as well (no, it is not Arch ;) )

  • STiAT

    Will for sure test, but I guess my kubuntu mirror is not yet in sync :).

  • fasd

    I’m sorry but this is not so intuitive as you think. Moving around sure, rotating icon ok, choosing resolution not so much – I would suspect to see list of resolutions right there, not under button. Cloning thing is completely not intuitive! I don’t know how much time it would take me to think about dragging one screen to another (especially when old system didn’t allow that). I don’t want to know what curses will fell out from mouth of a regular user. It’s nice but it’s more like a tablet GUI, it should be more like a DESKTOP GUI because it is a desktop.

    Any than that awesome work and it’s real improvement for many people to have easily adjustable multiple displays. Thanks.

    • Snow

      I’m inclined to Fasd, the cloning feature is not as intuitive as it could be.
      Anyway you are doing great work, thanks for Kscreen!

  • http://tanghus.net Thomas Tanghus

    It looks like it’s really awesome! Thanks for the great work you’ve put into it, I’m looking forward to trying it out.
    I’ll have to agree with fasd though, that cloning doesn’t look very intuitive yet, and the on/off buttons used doesn’t fit into a desktop, non-touch environment – but then again maybe it’s just me being stuck in the old ways ;)
    One use case where I’m often annoyed in how it currently works, and it doesn’t look like it has changed: If I wan’t to use my laptop to watch a movie I connect to my TV via HDMI. I start the movie on the TV screen, but when I make it fullscreen it does so on my primary monitor ie. the laptop, so I have to hold ALT and drag the fullscreen to the TV screen. OK, lean back and watch the movie – after N minutes powerdevil strikes and turns off my laptop screen. Instantly the panel and apps I had open is moved to the TV output :-/
    I guess it’s not in the scope of kscreen but has to be in coordination with kwin, but it would be great to have some logic build in so this could be set to not happen as default.

    • CTown

      You can click on the “Battery Power” Plasmoid and disable power management (uncheck the only check box there). That’s what I do when watching movies on the big screen.

    • eliasp

      It is actually the movie player’s job to temporarily disable DPMS etc. while showing a movie. Dragon does this AFAIK.

      • BajK

        Dragon on the other hand often does it the other way round which means once you have watched a movie in Dragon you often find the system not suspending anymore when closing the lid because Dragon blocked it and didn’t unblock … so that “request inhibition” system needs a revamp altogether.

        • Oliver Henshaw

          There were a few inhibition-related fixes in 4.9.3, do you still see this with later versions?

  • lunarcloud

    Fantastic! Woooo!

  • Sebastian

    Thanks, I really love the automatic saving of settings. This used to be a great hassle in the old module.

  • DavidB

    Kind of cool, but I think the old way is more intuitive and productive. Yes not as much animation but useful at a glance. For your new way, you have enough screen realestate so why not put title in the action buttons. I mean what does a star icon mean to a newbie user.

    I think KDE is going to far with all of this QML animation stuff, as if that makes a desktop more productive. But then I guess the fouc is no longer on dekstops but mobile platforms, which is another area I disagree with.

  • vpelletier

    I work daily with a laptop, often connected to an external screen, sometimes not connected, sometimes to a video projector doing presentations. Here is my wishlist for a krandrtray replacement:
    – Do not ask confirmation for each resolution change. Provide a checkbox to remember current resolution as valid on any current screen. Very annoying when adding/removing the same screen 10 times a day.
    – Memorise unconnected screen (by their EDID maybe, and including the card they are plugged on – I’m thinking of USB video cards, although they are not widespread) with their last active configuration, and restore that configuration when screen is plugged in again (maybe requiring user action if there is no way to tell if the screen is actually powered on – just providing a “apply screen settings for current peripherals” launcher or so). Bonus: providing access to these configurations even when monitors are not currently connected.

    Going further from a GUI “just” wrapping xrandr:
    – Better stitching of different-resolution edges together so that mouse position is proportionally relocated when travelling from the edge of one screen to the edge of the other screen, instead of having a part of the border where the mouse just gets stuck. It’s inconvenient when moving from one screen to another to not see the pointer arrive on the desired screen and to have to look for it on the edge of original monitor.
    – Ability to really clone the output while at different resolutions (ie, get a zoomed output, maybe with truncated/black borders).
    – Remember window positions depending on connected monitors. Ex: have two windows on a single screen. Plug another screen. Move window A to new screen. Unplug: both windows should get back to remaining screen. Plug: window A should move back to reattached screen.
    I believe this last point belongs to kwin, and previous points to compositing manager. But they would be infinitely more useful than getting wobbly windows. But I guess these will be standard when wayland becomes widespread, and such integration would be a real huge usability improvement.

  • Lilian

    The icons should really be changed…
    Also, I think that you should not be able to overlap 2 screens in any way.

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  • roentgen

    Please get rid of the mobile style enable/disable buttons.

  • LXC

    I really love your new way to configure the screens. Especially that it’s easy to align the screens at the bottom instead at the top, if they are in extended mode.
    Anyway, as already mentioned by others, cloned view should be handled differently. But either way, I think it would be also great if there was some way to choose one of the standard modes (those you offer when pressing the “display” button) easily from the systemsettings module. So like a dropdown which offers all modes. If you’d select “extend to right”, you would just see the graphic items moving to the right place. That would make things easier for very standard usage.

    Also, when using the “display” button to choose from the standard modes, it would be great to have something like a quick graphical overlay, which quickly shows which configuration you just chose.
    Or differently: The overlay appears by pressing the “display” buttton, and you can choose the mode by pressing it again; it would only apply the mode after a short timeout (e.g. 1 sec after “button up”). So you wouldn’t have to toggle all modes when you aim to activate a specific one.

    Anyway, great work! Keep it up!

  • Pascal

    some comments to configuration module:
    – Never saw a screen with rounded corners before :-) (like in the config dialog). However the problem in this case seems to be that It’s hard to see that the screens are aligned – since the last pixels are not aligned in the visualization.
    – Consider using the magnifying glass as resolution icon. To me the fullscreen icon does not seem intuitive.
    – The mobile checkboxes should only be used on the mobile version.

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  • Thomas

    I have waited for the “remember functionality” for years now under linux.
    When I dock my PC I always have to activate the external display manually.
    With this it should do this automatically.

  • Ralf

    Thanks for your work, the screen management in KDE definitely needs an overhaul – I am using custom xrandr-based scripts because the tools shipped with KDE never worked for me.

    One question related to remembering the screen configuration: Could you do that on a per-screen basis? When I have my laptop at home, I always have the internal screen turned off since I am using my 24″ screen to do all the work. Now I’d like KDE to remember that, and I’d prefer that option not to be override just because I am using cloning mode with a beamer when making a presentation.

    Regarding the button to change the screen setup: Maybe it would be a good idea to show a menu when the button is pressed (similar to alt-tab) to indicate which configuration options are available and which one is choosen.

    And finally, I agree with those above saying that the mobile-style checkbox is not a good choice for a mouse-driven system. When I see such a checkbox, I can never tell whether it is turned on or off. I have to click it twice, to see the other state and infer which one is “on”. Also, there is no reason not to use the well-established checkbox metaphor.

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  • Paul Eggleton

    Just installed this on my laptop – there might be some work to do on the interface but I’m really, really happy about it remembering the screen configuration when docking and undocking the machine. Absolutely fantastic.

    Thanks so much for working on this!

  • Daniel Lee

    This is great! I’m really excited for when this gets into a stable KDE release :)

  • Thomas Schwarzgruber

    Just saw your comment on https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=273212 and that kscreen might help — I am currently using 0.71 (opensuse 12.3) and i really like it from a technical point of view — it seems to get rid of the bugs that krandr has with my setup (if i deactivate the external vga monitor while it is connected i get all sort of graphics problems). From the usability point of view … well i guess having small rectangles represnting screens and being able to move them around is quite nice, setting the resolution for each screen by the icon inside the rectangle is not that nice imho — in general i like the design of krandr, you could use a similar one, and adapt it to your needs. Technically your solution seems already to be superior..

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  • Malte

    Thanks for this awesome little piece of software! It was exactly what I was looking for after I got my new monitor.

    However, closing the laptop lid does not have any effect for me, no matter how I set it up. Opening the lid on the other hand will make everything go black for a second before showing the same setup as before. It seems to be working in your setup already, I’m using 1.0 so it should work as well… Sleep mode on closing the laptop lid is not a problem.

    Connecting and disconnecting the monitor works like a charm.

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