KScreen 1.0 released

We are really glad to release the first officially stable version of our new Screen Management tool that allows you to configure screens such TV, Projectors or Monitors magically just by plugging them while keeping an interface for those users that want or need a more custom configuration.

For those who haven’t read the previous announcements, here are the most important features of KScreen:

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.

We are already planning the 1.1 but more of that in the next blog post.

You can download tarballs from:

  • http://ivan.fomentgroup.org/blog/ Ivan

    Great work mate!

    A few nitpicks though. I’ve had a chance to look at a few (approx 7) students of mine trying to work with the new kcm module independently from one another to set up screen mirroring (they needed to present something to the professor and TAs). Nobody thought about dragging one screen on top of another by themselves.

    While I do like the general idea behind the new UI, I think it merits a bigger discussion and usability study since it is one of the more important parts of Plasma.


    • meli

      For openSUSE there are repos where is already packed and it’s working :)

    • jmt

      Thanks for your work on this stuff.

      I agree with Ivan, though, the clone action by moving screens on top of each other is not very discoverable. Just a cursory usability analysis of your videos shows that. In addition, what happens if I move half of the screen on top of another screen? Gets half of the screen shared? If not, it would not be consistent either.

      For the other parts, I look forward to trying it out.

    • fasd

      Yes! Exactly! This issue was reported many times in comments but it’s yet another example of “I’m a developer I know better, f*** of or write your own code” bullshit.

      • jk

        +1 Ivan
        -1 fasd

        already available in extra repo for archers.
        good work, although UI needs to be discussed in usability mailist.

      • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

        You know nothing Jon Snow, you know nothing. Wait for 1.1 and shut the fuck up in the mean time :)

  • Daniel Korbel

    Wow greate job. Cant wait to see it nativly in kde. Great animation:D I like them :D

  • YoYo

    Nice to se the screen management getting better, great work…

    I was too a bit disappointed when setting it up to clone. Wasn’t hard to find out, but it was really complex / manual: move the screens, look at the resolutions, pick the best common one… I guess it is such a common usecase, that a “clone” button that would set it up with correct resolution on all screens would make sense… It would also be great if it showed a notification with such button (and maybe couple of other for ‘keep disabled’, ‘right’, ‘left’) after plugging a monitor , so one does not have to go looking into systemsettings…

    Also, how configurable will the kded module be? I like most of the automatic things (I made a script long ago, that sets up the screens in specific way according to the model of the external display ;), but from the way I use my laptop, I can say right now, that disabling the laptop screen when closed would most probably make it unusable for me.

  • Ericg

    This gonna hit KDE 4.11? Or does it have to wait until 4.12? I know Fedora 19 is picking it up by default, thankfully.

    Great work by the way, Alex :)

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      I twill never be part o fhe SC, but we expect distros to pick it up nevertheless.

  • johnjarkness

    Can’t get this to work.
    Where do I get libkscreen 1.0.0?

  • AlexAlex

    Thank you, great job!

    Unfortunately I don’t have more than 1 screen to test right now, but there are any plans to support something like ‘nVidia nView’ ability to set up a big screen but with subregions? So, like having a big screen but being able to maximize a window on just 1 monitor space.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      We support that already :p

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  • Redm

    Great to see somebody working on multi screen support! Really!

    The current state is such a pain to use, from X over KDE screen config to kwin, something always breaks/is broken. From plugging/unplugging not being detected at all, being detected but not possible to configure, ending up with the huge desktop area on the small screen, touchpad pointer always caught on the first screen, to kwin throwing windows around or screwing up compositing. This is really something why I consider switching my work laptop to something that Just Works.

    Are there plans to consolidate with current screen config and krandr? Cause I think the situation will be pretty confusing to the user, at least to me it is. E.g. you still get popups from the old system when plugging/unplugging. Which component is resposible for what? And I’m not sure they really don’t interfere…

    Btw. what distro do you use? because I have the impression that my kubuntu doesn’t really do a great job either for multiscreen.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      Distros should disable krandr. I will propose to disable it by default (compilation time) as soon as we are in extragear.

  • johnjarkness

    Muchas gracias,
    Trabajó perfoectly…

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  • stativ

    Just a minor suggestion: I think it would be more intuitive if the rectangle representing the screen snapped to the possible positions (think of something similar to the tiling in KWin) and the screens were laid out automatically.

    What I mean by that is that for example, if you moved the screen to the left from other screen, it would automatically snap into that position when the window be mostly left from that screen (now it seems that it snaps only to the edge). Also, the other window would move to the right a bit automatically so they are nicely laid out next to each other (not like on the video where you apparently have to move the right screen to the left, then grab the other and move it to the right a bit and position them next to each other manually)

    It could be done similarly for the clone too. If the screens were mostly on top of each other, it would snap them together and create something like a deck of cards, where each screen would be moved a little bit, so you can see what screens are there (the other option could be something like tabs in the grouped screens).

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      I think we’ll move to a less snappy interface and bit more classic… but we’ll see :p

  • Pete

    Nice work, I really like it as it is primarily functional. But you should really improve the design of it, even most icons are not self-explaining.
    Keep up your good work :)


    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      Yeah, we need new icons, and a redesign of the kcm.

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  • Tomaz

    Do these new settings finally support the displays/LCD screens that you can rotate them so they are in portrait instead of landscape mode (or said differently so that the screen resolution actually changes from 1680×1050 to 1050×1680)? Mind you, this is not the same as the rotation setting here.

    • http://www.afiestas.org afiestas

      mmm I’m not sure I get what you mean.

      • AlexKidd

        I think that he means this:

        Kscreen it’s able to simplify the screen rotation, for example using a shortcut (like windows: ctrl+alt+left/right arrow)?
        I’m an owner of a widescreen that support the “pivoting”. My monitor can phisically rotate from landscape to portrait, it would be really cool that KScreen makes available (configurable) shortcuts to rotate the screen.

        Some screens are able to notify to the machine when the screen is rotated, but implements these exotic protocols it’s an hard work. It would be enough a shortcut :-)

  • http://www.d34dl0ck.me Sven

    Great Job!

    I’m really keen to use it and see it in action.

  • Chris

    Hi guys.

    Great work on this feature.
    KDE really seems to be the best DE for a multimonitor user.

    Thanks for doing this.

  • clavisound

    Requirements to build this?

    Build / installation of libkscreen is ok, but kscreen fails.

    [ 42%] Building CXX object console/CMakeFiles/kscreen-console.dir/console.o
    /mnt/tempfs/SBo/kscreen-1.0/console/console.cpp: In member function ‘void Console::printSerializations()’:
    /mnt/tempfs/SBo/kscreen-1.0/console/console.cpp:174:16: σφάλμα: ‘class QJson::Serializer’ has no member named ‘setIndentMode’
    /mnt/tempfs/SBo/kscreen-1.0/console/console.cpp:174:30: σφάλμα: ‘IndentFull’ is not a member of ‘QJson’
    make[2]: *** [console/CMakeFiles/kscreen-console.dir/console.o] Error 1
    make[1]: *** [console/CMakeFiles/kscreen-console.dir/all] Error 2
    make: *** [all] Error 2

    Done on Slackware-14.0

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  • STiAT

    While I like the new interface because I’m always extending (sadly – to the left, so default does not fit me – but can be changed easy enough :D) – and for that it’s very intuitive, I think it’s not too intuitive when it comes to mirroring the screen. I got it by t&e, but I think for a regular user configuring that is too complicated and/or not intuitive enough.

    Spontaneously I don’t have an idea how to change that though, but maybe somebody can come up with something. Something like clicking or right-clicking on a screen enables the option “mirror this screen” or something like that. But I’m sure there are better ways to do that.

    Take it as constructive feedback, but well done! I really wished for a better screen configuration for a long time now, and that is definitely going the right direction.

  • ZeDoMato

    I’m missing resolution list on tray icon, or a simple “reset to maximum resolution” on it, because some games/wine like to break that. A click and reset will do the thing.


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  • Luiz

    I was changing the resolution through xrandr, I’ve never imagined that icon was supposed to change resolution. I’ve tried right clicking and dragging the border, eventually I’ve gave up and learned some xrandr commands :(

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  • Keks Dose

    I installed kscreen 1.0 on a laptop with “optimus” => a discrete nvidia graphics card and an intel graphics card on the mainboard. KDE unfortunately is much less stable, but if I remove kscreen via Yast (I’m using opensuse 12.3), I can no longer start KDE, it will return to the kdm-screen to log in. So please give me a hint which files to remove or to change.

  • Laurent Lacôte

    thanks for your hard work. This is a promising version, obviously more intuitive on some points (I concur with the comments on non-intuitivity of cloning though).

    Apart from that, to be honest the current screen manager seemed already pretty usable to me. However, the very thing lacking imo is the ability to save a specific configuration (making “profiles” depending on screen configuration).

    This, and some “fallback” options in case of a screen being brutally cut (for now, if you had some app’s running on this screen, you cannot interact with them. As a user, I’d expect by default that they “come back” on the main screen. Or at least having such an option).

    I really think this would be game-changing for many users. But maybe these feature resquests are not your field at all. ;)

    Anyways, keep up the good work. See ya!


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  • Maarten

    Really great work! Except for one thing, I am very happy with it.

    That one thing has to do with booting my laptop with my lid closed, and after logging in into KDE my external screen goes black.

    To reproduce:
    1) Have a turned off laptop, connected by DisplayPort, to an external LCD.
    2) Open the lid, press the Power button to turn the laptop on, and immediately close the lid again.
    3) Watch as the GRUB menu shows on the external monitor, and wait till you see the KDM login screen. So far, so good.
    4) Log in.
    5) Now, THE EXTERNAL SCREEN GOES BLACK! I can’t do anything with my computer.

    6) Workaround: unplug the DP cable from the laptop, wait 3 seconds, and plug the cable back into the DisplayPort of the laptop. And see: the KDE desktop is nicely displayed on the external screen.

    If this could be solved, I would be very happy!



    Setup: HP 6570b laptop, Dell U2713HM 27″ 2560x1440px external monitor

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  • dentar

    Nice work, but if i am using it to rotate my screen to 90 degrees, the mouse orientation changes as well. Which brings me immediately to the second enhancement request: make the GUI usable by keyboard shortcuts, please!!!
    Back to the mouse orientation – it’s not supposed to modify here this, is it? Screen and mouse orientation should be handeled separately, or am i missing something?

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  • Francisco

    I have used Kscreen in PCLinuxOS and works great! Now I am in Debian Sid, but it is not available in the repos. What is the procedure to install from the tarballs?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

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  • Steven Ballagh

    Great work on this! I use openSUSE and I am running version 1.0.1 of KScreen. It took a minute for me to get accustomed to the minimalistic interface after having used the prior screen management tool in KDE, but I like the design much better than the prior tools.

    I am one of the edge cases which you don’t normally encounter. I use three monitors and KScreen quickly and easily identifies the fact that I don’t want DIV-0 & DVI-1 to be clones of each other (something that the prior display management tool couldn’t get right). My only problem is that on reboot, the configuration reverts to having both screens stacked on each other to the left of the DisplayPort-0 screen. When I drag the DVI-0 screen to the right of the DisplayPort-0 screen everything “just works”. However, after a reboot, I have to make the same change again (drag DVI-0 to the right of DisplayPort-0). Is there any way to save the current configuration so that on subsequent reboots the settings remain?

    Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work. I’m looking forward to version 1.1!

  • http://wiki.x2go.org Mike Gabriel

    Hi Àlex,

    with current KUbuntu (13.10) installations we have to remove the kscreen package from the system if the KUbuntu machine is used with X2Go (http://wiki.x2go.org). X2Go is an NX based remote desktop solution that allows to access KDE (or any other desktop shell) via a remote client (X2Go Client).

    The problem caused by kscreen in X2Go is that the screen resolution is set to a fixed value. Normally, the X2Go Client sets a certain desktop session window size (or the session runs on the client’s fullscreen) and the session size is detected via Xlib and the desktop shell (i.e. KDE) then automagically resizes inside the X2Go session. If a desktop session is launched via X2Go in a session window (rather than in fullscreen mode), you can also resize that session window (via the window border) and the remote KDE session inside also resizes. With kscreen installed in Kubuntu (we tested with 13.10) this behaviour gets broken.

    Hint: you can always tell that KDE runs inside an X2Go session by the environment variable $X2GO_SESSION. If it is there, then maybe kscreen should disable itself or something similar.

    Mike (from upstream X2Go)

    • Disputatore

      would support that. We are working on a terminal server environment for
      several thousand students. It should be based on the unified setup we
      use for all systems, and automatic detection of x2go would be a great
      help and beware us of if’s and then’s.



  • http://www.montanalinux.org/ Scott Dowdle

    The behavior I’ve noticed on Fedora (19 and 20) is that KDE seems to probe for the max resolution when you first establish an x2go connection… and it seems to always pick a bigger resolution than I have… but the work around is to just resize the window or maximize it and then the x2go session will resize to fit… so it really isn’t a problem for me.