Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

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Hypersphere
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Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by Hypersphere » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:26 pm

The Linux Mint implementation of Xfce has been my favorite desktop environment for several years. It excels in elegant simplicity, functionality, and aesthetics. However, there is one persistent shortcoming -- management of desktop icons in multi-monitor setups.

Would it be pssible to implement the placement of desktop icons on the primary monitor (or any monitor) in a multi-monitor setup?

For example, I have a 3-monitor (3-display) setup for my linux machine that is shared with a Windows machine. When I am using Linux, I would like to be able to put the desktop icons on the center or on the right-most monitor. Currently, because the desktop is seen as one large monitor instead of 3 distinct monitors, the desktop icons are always on the far-left-hand monitor.

This feature has been available for some years in KDE and Windows, and more recently in Cinnamon, but not in Xfce.

Does Linux Mint have any control over this feature in Xfce, or would it be up to the Xfce developers?

Hoser Rob
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by Hoser Rob » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:09 pm

I'm an Xfce user and I'd be quite surprised if it did this. I certainly can't find any mention of it being able to.

However, Mate can AFAIK, and it's the 2nd lightest Mint DE. Installing multiple DEs is a bad idea ... it's a very good way to break things ... so that'd mean a clean reinstall. But check first if Mate can do that.

I suppose the question for me is it worth a data backup and clean reinstall to you?

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richyrich
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by richyrich » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:17 pm

I'm on 17.3 . . in 18.2 in the Display program, do you have an option to choose which display is the "primary" display ?

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Hypersphere
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by Hypersphere » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:37 pm

I've installed LM 18.2 Xfce 64-bit and then installed the additional Cinnamon desktop by using "mint-meta-cinnamon" in Synaptic Package Manager. This combination works with no conflicts that I have seen thus far between Xfce and Cinnamon. Because this procedure does not remove "mint-info-xfce", it keeps Xfce as my default desktop, but it gives me a choice of desktops in the login window.

However, after trying to move the desktop icons to different monitors via this feature in Cinnamon, I have found it too buggy at present to be useful. Cinnamon has come a long way since its inception, but I still find Xfce more to my liking both functionally and aesthetically.

I tested LM 18.2 MATE in VirtualBox with 2 virtual monitors, but MATE I couldn't locate a mechanism for putting desktop icons on a monitor of choice.

Likewise, Xfce appears not to have a feature for locating desktop icons on any monitor except the left-most monitor in a horizontal multiple-monitor configuration. I hope that the Xfce developers will add this functionality in a future release.

Previously, one of my workarounds was to use a folder-view screenlet to give me a view of the desktop on the far-left monitor. This was useful when the left monitor was "covered up" by switching to my Windows computer for that monitor. However, it seems that screenlets might not be available for Ubuntu 16.04.

At present, another workaround is to use the Display configuration tool to put the primary monitor on the left and the two secondary monitors to the right. This is okay for the primary and the monitor immediately to its right; it just requires a mental adjustment to get accustomed to moving windows far to the right to get them to appear on the left-most physical monitor.

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MtnDewManiac
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by MtnDewManiac » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:43 pm

Hypersphere wrote:Does Linux Mint have any control over this feature in Xfce
No. You can request a new feature and/or a change in behavior, but you'd have to do so to the Xfce developers. The accepted "place" for doing this is https://bugzilla.xfce.org .

They are currently focused on migrating things from Gtk2 to Gtk3. But I'd assume someone would at least see your report, and if it's an easy thing - or someone decides it's very important to deal with it - you might get lucky and see a change sooner than later.

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MDM
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If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

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Hypersphere
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by Hypersphere » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:20 pm

I was very glad to see the announcement of the release of Xfce 4.14. One of the new features is the ability to have the desktop icons appear on the primary monitor. Finally, it will be possible to have the desktop icons on the center or right-hand monitor in a triple-monitor setup.

Unfortunately, Linux Mint 19.2 Xfce LTS (based on Ubuntu 18.04) does not yet have Xfce 4.14 available, and it might not be available until the next major release of Mint. Nevertheless, I decided to take a chance and install Xfce 4.14 by adding the Xubuntu developer's staging PPA. Almost everything is working except for a couple of the panel applets, for which I have found workarounds. My main reason for installing Xfce 4.14 was to get the feature for placing desktop icons on the primary monitor,and this does work quite nicely.

I hope that the Mint developers will soon incorporate Xfce 4.14 into the distro so that users will not need to resort to using a PPA.

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MrEen
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by MrEen » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:29 pm

Hi Hypersphere.

To my surprise, 4.14 is on the roadmap for Mint 19.3. Source

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Hypersphere
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by Hypersphere » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:52 pm

MrEen wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:29 pm
Hi Hypersphere.
To my surprise, 4.14 is on the roadmap for Mint 19.3. Source
Wow! Thanks for pointing this out! It would be great to have Xfce 4.14 integrated into LM 19.3 so that users of this distro will not need to add a PPA. Indeed, adding the PPA to LM 19.2 Xfce has caused some problems with panel applets, but I am working around those issues and enjoying the ability to put the desktop icons on the primary monitor.

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secureIT
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by secureIT » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:24 pm

Hi Hypersphere,

simply drag and drop them from left monitor to right monitor ....... by dropping try to find the point in the grid, where they will stay on the screen.
....... log out and in, and they will stay on right monitor.
In der Ruhe liegt die Kraft ! .......... The strenght is to be found in serenity !

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Hypersphere
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Re: Enable locating desktop icons on any monitor

Post by Hypersphere » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:11 pm

Thanks for the tip. This is useful to know, although I would also like the process to be automatic, as is now apparently the case with Xfce 4.14.

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