Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 and multi monitor setup : experience feedback?


I’m planning to use UBudgie at my work place - which has a dual monitor setup.
It’s actually Unity 16.04 running excellently fine there.

How Budgie feels in such situation ?

What to know about panels ? Lightdm ? Workspaces ?

Any tips and tricks welcome !

I’ve seen youtube videos with UB and monitor support with 2,3 or more monitors.

The key thing is the primary screen and the panel position compared with the screen positioning in Settings - Displays

So if you have the secondary above the primary - make sure the panel position is at the bottom otherwise you won’t be able to drag a window from primary (bottom) to secondary (top).

Likewise if you have a full length primary panel on the left of the screen - don’t have a secondary monitor further on the left of the primary if you want to drag windows.

If you set panels to autohide then the rules above don’t apply.

In terms of lightdm (slick-greeter) use Menu - Login Window to set the screen you want to login window to be first displayed on - or just auto and the login window will appear where-ever your cursor first appears.

Hello there,

I registered to reply. I’m very new to budgie but I’ve experimented a bit with it.

Overall, it’s alright to use on a dual display setup. My setup is main screen (laptop - 1) on the right and secondary screen (monitor - 2) on the left. So, 2-1.
The panel is on the left side of 1 (similar to the setup I’ve seen in your screenshots, fixed top panel and autohiding left panel):

But as stated by fossfreedom, a few issues can occur.

With intelligent autohide:

  • when maximizing a window on 2, the left panel on 1 is autohiding instead of being visible
  • if the focus is on an unmaximized window on 2, the left panel on 1 will appear (over a maximized window if there is one). It should be kept autohiding in that case.

With automatic, both previous problems are solved, but:

  • The (left) panel is not pushed away by a window, it’s there unless a window is maximized

In general:

  • Hard to trigger the panel when a window is maximized on 1 (as there’s not a slight resistance in between screens as in dash-to-dock, or the dodge function back in early Unity), you have to position your cursor on a very narrow line
  • I’ve had issues crossing the edge with the cursor between two inkscape or GIMP (can’t remember) windows with the window on 2 being maximized

I have no problem with dragging and dropping a window from 1 to 2 though, it’s going through the panel without issue.

Thank you both your answers.

They worry me a bit as
⋅ I don’t use panels in autohide and prefer them always visible, especially with dual monitors…
⋅ I use Gimp very often…

It sounds like panels are not « aware » of things on a monitor basis.

Maybe easier to have panels only on primary monitor then ?

I don’t think they are aware on a monitor basis indeed.
See my reply on pixel-saver, the top bar on second screen is going in the panel of the main screen… I don’t think this should be the expected behavior.

A couple more points:

  • when hotplugging or hotunplugging an external monitor (secondary screen) to a laptop (see setup above), after dynamic readjustment of the display setup, budgie left panel is fully extended vertically (i.e. into the top panel), I can’t see my top icon anymore
  • when hotplugging an external monitor, the showtime applet is moved around randomly (last time on the second screen) although its position has been saved on the main screen. Since the main screen is independant of any second monitor, that position should stick to where it was saved.

Just sharing my experience.

The use case of two equal screens as one big desktop is lacking as yet. Other distros treat all displays as equal, and menus can extend. But as yet Budgie’s second display has lower functionality. You can only have menus and panels on the primary display. Which means…

  • The display real-estate will not align across side-by-side monitors unless you auto-hide menus.
  • Due to the nature of dock and menus, if you are switching between apps on display 2, your mouse must travel to display 1 to make the change, or you have to use a keyboard shortcut. I’ve been trying to put up with this, but it grates, and I’m close to giving up.

However, if your use case is to fullscreen apps in a second display, or use a projector, then that use case is catered for.

It’s generally well supported. Though I have experienced the following issues:

  • Selection of Primary monitor that is not monitor 1, will sometimes not survive a reboot.
  • Lighdm often gets it wrong and will place your login on the secondary monitor (even if it is switched off).
  • Hot swapping displays can sometimes cause problems, necessitating a reboot.


Sad. All these make me believe I should not try to install UBudgie at work where I need dual monitor, and a reliable setup.

And am afraid Unity is still way better than all other DE in this kind of situation.