Zaphod mode (dual head) with Xfce 4.16?

Jeffery Small jeff at
Sun Mar 5 22:25:23 CET 2023


As far as I know your are not going to get this to work.  I (and others)
were also working with a dual-monitor setup with independent desktops
running on each just fine in Xubuntu 18.04 and then this was broken in
the 18.10 upgrade.  Here are a couple of links where this is reported and
discussed.  I tried for years to get this working again and finally gave
up.  But let us know if you discover anything!

Jeff Small

Ulli Horlacher <framstag at> writes:

>My problem: I have no longer independant displays with dual head setup.

>I am on the way to replace a 10 year old thinkpad notebook running Xubuntu
>18 (Xfce 4.12) with a new one running Xubuntu 22 (Xfce 4.16).

>Everything runs fine on the new notebook when using just the internal
>display, but not with the second, external HDMI monitor.

>I do no want the standard configuration with one $DISPLAY, but I want the
>so called Zaphod mode with independant displays. The advantage of this
>mode is: I can switch die workspaces independantly. For example: workspace
>#1 on the internal display (:0.0) and workspace #3 on the external display
>When using the default (non-Zaphod) mode, a workspace switch is done
>always on both displays, together.

>With the old setup I use a handcrafted xorg.conf for Zaphod mode: 

>Section "ServerLayout"
>    Identifier     "Layout0"
>    Screen         "Screen0" 0 0
>    Screen         "Screen1" RightOf "Screen0"

>Section "Device"
>    Identifier     "Device0"
>    Driver         "modesetting"
>    Option         "ZaphodHeads" "LVDS-1"
>    Option         "AccelMethod" "sna"
>    Screen         0

>Section "Device"
>    Identifier     "Device1"
>    Driver         "modesetting"
>    Option         "ZaphodHeads" "VGA-1"
>    Option         "AccelMethod" "sna"
>    Screen         1

>Section "Screen"
>    Identifier     "Screen0"
>    Device         "Device0"

>Section "Screen"
>    Identifier     "Screen1"
>    Device         "Device1"

>I copied this xorg.conf to the Mint system and changed only the names of
>the displays ("LVDS-1" to "eDP-1", "VGA-1" to "HDMI-1").
>After restarting lightdm I see now only on the internal display windows
>and the panel, the external display is just black, BUT I can move the
>mouse to it and I can see the mouse pointer! So, the external display is
>recognized by X11, but I cannot start there any programs with the mouse.
>Nothing is clickable.

>I can start an xterm on the external display with:
>DISPLAY=:0.1 xterm

>Dito this works:
>DISPLAY=:0.1 xfce4-settings-manager

>But when I click there on "Panel" I get an error message window:
>Failed to show the preferences dialog
>GDBus.Error:(...)The name org.xfce.Panel was not provided by any .service files

>So, I am stuck :-(

>How can I have my independant display dual head setup back?

>Ullrich Horlacher              Server und Virtualisierung
>Rechenzentrum TIK
>Universitaet Stuttgart         E-Mail: horlacher at
>Allmandring 30a                Tel:    ++49-711-68565868
>70569 Stuttgart (Germany)      WWW:
>REF:<20230305175302.GA15119 at>
>Xfce mailing list
>Xfce at

More information about the Xfce mailing list