submitted 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I, like many others, have been getting worn down by Microsoft's awful changes to Windows over the years, and I finally said enough is enough and moved to Linux.

I had a little linux experience beforehand due to my work, but this is my first time using it as my main OS. I am still very much a noob when it comes to linux.

So far it's been great though. I am running Linux mint.

I am having 2 issues I can't seem to solve, though. The taskbar (or I guess as Linux is calling it, the Panel) was only on one monitor rather than both. I managed to put a second one on my other monitor, and I enabled the "show windows from all workspaces" option on both panels. But it isn't behaving like I have come to expect using the Windows one.

For example, both panels have the icon for Firefox. If I have Firefox open on my main monitor, and click the firefox icon on my second monitor's panel, it just opens a new window instead of bringing the existing firefox window into focus.

An example of why this annoys me that sometimes I am playing a game that is full screen, and the flow i have over a decade of experience with is that i could click that firefox logo on the second monitor to bring up the window i already have open.

Is it possible to just have 2 identical panels that function the way the taskbar does on windows?

I am willing to switch from cinnamon to a different DE if thats what it takes. I tried installing xfce, but it seems like the issue is exactly the same there too. Not sure if switching to a different DE will help.

Or is the solution to just use a different applet than the default one in the panel?

Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, this is the only linux forum I am aware of.

EDIT: Strangely, it seems like this issue is only occurring on the second monitor. If an application is open on the second monitor, but I click the icon on the first monitor's panel, the behavior I want happens, it just puts the existing window in focus. Not sure why that is, the applets on both panels are identical as far as I can tell.

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[-] [email protected] 15 points 3 weeks ago

What DE is the question.

I recommend GNOME with the dash to panel addon, or KDE. You can also use LXQt, but it doesnt yet have Wayland support. If it has, you can install it with Wayfire, Kwin or even cosmic comp.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Can you use GNOME and KDE with Mint?

[-] [email protected] 13 points 3 weeks ago

You can, though it might not be a great experience. Using Gnome on Mint especially is kind of funny tasting given the distro's history.

Mint used to ship a KDE version but stopped to focus on other things, as there were plenty of distros that offered a good KDE experience. Kubuntu and KDE Neon are both fairly close to what Mint KDE would offer.

When Gnome decided to do whatever Gnome 3 was, a lot of people didn't want that. And I know of four DEs now that sprang up that were trying to fill the void that Gnome 3 sucked into the world with its creation:

  • Mate. The good old fashioned "we don't like the changes, so we're gonna fork it and keep making the old thing ourselves." Mate is Gnome 2 that kept on chooglin.

  • Cinnamon. At first, the folks who ran Mint tried to release a set of extensions for Gnome 3 to make it work more like Gnome 2, then decided to fork Gnome 3 to make their own DE and called it Cinnamon.

  • Unity. Canonical's DE they made during their "re-invent every single wheel" phase. They abandoned it in favor of Gnome with some extensions to make it look a little like Unity did, and my understanding is some teenager picked it back up.

  • Cosmic. If I understand right, and I might not, System76 has bent Gnome into such a pretzel for Pop!_OS that they're calling it their own thing called Cosmic.

Mint ships two of these four DEs. They make Cinnamon themselves and they work pretty closely/share members with the Mate community. They also offer an xfce version for a few reasons, another GTK-based DE that isn't GNOME.

So using Gnome on Mint, the "anything oh god anything but Gnome" distro is just kinda funny to me.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Excellent breakdown of history there

[-] [email protected] 12 points 3 weeks ago

You can use any DE with any distro, but not every distro will have it customised well. Mint devs focus heavily on cinnamon as they're the ones developing it, so everything else looks far worse.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 3 weeks ago

Both yes, and Mint is better because no snaps and vanilla GNOME afaik.

But still based on Ubuntu LTS, I would recommend Fedora 39, wait a few months until Fedora 40 is more tested. If you go like that you will not have bleeding edge updates and suffer from bugs.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't as you shouldn't install multiple desktops.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Says who? There's nothing wrong with having multiple DEs installed, and any decent desktop manager (like sddm) trivializes launching into any of them.

[-] TheGrandNagus 4 points 3 weeks ago

They often have conflicting packages or mess with each other's config files and cause issues.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 3 weeks ago

citation very much needed

The only thing it does is use up more storage if you for example have only GTK, but install a DE that uses QT.

[-] TheGrandNagus 3 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Desktop Environments alter plenty of config files, like the ones in .config and .local

They can interfere with one another. I'm not really sure how you could say they don't. E.g. change some settings relating to gtk in one DE and it can change them in another.

Plus there's the clutter aspect of it. Searching for settings and seeing four settings apps.

E: oops, the ~ character caused some formatting issues. Removed.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

They can alter some shared config files like the keyboard layouts and network settings. Since I've never had an issue with that, I'm guessing they're not overwriting everything without a care. Or I might've just gotten lucky when trying out different DE's

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

In my personal experience, it does seem like you've been lucky. Sure, most things will work when you install a second DE, but things have invariably broken within the hour after doing so.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

The configuration files may conflict

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

For sure, but you could.

As others said, Mint is just desnapped Ubuntu LTS at that point. So I would rebase to Kubuntu. Oh, forgot that was not a thing on the traditional desktops.

Really, try Fedora atomic KDE, it is awesome.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

Sorry i didn't mention it in the post, I am on cinnamon.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

KDE poorly also doesnt have the "clone panel to all monitors", you need to configure it seperately for every new one, which is pretty bad.

But you could just create the "default panel" and call it a day.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 3 weeks ago

When you installed Linux, what desktop environment did you choose? There are several. There's Gnome, KDE and I think there's also Cinnamon.

If you tell us we might be able to help you better.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 3 weeks ago

Oh! Apologies. I didn't realize that was an option on install.

I am on cinnamon.

[-] kronarbob 9 points 3 weeks ago

It depends on the DE you use. I only know about 3 of them :

KDE can put as many panel as you want with all the system tray you want. You'll have to pine the applications on each panel individually.

On Gnome, you'll have to install extensions as dash to panel to have a panel that can be cloned.

On Cinnamon, you'll be able to create a panel on the second screen, pine applications on it, but not all of system tray can be duplicate. There is a ticket opened for that : https://github.com/linuxmint/cinnamon/issues/9889

[-] [email protected] 7 points 3 weeks ago

That’s purely a desktop environment thing and they can behave bery differently. I don't know about Cinnamon, but on KDE Plasma it’s not directly possible to replicate the behavior, however it lets you create as many panels on as many screens you want.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

The grouped window list applet seems to get confused when there are multiple instances of the applet. It will display windows that you create on that monitor on a separate workspace (new desktop) but not the ones you create on the other monitor.

The window list applet seems to work more like you would expect when the option is turned on, so maybe that’s a workaround. It doesn’t group windows though.

IMO this is a bug and not the expected behavior.

Edit: it seems like it is coded to act this way, but I still think it is bad behavior with the “all workspaces” option enabled. There is a workaround, but YMMV: https://electro-dan.co.uk/blog/34/linux-mint-cinnamon-multi-monitor-show-all-apps-on-every-panel

Edit 2: @[email protected] in the Applets menu, Downloads tab, CobiWindowList works more like you would expect. It doesn’t show from every Workspace (virtual desktop) but will show from each monitor. The setting for both used to exist in the grouped window list but was apparently broken (from github issues).

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Oh my god. CobiWindowList just completely solved my issue. You are my hero. Thank you so much for this.

I don't want to piggyback with an unrelated issue, but i have one other linux issue I am wondering if you can help with.

I have 2 monitors on my desk, and a big TV on the wall on the other side of the room. I have an HDMI cable running along the wall to connect it to my computer. I rarely use the TV, I only turn it on when I want to play games in bed / not actually at my PC.

I have it disabled in Linux and that works as expected. However, I have noticed that that "setting" doesn't kick in until I have passed the login screen. And for some reason, on the login screen, it really wants the powered off TV to be the primary display. So when I am on the login screen, I can't actually see the login prompt.

I am wondering if there is a way to make that display stay disabled always unless I manually enable it. Or an alternate fix, make the correct monitor be the primary display while on the login screen.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Have you found the display settings in Cinnamon? There should be a way to toggle primary screens similar to what you’re used to on Windows (perhaps w/ some quirks).

I also used Linux Mint with Cinnamon for several years, but it’s more than a year since I’ve switched to Fedora, so my memory’s a little fuzzy.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

Yes, I did that immediately on loading into the OS for the first time. I set the correct one as my primary display, and disabled the one I don't want it to use. It works fine when logged in, but i suspect it isn't loading those settings until it gets into the user account and thats why it isn't respecting what I set.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

The login screen is handled by the display manager (DM). Linux Mint Cinnamon (not sure if you're using that) uses lightdm with the slick greeter by default.

Here are two links with different solutions:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/LightDM#Multiple-monitor_setup you can get the settings you have from running the command xrandr without any options or using arandr as described in the other link.

https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=360800 Here I would tweak it a bit and not use chmod 700, but instead use chmod 744.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Have you tried hitting the Super key and searching the menus for the word “login”? According to this article, there should be a separate configuration screen for the login window. Otherwise, try searching DDG for “linux mint cinnamon primary login screen”—hopefully someone else has had the same problem before you.

The only other thing I can think of is user settings tend to be saved as dot-text files in the user’s home directory (e.g. in /home/USER/.config/), but I wonder if there’s a similar config for system wide settings, like in /etc/ or /opt/ or something like that. Hopefully someone else who knows more than I do can chime in.

Good luck!

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

Have you tried changing what the applets do when you click? Most of the time you can set whether it should create a new instance, cycle windows or raise or lower existing ones from the applet settings. See if changing that could help?

I use XFCE/Budgie (flick between the two) so not too familiar with cinnamon.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

I got my KDE setup like that, sadly you gotta do it manually in the edit mode and it can be a bit finicky at first.

[-] [email protected] -2 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Search for how to do it in your specific DE (cinnamon, XFCE, etc.). In most of them you need to create a second panel, and there's a specific setting to limit what tasks are shown based on monitor and workspace. Definitely not great defaults, but it's fixable except in some circumstances (XFCE doesn't let you have multiple systrays for example).

[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

People are still using Google as a search engine?

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

It's still pretty good for some things. Any recommendations besides ddg (I find it horrible for tech research)?

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 weeks ago
[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Thanks, looks cool. Any instance recommendations? searx.be seems to be the most up to date and isn't located in the USA.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 3 weeks ago
[-] [email protected] 1 points 3 weeks ago

Def better, but they could include some check so you don't have to repeat the search 5 times to go through all of the broken/rate-limited instance

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

searx.be, as you said. But you'll have to switch instances occasionally due to rate limits.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 3 weeks ago

But you'll have to switch instances occasionally due to rate limits.

Let's hope that doesn't become too annoying.

Too bad the "It" category is broken so I can't search for "how to kill children" and get the correct results. If ddg had that feature I wouldn't have stopped using it.

this post was submitted on 23 Apr 2024
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