Subject: Re: Monitor configuration spoiled after reboot
Plasma 5.10.2



I. Thomas posted on Tue, 01 Aug 2017 14:24:37 +0200 as excerpted:

> Dear all!
> I have a notebook (screen resolution 1600x900) and attached via HDMI a
> second monitor (Full HD)
> When I set up my second screen properly so that the laptop screen is off
> and the second external monitor is my primary display and then do a
> reboot, the second screen becomes a second screen again without task bar
> or widgets, but also the notebook screen is this way. So I do not see my
> true first desktop working area as I would if I had just booted the
> notebook.

FWIW, even on my desktop with multiple monitors, I don't trust plasma to
get it right any more, because it has years and years of screwing things
up.

Heh, at least these years it brings them back at the proper resolution
(it used to be way crazier!), but it can't keep relative position even
with a hint from the xorg configuration setup exactly the way I want it
already, and it has problems keeping the desktop, as well.

> Only with Function + F8 hardware key combination for external monitor
> switching I can bring back my primary desktop image on the notebook, but
> then I have to reconfigure the second screen etc.
> The other way is to unplug the second screen and then do a reboot
> (forced by "Power"
> hardware key as I have no access to start menu etc.)

FWIW I'm running plasma-5 on kde-frameworks-5, live-git versions of each,
altho current release behavior should be the same as the below as it
hasn't changed (other than the folder desktop by default) for some time.

Note that unless you've configured it otherwise, plasma should be
configured, as it at least used to be by default (not sure if the switch
to the folder desktop by default changed it or not), to popup a desktop
context menu on the usual right-click, and that should have the "leave"
option even if the usual menu isn't available.

Another alternative, also by default as you can turn it off, is the
desktop toolbox, which should be in the corner by default and looks like
the standard pancake-menu icon (in plasma4 it was a plasma icon).
Clicking that should present a menu with a "leave" option as well.

In either case clicking "leave" should bring up the usual leave dialog
with the shutdown, logout, reboot, etc, options.

Finally, there's krunner, plasma's run dialog, which has a hotkey, Alt-F2
being the older default with Alt-space being the new default, that
launches it. It should also be available via the right-click on the
desktop context menu as mentioned above.

In the run dialog, as well as typing the name of an application or a web
address, you can type things like shutdown, reboot, etc, and it'll give
you relevant choices. FWIW you can also use krunner to do math (3*15=
and it'll tell you the answer), get measurement conversions (type 50C and
it'll give you the equivalent in F and K, type 3m and it'll give you the
various inches, yards, miles, cm, mm, etc, conversions), do searches, etc.

So there's lots of ways to reboot, shutdown, etc, even if the usual
kickoff or similar menu isn't available. =:^)

> My goal is to have laptop screen switched off and use the notebook with
> exteral screen so that after reboot the external screen is still the
> primary logical screen with task bar, menus and widgets.
>
> Thank you very much in advance for helping!

As to the primary problem at hand, there's a couple plasma components
that interact. One is kscreen, which is supposed to remember what
configuration you last used that particular set of monitors in and
restore it using xorg's RandR protocol. The xorg generic version is
xrandr, which you run it a terminal (konsole) window. The other is
plasma-desktop, which provides the desktop contents (called activities),
panels, etc. There's also a third piece, called kactivitymanager, that
is supposed to track the available activities, which one is current, etc.

Unfortunately, these three components don't always cooperate in the way
they're supposed to as envisioned by the authors. What I did here, with
a desktop and a static monitor configuration, is setup the way I want it
in xorg.conf, and then actually uninstall kscreen for awhile. Later I
installed it again, but in kde/plasma system services, under startup and
shutdown, background services, I unchecked kscreen2, so the automatic
screen management (kscreen) didn't trigger but I could still run it in
plasma system settings.

That solved the problem for me, for the most part. Every once in awhile
something weird still happens to the activities, but probably 95% or
better (19 times out of 20) they behave properly.

But that's less likely to be an acceptable solution for you with a
laptop, presumably plugging and unplugging one or more external monitors,
maybe projectors, etc.

Another hack I was forced to "invent" in the plasma4 era was setup the
activities the way I wanted them, then manually edit the config files
(plasmadesktoprc, I believe the name's different in plasma5, and
kactivitymanagerrc) using a text editor to remove all the "extra" stuff
that didn't belong there, then set them read-only. When I started plasma/
kde it would forget the configured activity and start a new/blank one,
but it couldn't write it as the files were read-only. Then I could use
the run dialog to "killall plasmadesktop" and then restart it
"plasmadesktop", and it'd work. I eventually scripted it, so a script
would sleep a few seconds after I started kde/plasma, kill plasmadesktop,
and restart it.

Luckily I haven't had to do anything that drastic on plasma5, but I do
occasionally find myself having to restart "plasmashell" occasionally,
when things screw up. Tho to be fair I *am* running the direct git live
versions, updating every few days, and a bit of instability should be
expected when running prerelease or even live-git versions, as I'm doing
now, instead of waiting for release stability. So I can't complain too
badly, particularly since it's not *near* as bad as the kde4/plasma4
version and the hacks I had to do to get it to reliably remember my
activities/desktop-configuration.

--
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman



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