Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Whats the best / easiest way to prevent full screen apps in linux from spanning all monitors. In windows a full screen app will only take over 1 monitor.

I'm using the Nvidia drivers with Twinview

share|improve this question
Let us know which distro/window manager you are using. It could be you just need to configure your WM to handle each xinerama screen separately instead of as a continuous canvas. – Sekenre May 31 '09 at 21:52

It depends on your graphics setup and your window manager.

For example, I use an nvidia card with 2 outputs. Using the nvidia config utility I can specify the screen layout, which gives me 2 xinerama screens. Nvidia call this facility TwinView.

xmonad is my window manager which can handle multiple screens quite easily. All modern WMs should handle this correctly.

share|improve this answer
I have the same nvidia setup with the manufacturer nvidia driver, xinerama running Fedora 10 & Gnome right now. It can span both windows, but it "sticks" in each monitor for a split second. When I maximize a window, it only maximizes to one screen – bobby May 31 '09 at 19:56
I have used IceWM and Xmonad with this setup and they both maximise a window to the current physical screen, unless you resize it manually to use the full double screen. – Sekenre May 31 '09 at 21:48

I think this is usually dependent on your window manager. In WindowMaker, this doesn't happen unless the app figures out the resolution itself and then changes window size to that, as opposed to letting the window manager handle that itself.

share|improve this answer

Works perfectly fine on Debian/Ubuntu with the nVidia drivers. You have given us very little info but I think I remember having this problem with ATI drivers a while back.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.