Virtual Desktops Are Essential

Virtual Desktops Are Essential

Post by Daren Stotl » Wed, 26 Aug 1998 04:00:00

XFree86 "allows" you to define a virtual desktop resolution larger than
your screen resolution. In the "Display" subsection of the XF86Config file (in
/etc/X11/ or /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/ in RH 5.1), the former is set by the
"Virtual" keyword and the latter by the "Modes" keyword. If more than
one Mode is specified, the user can switch between them using CTRL ALT KP+
and CTRL ALT KP-. If no Virtual size is specified, the server uses the
size of the largest Mode.  By leaving out the Virtual size specification
and having just one Mode (at a given color "Depth"), the Virtual desktop
is, thus, effectively disabled.

The question I wanted answered was: can I specify multiple Modes (that
I can hot-key between) & have them each appear on a screen of that size,
so that in *each case* there is no virtual desktop. I asked
if virtual desktops were essential (i.e., is there a fundamental reason
why I can't do this) and received the following response.

Quote:>Yes. There is basically no such thing as a virtual desktop. For any resolution
> you can switch to with CTRL-ALT-KP+/- the server reports the same maximum
> geometry; you just see different windows into the whole space. The server
> mustn't change the geometry while switching because this is what a client
> receives during XOpenDisplay, and what it relies on during the whole
> lifetime. There is no event in X to notify of changing the display geometry.
> You could in principle switch the geometry, but then have to kill all clients
> first, otherwise they'll get confused.

> --
>          Dr.-Ing. Holger Veit             | INTERNET: Holger.Veit"at"
> |  |   / GMD - German National Research   | Phone: (+49) 2241 14 2448
> |__|  /  Center for Information Technology| Fax:   (+49) 2241 14 2242
> |  | /   Schloss Birlinghoven             |  Get XFree86/OS2 Bugfix Version
> |  |/    D-53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany  |     V3.3.2.3 from
>          WWW: |    /pub/misc/XFree86OS2/3.3.2

Seems quite reasonable....

Daren Stotler
Research Physicist
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
MS 27
P. O. Box 451
Princeton, NJ 08543

You can visit the home page of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at


1. Non-Essential, Essential Applications ........

I'm looking for ideas on useful applications that I may be passing up.
The distribution that I set up came with sooo much, sooo many different
applications that I don't know exactly what they all do.

What apps do you find you cant live without?

ex. joe -- text editor
     pine -- email prog
     midnight commander -- like the old dosshell

2. nenscript v1.13 hangs printer

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5. X desktop resolution and virtual desktop

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9. Virtual Desktop/No Virtual Setting

10. I Am Running Out of Virtual Memory

11. Virtual hosts FAQ: I AM STARTING ONE

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13. resizing virtual desktop