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#1 2018-05-03 22:40:55

babag
Member
Registered: 2018-01-21
Posts: 22

desktop icons and screen geometry

thinking of switching to xfce but two things have held me back.

1. desktop icons never remember their positions or simply can't be moved to new positions

2. windows keep popping up in off-screen positions

i'm looking at using some form of ubuntu to work in multimedia. i've gotten davinci resolve and reaper both to function properly. i'm coming from windows/osx environments. i've used linux off and on for years but until now the options for multimedia (video and audio production) have seemed way too cumbersome and finicky to be practical. i've also been working with digital media for decades so i want to set things up the way i work and not how the software works as much as is practical. to that end i set up my most used programs and locations as links on the desktop.

the problem i have is that, when i try to set up icons on my desktop, xfce wants to put them in places i can't use. it's happy to create them, i just can't put them where i can use them. in some ways the two problems i have may be related. i use four monitors. three are across my physical desk, side by side. the fourth is a 65" 4k tv that is wall-mounted and is largely dedicated to video output from either resolve or reaper. that, of course, is where xfce wants to put all of my desktop icons, making them useless as they are behind the video and unreachable.

the display geometry may have something to do with this as well as the second issue of off-screen windows. i set up my environment as an analog of my physical space. thus, the 4k is above and the three 1680x1050s are below, side by side. i like to center the 4k above the three smaller monitors but, if i do that, there is a dead space, geometrically, just to the left and right of this screen. that dead space is where xfce puts my icons. this means i can't center the 4k screen and impacts mouse navigation.

it seems like the overall screen is being defined by the combined height and width of the above and below areas. that would be fine if there was a way to define a blacklisted zone when placing icons and windows. there doesn't seem to be such that is easily found by me. the second part of this may have to do with display settings as well. xfce seems to treat the above 4k display as the primary even though it's not defined as such. the lower right is defined as the primary yet, often when new windows pop up, they pop up on the above display. they might also be wholly or partially off-screen depending on whether the screen is centered or not. a keystroke-definable command to move the focused window to the next screen would also be helpful here.

the only solution i've found has been kde (or windows or osx, of course), which is the only desktop that solves both of these problems. it also comes with a 'move focused to next display' command. problem there is that kde has been having display issues of its own recently. when i first tested it it installed perfectly and easily. now, however, it hangs. i've tried a great many things to get it solved but the recent kde releases simply won't install for me. frankly, though, i'd much rather use xfce for its lightweight nature.

anyway, i just wanted to put this out as the recent kde problems have pushed me back towards xfce and i'd love to get solutions to these issues so i can simply forget about kde, windows, and osx. sorry for the verbosity, here, just felt like i should be specific as i can.

thanks,
babag

Last edited by babag (2018-05-03 22:47:09)

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#2 Yesterday 00:19:51

Crippled
Member
From: U.S.A.
Registered: 2015-10-13
Posts: 35

Re: desktop icons and screen geometry

"1. desktop icons never remember their positions or simply can't be moved to new positions" Left click and hold on the icon and move it to where you like it and release it. I should stay in that position.                                               "2. windows keep popping up in off-screen positions" This usually can happen when you are using two different displays like your TV and a computer monitor. Go into Settings > Display and chose the correct display size.


MX-17.1 Linux, Xfce 4.12.3

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#3 Today 04:43:25

babag
Member
Registered: 2018-01-21
Posts: 22

Re: desktop icons and screen geometry

thanks for the reply to this, crippled, but nope. none of that works with my setup. if you're interested, you can look around for all the threads from me about icon and desktop issues with my particular geometry. it's a real nightmare to get the workflow i like working with xfce. managed a very painful workaround, though, involving LOTS of panels to hold my icons. not a very good solution but good enough to keep me from jumping ship, though, i could never recommend it to others. waaayyy too cumbersome.

thanks again,
babag

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#4 Today 04:48:30

Crippled
Member
From: U.S.A.
Registered: 2015-10-13
Posts: 35

Re: desktop icons and screen geometry

babag, your welcome. Sounds like a distro problem because it works on MX-17.1 Linux. Which Linux distro you are having those issues with?


MX-17.1 Linux, Xfce 4.12.3

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