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assign some workspaces to specific screen, clone others to all screens

asked 2014-11-12 16:00:58 +0000

anonymous user


Imagine a teacher running i3 on his notebook and a projector connected. Is this setup possible?

  • Workspace (1-4): Notebook screen
  • Workspace (5-8): projector
  • Workspace (9-10): Both, notebook screen and projector

On workspace 1-4 one could work without seeing the others what you are doing (e.g. reading the sample solution), on workspace 5-8 you can place your presentation etc. and on workspace 9 and 10 you could do live coding or something else.

I know that these setups are possible on their own (workspace assignment, clone output), but is it possible to get it at the same time?

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answered 2014-11-12 22:10:56 +0000

ANOKNUSA gravatar image

updated 2014-11-13 17:00:51 +0000

I know that these setups are possible on their own (workspace assignment, clone output)...

Workspace assignment is not what can possibly be done, it is what must be done. A workspace is unique; it must be assigned to a single display. If you don't explicitly assign a workspace to a display in the configuration file, i3 just assigns it to whatever display currently has focus. A workspace only exists so long as it is focused and/or has open windows assigned to it.

A possible work-around is to either a) write a script to quickly switch between cloning an X output and having two separate virtual screens, or b) pair workspaces together by having a key combination switch two workspaces at once. In the latter case each workspace would still be distinct, however.

EDIT: For live coding, you can use Tmux with console Vim or Emacs. But then again, that wouldn't have anything to do with the window manager per se.

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The OP only informed us that he is aware of the possibility to assign workspaces, probably to preempt answers that concentrate on that aspect only. And - you even said so yourself - workspace assignment is nothing that "*must* be done", i3 works just as well without, it all depends on your workflow.

Adaephon gravatar imageAdaephon ( 2014-11-13 08:03:05 +0000 )edit

If you don't assign a workspace, then i3 automatically assigns it to the currently focused display. The OP wants the same workspace on more than one screen; that isn't possible. I explained why not in more detail for posterity. No WM does what the OP wants. WMs and Xorg are different levels.

ANOKNUSA gravatar imageANOKNUSA ( 2014-11-13 16:53:50 +0000 )edit

Well, not really satisfying... Is this going to be possible with Wayland?

foo gravatar imagefoo ( 2014-11-13 17:08:57 +0000 )edit

> A workspace is unique; it must be assigned to a single display Where does this limitation come from? i3, Xorg,..?

foo gravatar imagefoo ( 2014-11-13 17:09:56 +0000 )edit

@foo Xorg. Assigning a workspace to two displays (when not just cloning) would really mean that the same window has to be drawn on two separate displays, which is not possible with Xorg. A window can only have one set of coordinates at a time.

Adaephon gravatar imageAdaephon ( 2014-11-14 11:47:32 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2014-11-12 16:00:58 +0000

Seen: 1,935 times

Last updated: Nov 13 '14