Here’s How Multi-Monitor Support Will Work on GNOME 40

GNOME 40 Multi-Monitor


To answer some concerns from the Linux community, GNOME Project’s Allan Day showcased today how multi-monitor will work on the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment.

Long story short, multi-monitor support in GNOME 40 will work pretty much the same as it works in the current and previous releases of the widely used desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems, but with a few adjustments to accommodate the new Activities Overview design.

Therefore, GNOME 40 will default to showing workspaces only on the primary display with the top bar and activities overview when using a dual display setup, but it will scale down the background on the secondary display to make it clear that it’s a single workspace. Check out the video below to see it in action.

“We feel that this presentation helps to make the logic of the multiple displays clearer, and helps to unify the different screens,” said Allan Day.

GNOME 40 multi-monitor on dual display setup – Video courtesy of Jakub Steiner

While that’s the default behavior, the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment will also support showing workspaces on all displays by altering the workspaces-only-on-primary settings key. As you can see in the video example below, workspaces will be extended to the right on the secondary display, with the workspace navigator visible on both displays.

“The introduction of the workspace navigator on secondary displays is a new change for GNOME 40, which is intended to improve the experience for users who opt to have workspaces on all displays,” said Allan Day.

GNOME 40 multi-monitor on dual display setup – Video courtesy of Jakub Steiner

Moreover, GNOME 40 will feature pretty much the same keyboard shortcuts for switching workspaces in multi-monitor setups, with the introduction of additional ones to align with Activities Overview’s new horizontal layout with matching touchpad gestures.

These include Super+Alt+←/→ for switching a workspace, Super+Alt+Shift+←/→ for moving windows between workspaces, Super+Alt+↑ for opening the Activities Overview and then the app grid, as well as Super+Alt+↓ for closing them.

According to Allan Day, multi-monitor support is a top priority in the GNOME desktop environment and will continue to be improved with each new major release. More details are available in this blog post. As for GNOME 40, the final release is expected to hit the streets next month on March 24th, 2021.

Image credits: GNOME Project

Last updated 2 months ago