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How To Extend the Top Bar to Multiple Monitors in Ubuntu 18

Ubuntu 5

Ubuntu 18, by default, only extends the top bar to the primary monitor. However, for users with multiple monitors, having the top bar extended across all screens can improve productivity and provide a more seamless user experience. This article will guide you through the process of extending the top bar to multiple monitors in Ubuntu 18.

Quick Answer

To extend the top bar to multiple monitors in Ubuntu 18, you can use the Multi Monitors Add-On GNOME Shell extension or revert to the Unity desktop manager. Both methods have their pros and cons, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

Using the Multi Monitors Add-On

The easiest way to extend the top bar across multiple monitors is by using a GNOME Shell extension called “Multi Monitors Add-On”. This extension adds a top bar to your secondary monitors and also allows you to view activities, app menus, and system indicators on all your screens.

Installation

To install the Multi Monitors Add-On, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Ubuntu Software Center.
  2. Search for “Multi Monitors Add-On”.
  3. Click on the extension and hit the “Install” button.

Alternatively, you can install it via the terminal by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extension-multi-monitors

In this command, sudo allows you to run commands with the security privileges of another user (by default, the superuser). apt-get install is used to install a software package, and gnome-shell-extension-multi-monitors is the package we want to install.

Usage

After installing the Multi Monitors Add-On, you need to enable it:

  1. Open the GNOME Tweaks tool. If it’s not installed, you can install it via the Ubuntu Software Center or by running sudo apt-get install gnome-tweaks in the terminal.
  2. Go to the “Extensions” tab.
  3. Find “Multi Monitors Add-On” and toggle the switch to “ON”.

Now, you should see the top bar extended to your secondary monitors.

Reverting to Unity Desktop Manager

If the Multi Monitors Add-On doesn’t work for you or you prefer the Unity desktop manager, you can revert to it. Unity was the default desktop manager before GNOME in Ubuntu 18 and it supports the top bar on all monitors natively.

Installation

To install the Unity desktop manager, run the following commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop

In these commands, sudo apt update updates the list of available packages and their versions, but it does not install or upgrade any packages. sudo apt install ubuntu-unity-desktop installs the Unity desktop manager.

Usage

After installing the Unity desktop manager, you need to select it:

  1. Log out of your current session.
  2. At the login screen, click on the cogwheel icon and select “Unity”.
  3. Log back in.

Now, you should see the top bar extended to your secondary monitors.

Conclusion

Extending the top bar to multiple monitors in Ubuntu 18 can be achieved either by using the Multi Monitors Add-On or by reverting to the Unity desktop manager. Both methods have their pros and cons, so choose the one that best suits your needs. If you’d like to see native support for the top bar on all monitors in future versions of Ubuntu, consider voting and commenting on the relevant bug report.

Remember to always be careful when installing new software or changing system settings. If you encounter any issues or have any questions, feel free to ask for help on the Ubuntu forums or Ask Ubuntu.

Can I extend the top bar to multiple monitors in Ubuntu 18 without using any add-ons?

No, by default, Ubuntu 18 only extends the top bar to the primary monitor. You need to use add-ons or switch to the Unity desktop manager to extend the top bar to multiple monitors.

How do I install GNOME Tweaks?

You can install GNOME Tweaks by opening the Ubuntu Software Center, searching for "GNOME Tweaks", and clicking on the install button. Alternatively, you can install it via the terminal by running the command sudo apt-get install gnome-tweaks.

Can I uninstall the Multi Monitors Add-On after installing it?

Yes, you can uninstall the Multi Monitors Add-On by opening the Ubuntu Software Center, searching for "Multi Monitors Add-On", and clicking on the uninstall button. Alternatively, you can uninstall it via the terminal by running the command sudo apt-get remove gnome-shell-extension-multi-monitors.

Will reverting to the Unity desktop manager affect my existing files and settings?

No, reverting to the Unity desktop manager will not affect your existing files and settings. It is simply a change in the desktop environment and should not impact your data or configurations.

Can I switch between the Multi Monitors Add-On and the Unity desktop manager?

Yes, you can switch between the Multi Monitors Add-On and the Unity desktop manager. Simply disable the Multi Monitors Add-On in GNOME Tweaks and log out, then select Unity at the login screen. Similarly, you can switch back to the Multi Monitors Add-On by enabling it in GNOME Tweaks and logging out, then selecting GNOME at the login screen.

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