Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to be able to emulate a dual monitor set up using a single physical display. Ideally, X11 would be able to treat each left/right half of the monitor as a separate display. Is this possible with X11?


I've cobbled together some crude images to attempt to better clarify what my intent is.

Imagine the following dual monitor set up:

enter image description here

Since I only have a single, large, widescreen monitor, I would like X11 to believe that the single physical display is actually two displays; each taking up a horizontal half of the physical display space, as follows:

enter image description here

share|improve this question
No, but with xnest and tiling WM you can do something like that. –  Eddy_Em Feb 11 '13 at 19:40
That depends on what you want to emulate or what you want to do/test/proove with your emulated environment. X has quite some abstraction going on before actual screens become (X-) screens and even more before they become (the visible part of) your working area –  Bananguin Feb 11 '13 at 19:52
@Eddy_Em: Could you be more specific? –  noffle Feb 11 '13 at 19:53
I think Eddy is just referring to the fact that with the right window manager (or tool -- check the wikipedia article on xnest) you should be able to do something that might be considered effectively similar, but I really think YOU should be more specific about what you are trying to accomplish, then you will get more specific answers ;) A real dual monitor setup with X can mean several fairly different things, so... –  goldilocks Feb 11 '13 at 20:00
@noffle, I mean that you can set up some of tiling WM so, that after login will run two windowed xnest sessions by half of screen each. But that would be two different X-sessions, so you won't be able to move windows between them. BTW, tiling WM itself could be setup like you want. Tell more detailed what do you mean. –  Eddy_Em Feb 11 '13 at 20:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.