I have multiple monitors on my desktop using XFCE for a DE and I'd like to have the panel on the bottom to be duplicated across all of my screens and show the same open applications on both. Currently the panel is only displayed on my right screen.

How would I go about setting this up with XFCE?

7 Answers 7


Open xfce4-panel. You can right click on a panel > Panel > Panel Preferences. Select the target panel under the drop down near the top. Under the Display tab, check the box next to Span Monitors.

Note: I am on XFCE 4.12 and I am not sure if the span monitors option is available on earlier versions.

  • 12
    This works ok, but I'd much rather have 2 panels showing the same applications open so I would have a clock and menu on each
    – Qwertie
    Jul 14, 2016 at 9:09
  • 1
    You can do this by adding another Window Menu and another Clock item to the panel and positioning them to the panel on the other monitor. Jul 26, 2016 at 0:46
  • 12
    This is not what the original poser asked for and for me is worse than just having it on one monitor.
    – tempcke
    Sep 25, 2018 at 16:31
  • 11
    This is not an answer, the question was specifically for duplicating a panel on multiple monitors.
    – stimulate
    May 21, 2019 at 15:07
  • 4
    This answer does not correspond to the exact question
    – kyriakosSt
    Nov 11, 2019 at 12:12

As an alternative to putting one panel across two monitors, you could have a separate panel on each monitor. You can put the same widgets into each panel, and they'll look the same.

  • 2
    That sounds a bit painful to configure. How can I just copy-paste a panel over so I don't have to go through the process of recreating the whole setup for a panel? Mar 25, 2017 at 18:11
  • 1
    Panel configuration is all stored in text files in .config/xfce4. You can edit those files if necessary.
    – rosuav
    Mar 25, 2017 at 21:41
  • 5
    This is the solution I used however the 'notification area' can not be put on more than one panel. When my laptop is docked I have it on the panel for my middle monitor which is fine, but when I undock I have little control over which panel displays on my laptop screen, and it is never the one with the notification area, so I have to hide the other 2 panels so that the one I need displays. Then when I re-dock I have to unhide them. it kinda sucks...
    – tempcke
    Sep 25, 2018 at 16:29
  • If I'm correct all of this needs to be redone once the additional monitor is reconnected. Also XFCE has difficulty setting a monitor as a primary (I have a laptop and an external monitor with the laptop's display being set to primary yet the panel appearing on the secondary). Sep 8, 2022 at 14:58

The only way I know to copy and paste your panel is to do so in the config file:


I would suggest creating an empty second panel for your monitor, so you can see how it displays in the config file.

You can paste the settings for your first panel to replace the settings for your second panel. You just need to change the panel number and position numbers to make the same settings apply to your second panel.


You could use Xfce Panel Switch.

Follow the very comprehensive guide by Colin Robinson: http://colinrrobinson.com/technology/linux/xfce/automatically-switch-xfce-panel-layout-plugging-monitor


I found aemaem's post got me close (and directly editing the config files in .config/xfce4/... didn't work for me), but if you actually want to easily duplicate across monitors, there were some extra steps not listed out there: from the Panels menu > Backup and restore > Select "Current Configuration" and "Save" and "Export", which saves off a tar.gz of your configuration. Open that and find the "config.txt" file. This will contain a list of "panels" and "plugins". You'll probably want to copy this, then copy the lines beginning with "/panels/panel-x/" that you want to duplicate, changing the number (i have two panels, panel-0 and panel-1, so i created two more, panel-2 and panel-3). you'll also need to find all the lines beginning with "/plugins/plugin-y" for all plugins listed in your "/panels/panel-x/plugin-ids" line(s), and copy and renumber those as well (it seems there are sometimes issues with multiple panels pointing to the same plugin ID). be sure to update the line that lists out all the panels as well. Then resave this file into the tar.gz, and duplicate and renumber any "launcher-n" folders in the tar.gz as well. finally, you can either re-import the tar.gz in the same place you exported it, or with "python3 /usr/share/xfpanel-switch/xfpanel-switch/xfpanel-switch.py load /path/to/yourfile.tar.bz2" (from here) See the example below.

my original file:

/panels [<0>, <1> ] /panels/panel-0/... ... /panels/panel-0/plugin-ids [<1>, <2>, <3> ... ] /panels/panel-1/... ... /panels/panel-1/plugin-ids [<10>, <11>, <12> ... ] /plugins/plugin-1 ... ... /plugins/plugin-2 ... ... /plugins/plugin-21 ...


/panels [<0>, <1>, <2>, <3> ] /panels/panel-0/... ... /panels/panel-0/plugin-ids [<1>, <2>, <3> ... ] /panels/panel-1/... ... /panels/panel-1/plugin-ids [<10>, <11>, <12> ... ] /panels/panel-2/... ... /panels/panel-2/plugin-ids [<22>, <23>, <24> ... ] /panels/panel-3/... ... /panels/panel-3/plugin-ids [<31>, <32>, <33> ... ] /plugins/plugin-1 ... ... /plugins/plugin-2 ... ... /plugins/plugin-21 ... ... /plugins/plugin-22 ... ... /plugins/plugin-23 ... ... /plugins/plugin-42 ...


Here is what I did: In a my xubuntu 18.04 terminal, I type xfce4-about and find I am running Version 4.12. I right click on my (whisker) menu button (on the upper right corner of my primary screen). I get a menu where I click Panel->Panel Preferences..->Green Plus Sign to create a new panel (Panel 1). In that same dialog box I click the items tab and add whisker menu and clock. I Close the dialog box. I Drag the new little Panel to the second screen, then I right click on the new little panel and fix it up some more.

  • This almost worked for me, but my new (second monitor) panel hides applications behind it, regardless of whether I check "Don't reserve space on borders". Jun 25, 2020 at 22:17

Create a 2nd panel and add "Windows Buttons" widget to it. It will show open applications on both panels.

  1. Right click on first panel (on monitor-1)
  2. select panel > panel preferences
  3. there is '+' icon in-front of panel, this will add second panel.
  4. drag it to second monitor to required position
  5. On Display tab (for panel-2), click lock, set length to 100%, adjust height of 2nd panel (Row Size pixels)
  6. Select Items tab > click '+' button > add "Windows Button"

Now you can see open application on both panel and monitors

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